Pesticide – Have I done an unbelievably stupid thing?

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  • #13839


    Possibly yes. But I need advice and want to know my options.

    Late winter (August – when they started budding) I sprayed my roses with "Kiwicare NO insect and disease" – which upon research is a dreaded systemic insecticide.

    I have two HUGE swan-plants near my roses which I was careful not to spray and even hosed down afterwards… but after reading many of your articles about systemic insecticides I AM VERY WORRIED!

    What I want to know and couldn’t figure out from your articles and other posts are:

    If affected, how long does it take for a systemic insecticide to wear off?

    Or if affected are the plants a complete write-off?

    The Plants in concern are covered with Aphids at the moment and have a few small caterpillars – is this a good sign or just a false hope?

    Could the Soil have been contaminated by the spray and inadvertently soaked up by the swanplants?

    If affected, what are my options; should I:

    A) Leave as is and hope for the best,

    B) Pull the plants up and not take any chances,

    C) Cut the plants right back and let re-grow,

    D) Do something else.

    Please note – I have 20+ smaller swan plants (and two nettles) in another area that would not have come in contact with any spray whatsoever.

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  • #21950


    Hey, great to hear. A good lesson learnt, without the tragedy. Good luck with your caterpillars – perhaps pop back and let us know how they got on? Be nice to hear that you had a heap of healthy butterflies to release. 🙂



    Hi Vicky, thanks for the reply.

    You’ve answered my questions and have put my mind at ease…
    the caterpillars and aphids on the plant are doing fine, plus it’s been over ten weeks so all appears to be ok.

    thanks again 😀



    Hi HappyJohnny

    Systemic pesticides are usually gone in 8 weeks. But of course if depends a bit on time of year (growth rate), weather, amount sprayed etc etc. Your Kiwicare stuff is a pyrethroid class of pesticide, so pretty lethal.

    It certainly can be absorbed from the soil through moisture. And it only takes one drop to affect an entire plant, so one tiny bit of overspray would be enough. Once it gets into the plant, every part of the plant gets contaminated.

    I never take chances. If there’s been any kind of pesticide on/in plants – the plants get binned. Your’s will probably come right, but up to you.

    Pyrethroid pesticides are designed to kill, and the data sheet does mention caterpillars as being on the hit list. So the fact that your caterpillars are still alive is something of a positive sign. Being small, I’d of thought if they were going to die that would be happening now. But that’s just from my experience and research – not a guarantee.

    Hope this helps. And yes, biff away your spray!



    Thanks Jacqui,

    Yes, needless to say, I will not be spraying those roses again!

    I was careful not to get any spray on the swanplants so will keep my fingers crossed.

    My plan is keep a close eye on the aphids and baby caterpillars to see how they go… any sign of distress I’ll cover the plant and keep it as a backup for autumn.

    I actually encourage the aphid population as I love the entourage of ladybirds that follow mid-summer.
    I gets ones of all different colours; they love to gather on my sunflower stems creating quite a sight. 😀



    Hi there

    You ask a hard question. There is no right or wrong thing to do now – it surely would have been best to not spray the roses/swan plants in the first place, though, if you want to encourage butterflies in your garden.

    Aphids usually “come right” with Nature’s predators/parasites – Aphidius colemanii and ladybirds for instance, epecially if your plants are healthy enough.

    I do hope the situation is less serious than you imagine and that you THROW THAT SPRAY AWAY!!! 🙂

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