Which is the best insecticide to use: Malathion or Sevin?
Sevin, an insecticide containing the neurotoxin carbaryl, is best for corn earworms, cutworms and Japanese and other beetles. Malathion, an organophosphate, is best for sucking insects, aphids, scale and mites. Both work on cabbage worms. Avoid using both around bees, which may be killed by exposure.
A broad-spectrum pesticide, Sevin controls a wide range of insects and other pests in vegetable patches, ornamental gardens and orchards. Wear safety goggles, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and gloves when applying Sevin for personal protection. Sevin works by preventing nerves from functioning. Carbaryl breaks down by half into an inactive chemical in about 3 1/2 days on plant leaves, and four to 72 days in the soil, depending on the conditions. Pests die through eating Sevin, so it must be applied where the targeted pests congregate: on bark, leaves and stems or on the soil around the base of plants. Sevin also kills beneficial insects such as ladybugs, lacewings and hoverflies, and honeybees, bumble bees, leaf cutter bees and alkali bees. Symptoms of carbaryl poisoning include stinging, burning, swollen eyes, a burning or sore throat, sweating, chest tightness and wheezing, nausea, retching and vomiting.
- Sevin, an insecticide containing the neurotoxin carbaryl, is best for corn earworms, cutworms and Japanese and other beetles.
- Malathion, an organophosphate, is best for sucking insects, aphids, scale and mites.
- West Virginia University Extension Service: Insect & Disease Control
- University of Missouri Extension: Aphids, Scales and Mites On Home Garden and Landscape Plants
- Oregon State University: Growing Your Own
- National Pesticide Information Center: Carbaryl
- University of California IPM Online: Active ingredient -- Carbaryl
- Oregon State University: Sevin SL Carbaryl Insecticide
- Journal of Pesticide Reform; Carbaryl
- Kelly Solutions: GardenTech Sevin Concentrate Bug Killer
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Zea Mays
- Kelly Solutions: 6.3% Sevin Brand Granular Carbaryl Insecticide
An award-winning writer and editor, Rogue Parrish has worked at the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun and at newspapers from England to Alaska. This world adventurer and travel book author, who graduates summa cum laude in journalism from the University of Maryland, specializes in travel and food -- as well as sports and fitness. She's also a property manager and writes on DIY projects.