Sevin question...

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by CatsPaw, Jun 23, 2006.

  1. CatsPaw

    CatsPaw Who...me?

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    If you read the label on Sevin it would appear to be rather benign. I've searched here and didn't find what I was looking for. I've searched on the web also.

    I need an opinion regarding Sevin in relationship to "organic" growing. According to national standards many synthetics and non-synthetics are allowed, but, Sevin or related carbomates are not mentioned specifically (at least not by my limited non-chemistry mind.)

    I'm thinking about how to grow more organically (not necessarily certified) and want to know what you all think about the use of Sevin and whether we're all going to die from Sevin poisoning before all the other pollutants get us.
     
  2. Manny

    Manny Well-Known Member

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    The application of Sevin on flowering vegetable plants is devastating to honey bees. It won't kill you but it will surely kill a hive. Do a "Google" for "sevin +bees" and see what I'm talking about. If you want to be "organic" avoid using sevin.
     

  3. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

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    Sevin is a chemical pesticide. Definately not organic.
     
  4. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sevin Dust almost killed my son. He was 12. I had sprinkled Sevin Dust around the edges our carport because we were having a bug/worm problem. He was not outside when I sprinkled the Sevin Dust. He went out on the carport to see what his sister was doing. Immediately he started to itch. In the seven minutes it took to me to get him to the ER he had stopped breathing. He was in full anaphylactic shock. His throat has swollen shut and his lungs were over 9o% full of fluid. I pulled my car right to the ER door and had to drap him into the ER as he was unconscious and not breathing. The ER nurse was terrified. Luckily I got him there just in time and they were able to save him. He swelled so much, so quickly that the soles of his feet cracked open, as did his lips and nostrils.

    I will never NEVER allow Sevin Dust on my property.
     
  5. Country Lady

    Country Lady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ravenlost, what do you use instead of Seven? We have our first raised bed this year and wanted it to be organic. We had done pretty good so far, but had to resort to Seven to save the zucchini and squash. I'd like to know how everyone does it.
     
  6. CatsPaw

    CatsPaw Who...me?

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    Well, there's the rub. I don't want to "resort" either but I do. I can't free range chickens which is what I would really like to do. I'm trying to up my production and I'm running into two problems. bugs and weeds. Small gardens...fine...pick'em and kill'em (bugs and weeds.)

    But, I've got about 9k sq.ft. now and planning on opening another half acre or more. The "normal" routine around here for acreage would be roundup early spring to supress weeds, spray with most benign bug stuff when needed, wash'em and sell'em.

    I guess what I'm trying to figure out is how a large field is managed. If someone has 100 acres, they just don't go around picking bugs off by hand. I can't plant an acre of 'taters just for the bugs. or free range a herd of chickens to feed the coyotes. I'm getting better with the weeds, but, bug solution is going to be tough.
     
  7. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

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    Sevin single handedly isn't going to kill most of us but it isn't going to do anything to keep us and our garden soil healthy. Ravenlost almost lost her son to Sevin. It's not a benign chemical. Sevin and many other pesticides will kill the good insects as well as the bad. Without the good insects your battle to control the bad is more difficult. Soil organisms need toxic-free soil to survive. I remember watching for worms and cutworms popping out of the soil after my mother drenched it with poison. It was probably malathion but I don't remember now. She did this to kill the cutworms before planting. We didn't know how bad that was at the time but if we'd thought about it, killing the earthworms should have been a clue.

    First step - what are you having a problem with? When you know what you're dealing with it's easier to find the solution.

    I keep ducks for slug, potato bug and beetle control in parts of my garden. They can't go into the rows of greens because of they'll eat them. While the ducks are eating bugs they'll also pull small weeds to eat.

    Keep improving your soil. Healthy plants start in healthy soil and can take some damage without compromising production.

    Keep up with weeds. Beetles love to lay eggs under roots. You can cut way back on the number of grubs by removing their favorite habitat.

    Floating row covers will prevent some pests. Cabbage moths can't lay eggs on brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc) if they can't get to them. Flea beetles and potato bugs overwinter in the soil so they can come up under the row cover. The cover will keep new ones from moving in.

    Timing your plantings helps. I try to get all of my brassicas in the ground very early so that by the time the cabbage moths are here I've harvested the majority of the crop. I put in second crops of broccoli and cauliflower later in the season so that frost slows them down.

    There's a lot you can do to prevent problems before they happen. That's just a few examples. There's a lot of information online.

    http://www.groworganic.com/links_pestcontrol.html

    http://www.motherearthnews.com/top_articles/2006_Februrary_March/Organic-Pest-Control

    http://www.caps.20m.com/alternatives.htm

    We often read that organic growers can't use herbicides and pesticides and chemicals. That's not at all true. We use natural things. Examples: http://www.johnnyseeds.com/catalog/search.aspx?scommand=search&search=herbicide

    Not all organic chemicals are safe. Rotenone is organic but I don't use it because it's too dangerous.

    Good luck!
     
  8. bumpus

    bumpus Well-Known Member

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    I use to work in Carbide where they made Seven bug dust.

    I have seen people clean out tanks and have it all over them. But don't know if they are alive today.

    They say that the man who discovered the seven dust put some in water and drank a glass of it.

    They said that he said the Seven would only kill things that did not have lungs, and that it was not harmful to people.

    But as Ravenlost knows that is not always true for everyone.

    I have also heard that it could be a cancer causing agent.


    bumpus
    .
     
  9. CatsPaw

    CatsPaw Who...me?

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    Well, as stated originally...."If you read the LABEL on Sevin it would APPEAR to be RATHER benign (I'm not going assume I'm safe just 'cause THEY say it is.) The intention of the question was to try and figure out where sevin lies in the scheme of things....1 to 10...1 being total organic natural and 10 being nuke it and puke it.

    After investigating the national organic growers site thingy I got interested in what "they" consider organic is. I was surprised at the number of chemicals that were allowed. So, I try to understand exactly what I'm using and it's consequences.

    btw, my sister took an aspirin and ended up in the e.r. Some people can die from eating peanuts. My theories on that could take up a whole forum (not berating what happened to Ravenlost.)

    In essence, I think vigilance with fall turning and mulching, cultivating early, (also realized this year about allowing plants to grow until they make seeds exaserbates the problem). Big problem right now is 'tater bugs. fat little orange guys. covering and free ranging poultry isn't an option (although, I have some ideas about the poultry and am not giving up on that.)

    BUt, with input like this I always understand things better. thanks
     
  10. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yeah, my brother has that problem with aspirin too. And I must admit, DIRT being stirred up by bulldozers once put my son in the ER as well, but who knows what was mixed in with that dirt?

    I lose stuff to bugs in the garden. It can be frustrating, but so can watching your child swell up and stop breathing. I'll take the bug eaten veggies any day!

    To combat problems in the garden I do all manner of things...I pick off bugs, I let the duck and chickens free range in the garden every evening, etc. I'm a big believer in companion planting. I also research and learn how to make organic sprays to thwart stubborn bugs. Just recently I was battling blister beetles in the garden. I'm happy to say that the organic bug spray recipe I found online worked!

    I weed daily, I mulch religiously and I watch the bugs eat some stuff. The only thing I won't do is buy a bag of Sevin Dust, nor will I allow any other poisons in my garden.
     
  11. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    I think that the more diverse your insect and plant varieties are,the less likely it is for any pathogen to get the upper hand. That is why monoculture is so bad, because it allows pathogen populations to quickly grow to epidemic scale. The key is to treat your soil like it is gold. Keep it moist, keep it fertile, and grow the plants as quickly as possible. There isn't anything that you can do about drought, or drying winds, but you can mulch well. Again that means taking care of your soil. Rototill often, and hoe it. Plant different varieties from the previous year. Be in your garden every day. Twice a day is better. Sevin is a pesticide so can it really be organic? Yes it can actually because there is no legal definition of organic. Gasoline is organic. If you're trying to belong to an organisation that has requirements that need to be met in order to Qualify as organic, then follow that. Pyrethrins are a synthesized organic compound. Synthesized means that it is manufactured in a lab and has many safe attributes to it that make it closer to organic. You still need to spray it directly on the insects for it to work. They aren't going to chew a leaf and ingest it that way in a lethal sense. It basically burns them by entering breathing pores etc. Use dishsoap and capsaicin pepper, and the store bought pyrethrins, resmethrins, tetramethrins etc. They don't last and can be washed off easily. The disadvantage of using sevin dust is that like any dust it will get picked up on any breeze and get ingested by people, pets, and non target creatures. It is very useful to protect against beetles, and caterpillars, as well as squash vine borers. Be very, very careful that you never use anything called borer miner killer on you vegetables because that is deadly stuff. Bottom line is that you must read the entire label of everything you use, and then read it several more times to make sure that you understand exactly how to use it. Responsibility lies with the end user. Don't ever mix more than you will use immediately. Never throw away any concentrate of any kind. Mix it according to the label and spray it to get rid of it. That is the safest way to dispose of pesticides. Ok I'll get off the soap box now. Sevin dust is the most effective way to kill bees and wasps, by putting at the entrance of their hives. Because Sevin is a cholinesterase base inhibitor, the hospitals will use Atropine as an antidote.
    My biggest problem in my garden is deer.
     
  12. MsPacMan

    MsPacMan Well-Known Member

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    Squash bugs are particularly difficult to deal with organically.


    The only real answer I have found is to pick off all the bugs and their eggs as you see them on your plant.


    Problem is, their eggs are on the underbellies of large leaves, and there are so many large leaves on a healthy squash plant that you will just about never find all their eggs. So the unfound eggs hatch and produce more of those particularly nasty bugs.


    One thing I have done -- and it is sort of working -- is I am growing squash in plastic half barrels, and I have those half barrels so that they are close to my height (the surface of the soil inside the half barrel is around three and a half feet tall because I put the half barrel I grow in on top of the other half of the barrel).


    This makes it easier to see the bugs that are on the plants and squish them, or pull off leaves with eggs laid on their backsides.


    Thus far, I've controlled alot of the damage I normally suffer by this time in the growing season, though I do spend alot of time looking for bugs and bug eggs each day.


    But I have not found an organic spray that will put the squash bug in its place.


    Oh, I have heard that planting squash amid plenty of scented geraniums might help. They say it confuses the squash bug, so he cannot use his sense of smell to find the squash in the first place.


    Don't know if that works or not.
     
  13. CatsPaw

    CatsPaw Who...me?

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    Now, see I wouldn't mind a spray even if it's just a contact killer but safe. If I can get a tool [like a tow behind sprayer] that makes it easier to do something then fine. Better than hand to antennae combat.

    Was at the store yesterday and saw those Pyrethins and didn't recognize the compound (as I'm just starting out per se in this chemical warfare thing.). Something new to investigate. so, this is good. new options.

    My other idea is putting a chicken coop next to the plot and fencing it with electric wire. So, poultry could have direct access to their job, have a modicum of protection, and be allowed to roam about. Deer (the little rat b**t**ds) are everywhere. But, curiously enough, they'll gnaw the tops of stuff off when it's just starting, then they leave it alone from then on. Stunts the growth but doesn't kill them. I'm guessing a cat-dog from the pound will help there. (must be cat-dog as i'm not a real dog person. If I could teach a dog how to meow, purr, and cover it's crap, I'd get one today.)

    I feel like I'm getting there now. maybe in about 20-30 years i'll have it figured out.
     
  14. Jennifer Brewer

    Jennifer Brewer Jennifer

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    That's hilarious! My grandma hates cats and dogs both- i keep telling her she wouldn't have such a problem with rabbits if she'd get on though! WE did put chicken wire around it (the garden) finaly, and that has helped alot.
     
  15. Sandhills

    Sandhills Well-Known Member

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    I also have had a reaction to sevin dust. I was dusting my chickens to get rid of mites and a breeze picked up and covered me with it. I right away had a hard time breathing. Then my skin turned bright red like I had been burned. I showered right away but it didn't help. I ended up being pretty sick for a couple of days. My skin blistered and peeled like I had been sunburned even tho I hadn't been out in the sun. We don't use any chemicals any more. I try to stick to natural products like DE and insecticidal soap and also use companion planting and just picking bugs off of plants. Sometimes I lose plants but it's worth it to be chemical free. I don't want to ever go through that again.
     
  16. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm glad you survived! Scary, isn't it?
     
  17. Mid Tn Mama

    Mid Tn Mama Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree with what MaineFarmMom said. She is a very smart farm mom!

    But no matter how I do it on my family garden, it would be hard to do it as catspaw says on a large monoculture, row, tilled, tractor-dependent farm.

    I am able to not grow monoculture (onions and garlics tucked here and there) squash separated by okra or tomatoes. The bugs can't just hop down a row lickety split.

    I also use row covers--that would be expensive for a market garden done in rows. I use sheer curtains and mosquito netting I pickup for pennies at yard sales.

    The biggest problem with seven is that it isn't selective. If you can be patient, usually the predator to what is giving you trouble will rise up in population and take care of it. Last year was a bad year for grasshoppers for me. This year is not. Two years ago, Squash vine borer was bad--haven't had a problem since. But then, I grow varieties more hardy to that now.

    What I'm saying, is the variety you pick may not be suitable for where you are.

    Oh, and overlook some damage because it doesn't mean a hill of beans (sorry for the pun). My neighbor sprays chemicals before he sees any bugs and sprays every couple days. For example on okra. No insect around here cares about damaging the pods you eat. ONly the leaves. For instance, japanese beetles eat holes in the leaves but it makes no difference to the health of plant, production or taste of the okra. Why bother killing the JP's AND a whole lot of good predators to boot.