Information About Orthene Insect Spray

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Man spraying a garden.
Man spraying a garden. (Image: DuÅ¡an KostiÄ/iStock/Getty Images)

Orthene is the trademarked name of a group of insecticides for both outdoor and indoor use, though it may only be used indoors in commercial applications made by professionals. The active ingredient in these products is acephate, an organophosphate, and may be formulated as powder, liquid or granules. Gardeners may find Orthene products useful for eliminating a wide range of insects, including grasshoppers, aphids, whiteflies, leafrollers, thrips, mealybugs and plant bugs. Destroy ant mounds with a drench of Orthene. Always read and follow label directions carefully.

Outdoor Uses

Use Orthene products on lawn grasses, ornamental trees and shrubs. More than 100 acephate-based Orthene products are available to both the home gardener and professional exterminators and landscapers. Orthene sprays are generally not recommended for home use on edible food plants or fruit trees.

How to Apply

Mix Orthene Turf, Tree and Ornamental Spray 97 in a low-pressure, wand-type sprayer at the rate of 2/3 teaspoons to 1 gallon of water. For Japanese and elm beetles, mix 1 1/3 teaspoons of Orthene to 1 gallon of water. To destroy ant mounds, mix 3/4 ounce Orthene with 5 gallons of water. Pour directly on mound and out to a 4-foot perimeter around the mound. Orthene Turf, Tree and Ornamental Spray 97 also comes in water soluble packets (designated WSP on the label) to make mixing simpler when using 100-gallon capacity or larger spraying equipment. One packet is normally sufficient to treat at least 1 acre of trees, shrubs and turf. When using a concentrated, systemic Orthene product with less than 10 percent acephate, mix 3 tablespoons of concentrate for every 1 gallon of water. Spray trees, shrubs and turf to wet but not drench the plants. Use eye protection if spraying tree foliage.

When to Apply

Orthene products kill target insects on contact, so apply when insects are actively infesting plants. Grass blades and plant foliage absorb the product, providing systemic protection from invading insects for several weeks, rain or shine. For tough, hard-to-kill insects such as scale and mites, check the label for each product's specific instructions on repeat spraying every seven to 10 days until the insects are eliminated.

Warnings and Tips

Acephate is toxic to birds and bees. Do not spray or spread the product on blooming plants, and do not allow it to drift into water sources. Keep children and pets out of treated areas until liquid forms of the product dry completely. Wear protective clothing and eyewear when using Orthene products and wash hands before eating or drinking afterward. As an extra safety measure, wash your clothing after using Orthene products. Wash the exterior of protective gloves before taking them off, then wash thoroughly.

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