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Is it safe to eat my vegetables?

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
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by DaisyM on August 13, 2005 03:30 AM
I live in a city, and twice they sprayed malathion to kill mosquitos because of the West Nile threat. Since our yards are small, my garden is fairly close to the street and back lane. I grow organically and don't use any sort of chemicals on my vegetables. Since we've been fogged twice over the last month, how safe to eat are my vegetables (eg..lettuce..green onions..beans..parsley...dill... etc)
P.S...it did kill the mosquitos and they were heavy in the garden, so some malathion must have settled in there.
by freestacy01 on August 13, 2005 04:30 AM
I would check a label for Malathion, to see how long you should wait to harvest after being sprayed. Your vegetables should be okay, but, I know you have to wait a few days or a week or more before eating anything from your garden. You might be able to obtain the information on the chemical and harvesting from your local Home Depot gardening center. At least you should not have a pest problem this year, if they do it again will they warn you so you can cover your garden? I too hate pesticides. Good Luck
by DaisyM on August 13, 2005 07:29 AM
I checked a malathion label and the only thing it says for vegetables is not to apply it 3 days before harvest, except for celery which is 7 days. I checked the fogging schedule and they are fogging our area again tonite, weather permitting. I guess I'll have to cover my lettuce. I don't understand why they are going to fog again, since I haven't seen a single mosquito in the last few days.
by The Plant Doc on August 13, 2005 10:12 AM
The table on the label of Malithion refers to direct spraying of the crop, in order to protect it against an insect. So any slight residue left over by the drift should be pretty insignificant.
If you still feel uneasy about eating the veggies, just wash them in cool water before using.

FYI Malithion is still one of the most popular insecticides on the market, and if you have bought any veggies or fruit at a grocery store chances are you have already been exposed to it.

Personally and those who know me here will attest that I have no problem with the use of chemicals, as long as they are used correctly, but I really hate the blanket spraying method of controlling mosquitos. On a single property basis it is not that bad, but by doing it through an entire town or city, they will be messing up the ecosystem. It not only kills the mosquito but it will take out any other insect it comes in contact with. There are a lot of beneficial ones out there. It will also kill fish in ponds and birds if directly sprayed. (young in nests)
There are much better ways of dealing with the problem of west nile.

* * * *
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Mike Maier
aka
The Plant Doc
by DaisyM on August 16, 2005 11:54 AM
Hey Mike, you should be our mosquito man. So far they fired two. I've read of safer methods, so I don't know why they are using malathion. There were quite a few dragon flies around, which disappeared after spraying and they eat mosquito's. What purpose do mosquitos have and what do they eat or drink besides our blood? Little vampires...

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