Is it safe to eat my blackberries after sprinkling with Sevin dust? I had to sprinkle for Japanese beetles.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Dena in Tennessee: Japanese beetles can be a serious problem in the garden. Some years are worse than others but they can do major damage over a short period of time. Sevin is a pesticide that is labeled for Japanese beetles and for use on fruits. Carbaryl is the active ingredient in Sevin, which is not organic and should only be used according to directions. Sevin should not be used within two weeks of harvest and your fruit should be washed thoroughly before consumed. As far as pesticides go this is one of the safest, but for future reference if you want to use an organic product both Neem and horticultural oil are options but hand picking is very effective with these insects. Get a bucket of soapy water and go out in the early morning. Just pluck them off and drop them in the bucket. Not only is Sevin not organic but like many other chemicals this product is extremely harmful to beneficial insect such as honeybees. Insecticidal soap is also effective if it is sprayed on the beetles.