Invertebrete killer sprays

Excellent advice - particularly in a care home where some of the residents may well have health conditions which make them more vulnerable to chemicals contained in such pesticides.

A very strong point about novel man-made compounds used in insecticides and herbicides. We regularly walk a section of a cycle path created from a disused railway line which is alive with wildlife, a narrow corridor between arable fields, green deserts with no signs of life, no butterflies, insects, wild flowers, hares, and “… no birds sing” - the cereal crops thrive, all else is dead. If the wind happens to be in the wrong direction when the arable fields are sprayed, we presume the drift of insecticide must affect the insect life along the cycle path and thus the warblers for which a section of the path is famous, as well as other insect eating birds. We do not know if traces of insecticide linger in the cereal crop but it wouldn’t be altogether surprising if it does.

Hopefully not straying too far from the original topic. A friend gave me a lovely potted Rosemary plant as a gift but said the garden centre staff told her not to eat it because the plant had been treated with a pesticide. Does anyone know if this applies to the life of the plant or just a few months or year?

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With the rosemary and without the bottle label I would allow a month with the plant out in the rain or longer with it indoors perhaps until the leaves have been naturally replaced.

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In an extreme case, it could be several months before the plant is safe. Modern agricultural seed treatment involves coating the seed with an insecticide which lingers in the plant sufficient to kill aphids for 100 days. It takes only a few such seeds to kill a sparrow. Though one would hope a herb like rosemary wasn’t being given this level of treatment.

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I’m going to play safe and wait until late summer before I use the rosemary. The plant is outdoors and seems very healthy. Thanks for all the advice.

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