Insecticides Labeled for Greenhouse-grown Leafy Greens and Herbs

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Leafy green and herb greenhouse growers should verify that edible crops are on the insecticide labels when treating for insect pests. Use this handy ‘cheat sheet’ to determine which products are recommended for certain insect pests and are labeled for leafy green and herb crops.

An increasing number of ornamental plant producers are venturing into growing potted herbs or are harvesting leafy greens and herbs in their greenhouses. Cut and potted lettuce, mint, and basil are becoming quite popular for greenhouse producers (Fig. 1 and 2).

Potted basil and mint and hydroponic lettuce crops. Photos: Roberto Lopez.

Many other greenhouse growers are growing leafy green or herb transplants for consumers, or propagules for fi eld or greenhouse production (Fig. 2 and 3). Either way, greenhouse growers need to be aware that many of the products that they use for controlling common greenhouse insects (aphids, fungus gnats, spider mites, whitefly, and thrips) on their ornamental plants are not labeled for use on edible crops including fruiting vegetable, leafy green and herb transplants.

Figure 2. Living lettuce sold to consumers in clam shells. Photo: Roberto Lopez.

Table 1 provides names of the products, the active ingredients, the leafy green and herb crops on the label, and the recommended pests that they control. Th e boxes that are ‘highlighted’ in green indicate that the crop is on the label. For example, Acephate 97 (active ingredient: acephate) is labeled for ornamental crops, lettuce and mint. Actara (thimethoxam), Asana XL (esfenvalerate), Baythroid (cyflutrin), Bifenthrin 2EC AG (bifenthrin), Bifenture EC (bifenthrin), and Brigadier (bifenthrin + imidacloprid) are not labeled for ornamental crops, but are labeled for use on cabbage and lettuce. Please note that two of the products [Safari 20SG (dinotefuran) and Tristar (acetamiprid)] are labeled for transplants of certain leafy green and herb crops only. Th e boxes ‘highlighted’ in purple indicate that the product has been shown to be effective for the insect pest in university trials. For example, Orthene 97 (acephate) has been proven to be effective against aphids, fungus gnats, whitefly and thrips.

Figure 3. Lettuce and basil transplants. Photo: Roberto Lopez

Greenhouse growers of leafy green and herb crops can use this handy guide in order to determine which products are labeled for edible crops. However, growers should always read the insecticide label prior to application as this table may not be all-inclusive, product(s) may not be registered in all states, or the labels might have changed since its development.

Greenhouse growers of fruiting vegetables and transplants can access a table for these crops published in e-GRO Alert 6(7)1-4.

Download the complete PDF.

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