Some refer to Sevin Dust as the Nature’s Seasoning of the insect killer world. It claims to kill over 500 common insects but is it safe for plants? The short answer, if you follow the label on the product when applying Sevin Dust, it is safe. If you’re still skeptical about this all around bug killer, let’s do a deeper dive.
30+ Year Track Record
For over 30 years, Sevin has been a reliable insecticide for homeowners and professionals. Sevin is used in lawns, flower beds and even vegetable gardens. It is also effective on giant yellow jacket nests and ant infestations!
Sevin is a broad spectrum pesticide. This means the active ingredient, Carbaryl, is deadly to all types of insects. The traditional form of Sevin comes in a dust that is easily applied to target areas.
Garden Tech, the manufacturer of Sevin, has a liquid form and pelleted form as well. The dust formulation is by far the most used.
How to Use Sevin Dust
Apply Sevin at the first signs of an infestation. The ability for the dust particles to stick to insects makes it so effective. Insects die within minutes after contact. This trait is detrimental to pollinators that visit your garden. It’s best to never apply Sevin dust to plants that are flowering to limit impact to pollinators.
Sevin dust comes in an easily dispersible shaker container. Application is easy:
- Wear latex or rubber gloves
- Apply a light dusting over the target area
- Evenly cover the area with the dust.
- Never apply in windy conditions or on areas above your head. This will increase the chances of inhalation or impacting non-target areas.
- Wash hands and clothes after applying to reduce the chances of human contamination.
How Long Does Sevin Dust Last?
Rain and irrigation water will wash the dust from the applied area. If Sevin dust does not come in contact with water, the half life of time it will remain is 3 days. If it is applied to soil or washes off into soil, it has a half life of 4 to 72 days.
Is Sevin Dust Harmful to Animals?
Sevin dust has a low toxicity to humans, pets and other mammals when applied in a way that follows the label. However, its best for humans, pets, and other mammals to avoid poisons if possible.
Always keep pets and people out of the application area until all the dust has settled. Wearing a dust mask will decrease the chances of inhalation. Also, always work backwards when applying. This will prevent you walking through a Sevin dust cloud during application.
It Is Safe to Eat Produce Treated With Sevin Dust After Washing
When using on edible plants, follow the package label carefully. This usually means not harvesting anywhere from from 3 to 21 days post application. However, it’s still important to wash all fruits and vegetables before consumption no matter your use of pesticides.
Sevin Dust for Fleas
The life cycle of the flea makes it difficult to quickly eradicate them. The good news is that Sevin Dust is highly effective at eliminating fleas quickly.
Using Sevin Dust to Kill Fleas
Sevin Powder eliminates adult fleas within minutes of encountering the poison. Apply Sevin in areas that your pet frequents, or where adult fleas are present.
The pesticide will remain effective for up to a week, depending on weather and other environmental factors. To treat fleas, apply it over the entire area infested area.
Flea Treatment Tips
- Sevin Dust should never be used indoors
- Never apply Sevin Dust to people or pets such as cats and dogs
- Follow all application instructions and guidelines when using Sevin Powder
- Do not apply Sevin Powder to pet bedding
- Allow all dust to settle before returning to a treated area
- Apply Sevin Dust when dry weather is expected
- If reapplications are necessary, wait at least seven days before re-applying
Why Sevin Dust is Effective Against Fleas
Fleas are an unwelcome surprise in any situation. The good news is that Sevin Dust eliminates fleas quickly. To understand the role that the powder has in eliminating fleas, we must fist understand the life cycle of the flea.
Like almost all insects, fleas have four distinct stages: Egg, Larva, Pupa, and Adult. The lifecycle takes about four weeks to complete. This is dependent on temperature, humidity, and any interruptions.
Fleas tend to thrive in temperature above 70 degrees and humidity levels higher than 65%.
Female fleas lay eggs after feasting on their last meal. The time it takes for eggs to hatch ranges from one to two weeks.
A female flea is capable of laying 30-40 eggs a day. Flea eggs are sticky any adhere to fur, fabric, and other soft surfaces. If they lay eggs on pets, they can fall off while the pet is moving, making containing the eggs difficult.
Once the egg hatches, a larvae will emerge. The blind larvae will avoid well-lit areas. It stays deep in carpet, pet hair, and bedding.
Larvae are not particularly mobile and can be very hard to spot. Flea larvae can reach sizes up to ¼ of an inch and will begin forming a cocoon in approximately 14 days.
In the pupa stage, the adult flea develops inside of the cocoon. The developmental stage takes anywhere from 7-21 days.
If the environment is not conducive for the flea to hatch, it can stay in the pupa stage for up to two months.
Most chemical pesticides are helpless in eliminating the pupa. This is because it protects the developing flea from almost all external factors.
Once the adult flea hatches, it must feed within hours. The flea will seek out any warm-blooded host for its first meal. Once the flea feasts, it is capable of laying eggs in a matter of days.
Adult fleas are most often found in the areas that have viable hosts. Pet bedding, flower beds, furniture, and other soft surfaces are the most common places. Keep in mind that adult fleas are never far from their food source.
Killing Fleas Is Hard, But Not Impossible
Now that you understand the flea life cycle, it is not had to see why it is difficult to eliminate a flea infestation. You can kill fleas at any point along the lifecycle but eliminating all the fleas will take time. If you see more than 2-3 adult fleas, the chances are high that there are more adults fleas around.
Carbaryl – Sevin Dust's Active Ingredient
Sevin Dust’s active ingredient is Carbaryl, a effective broad-spectrum insecticide. It has very low toxicity to animals. However, you should always keep animals, including humans, away from the treatment area.
How Carbaryl Works
Carbaryl is a neurotoxin that sends an insect's nervous system into overdrive. It works by interfering with an insect's use of acetylcholine, which governs signals in the nervous system. Once inside the insect’s system, it loses its ability to control its breathing. The entire process takes a very short amount of time, killing the insect quickly.
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