Welcome to OrchidsForum.com. We are a friendly online community for Orchid Growers all over the world. If you haven't joined yet we invite you to register and join our community. Hope to see you on our forums!

Acephate odor and residue?

Discussion in 'Issues, Disease and Pests' started by KellyW, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,540
    Likes Received:
    2,327
    Location:
    Redding, California, USA
    Years ago I used Orthene 97WP and the smell was bad enough to almost make me sick. The active ingredient was Acephate 97%. Are the current formulations of generic Acephate 97% less odorous?

    Currently I alternate between Imidacloprid and Sevin (Carbaryl) but Sevin leaves a white leaf stain that I don't like. Does the Acephate leave a visible residue?
     
  2. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,737
    Likes Received:
    535
    Location:
    Oak Island NC
    In my experience, acephate does not leave a residue. However, it contains an odorant, so still smells pretty strong.
     
  3. Dave The Scientist

    Dave The Scientist Active Member

    Messages:
    473
    Likes Received:
    77
    Location:
    Baltimore MD
    When you say it has an odorant, is that the Acephate we are smelling or something else they add? I agree with Kelly that it really stinks. I use it with a respirator, partly for safety but also just to cut down on the smell. Is imidacloprid less stinky? I have been thinking of trying that if I get pest problems again as its mammalian toxicity is much lower than Acephate, or at least that is my understanding.
     
  4. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,737
    Likes Received:
    535
    Location:
    Oak Island NC
    It might be some of both, but I suspect there are mercaptans added, just as they do with natural gas.

    Imidicloprid has less of a stench, but if I'm not mistaken, it is a neonicitinoid that has been implicated in the decline in bee populations. I'd recommend only using it in enclosed growing areas.

    I have found that the Monterrey Garden Insect Spray is quite effective, and while it has a slight "musty" smell when wet, if disappears when dry. It contains spinosad, a bacterial fermentation byproduct.
     
  5. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,540
    Likes Received:
    2,327
    Location:
    Redding, California, USA
    Thank you, Ray. I don't mind an odorant but the old Orthene was just grotesque.

    Dave, it may have a slight smell at time of application but nothing I can recall and certainly not an offensive lingering smell like the Orthene. I use the Bayer product available from home improvement centers but other manufacturers may add a stronger odorant. As Ray mentioned, it probably isn't the active ingredient that generates the odor in most of the pesticides.
     
  6. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,737
    Likes Received:
    535
    Location:
    Oak Island NC
    Generic acephate isn't going to be any better. I've been using the stuff for decades, and it hasn't changed.
     
  7. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,540
    Likes Received:
    2,327
    Location:
    Redding, California, USA
    Thanks, again.
     
  8. Dave The Scientist

    Dave The Scientist Active Member

    Messages:
    473
    Likes Received:
    77
    Location:
    Baltimore MD
    So I guess they add the odorant to Orthene basically to let you know it there and toxic, basically the same idea as the odorant in natural gas. I'll definitely try the imidicloprid next time. I'm aware of its effect on pollinator population and really oppose the use of the neonictioids in general agriculture as a policy position but I doubt a few hobby orchid growers spraying small amounts of the stuff is really the problem. I think it's more the literal tons of the stuff farmers are spraying. Also I worry much more about toxicity with the Orthene, although I take precautions with any pesticide.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2016
  9. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,737
    Likes Received:
    535
    Location:
    Oak Island NC
    One of my "favorite" pesticides of all time was Bugitol. It's a concoction of two FDA "GRAS" ingredients, capsaicin and mustard oil. Mixed with water, you are in essence pepper spraying and mustard gassing everything!

    I got a sample, and the company told me "it has a strong odor," but I thought "big deal, I work in the chemical industry. I'm sure I've smelled worse," and tried it. Within seconds, my eyes started watering, and my sinuses became a "mucus machine."

    That's when I bought a full-face respirator.

    It literally kills any non-plant entity in its path, yet biodegrades almost instantly into byproducts that are nutritional to plants.

    I used to resell it, but the manufacturer didn't like little bottles, so only 2.5 gallon bottles are sold now.
     
  10. carl

    carl Active Member

    Messages:
    450
    Likes Received:
    160
    Location:
    Sooutheastern Pencilvania
    I got curious, and looked up the molecular structure of acephate. No wonder it smells bad, with three bad actors - covalent sulfur, phosphorus, and nitrogen, and the sulfur and nitrogen bonded to the phosphorus. Here's picture of the structure: https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/image/imgsrv.fcgi?cid=1982&t=l

    (At least it's organic, says the ex-chemist)
     
  11. Selmo

    Selmo Active Member

    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    86
    Location:
    West Central Missouri
    One thing with imidicloprid is that it is used so widely used all over the world for all insect type pests. It is cheap, and available every where, so people have way over used it. It comes in 1% to 90% strengths, and the more the better mentality comes out and people use way more than is needed. It must take a long time to break down, because the Merit 75WP label says that you cannot grow edible plants in the soil sprayed with it for a year. And being systemic a little will go a long way.
     
  12. Sean

    Sean New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi folks,

    Newbie here. Found this post thanks to our friends at Google.

    I live in the Houston area and have a landscape company that treats and fertilizes my yard. The last time they sprayed the shrubs (Sep 7th, 2017), there was a strong odor.......which believe it or not....has lingered to this point almost two months later. The smell is worst on windy days and seems to come from around the shrubs in front of house.

    I know that the smell is not natural gas or sewer....I have had both checked out. Not mulch or dead animal either.

    I know the landscapers spray acephate. Also, in Houston, we have had barely any rain in last two months (guess Harvey took all the moisture). Is it possible that the odorous additives they add to acephate can last this long if they are not washed out by good rain soaking?

    Any ideas before I go crazy chasing this down?
     
  13. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,525
    Likes Received:
    3,322
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Have you tried giving the shrubs a shower?
     
  14. Sean

    Sean New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    That would be next. I am recovering from surgery.....so I wanted to see if anyone has any input on if it even makes sense to suspect the acephate residue before I went down hosing half the yard.
     
  15. Selmo

    Selmo Active Member

    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    86
    Location:
    West Central Missouri
    Sean, I know this has been a while and hopefully the smell is gone away. I'd ask the company that sprayed your shrubs what they sprayed. Or look at your bill, it should say what they sprayed or used. It is the law here in Missouri, to list what was used each time on the customers bill and for the company to keep records of what was used. If it was not acephate (orthene) then it was probably Malathion.