Permethrin question

Hi there,
I cannot find my answers searching the web but I have found you all, even better!
Here’s my, and a lot of our neighbors concerns and questions…
The city has sprayed (fogged) our neighborhood two times in the last two weeks for mosquitoes and now our organic gardens and peach, apple, and pear trees have this pesticide on them.
How does this toxic spray affect the ripe fruit?
How do we remove for our ingestion?
Will it be completely removed?
I am thinking that we have to throw all our fruits and veggies away as we couldn’t cover it for these horrid sprays.
We do not consume conventional foods so this spray is very scary for a lot of us.
Some people on a neighborhood form we have said that this spray uses petroleum and that it cannot be removed from fruits and veggies and that it stays in the soil for up to 113 days.
The city won’t disclose the ingredients to us and hardly responds to all our emails. So sad!
We live in Fort Collins, Colorado and love our natural ways here, until the city poisons us so.
My poor chickens! They eat everything from our yard.
If anyone can help answer these questions I’d so appreciate it. Then I can share with the other neighbors.
Thank you!

Your subject line is permethrin - do you know this is what was sprayed? Some commercial fogging products are mixed with an oil as a spreader - this is not necessarily petroleum.

On many crops permethrin can be applied just one day before harvest. I’d think it might be over alarmist to consider throwing away all your crops because of these applications.

You do have the right to know what was sprayed - would you consider suing for this information?

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This is all they say. It even says to cover gardens.
We may have to go further to get the info but a few of us are still waiting for responses from the city. They are not fast and they have had quite a lot of Emails to go through with all this!
My peach tree is dropping right now and without the Knowledge about the spray I don’t want to chance eating or giving he fruit away to my friends and family.

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Well…it looks like the city told you everything you need to know. What they spray, when they spray and what to do if you don’t want it on your crops. I also grow my veggies organically and wouldn’t be happy about getting something non-organic on them. But wouldn’t consider throwing all of it away.

Thank you for your response. :slight_smile:
I just wanted to know if it stays on the fruits or if I can wash it off. As the city said to cover but I couldn’t cover this tree.

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If its a peach tree, remove the skin from the peaches. Wash your vegetables thoroughly. Remove skins. This is my rule when I travel to India and China.

It is difficult to argue against religion and food beliefs. I’m a licensed sprayer so you can take this with a grain of salt.

You can wait a couple of weeks to harvest and the active ingredient will pretty much have broken down from produce.

Understand that huge groups of conventional farmers and other pesticide applicators have been monitored for many years in at least two studies I’ve seen with the farmers being an average age of 50 (all adult ages, but that’s the mean). Many of these farmers spent their entire lives on conventional farms and as soon as they were old enough pulled mist sprayers that created a fog of far more dangerous pesticides than permithrin. Such farmers live in this fog for much of the growing season if they don’t own a tractor with filter capabilities (that would only be recent, in any case). Comparing the health histories of 70,000 farmers and their wives over a period of 15 years they found that compared to the average citizen in the states they live they suffered MUCH LESS from cancer (all forms of cancer combined) live much longer and are much healthier.

This particular study was carried out by the U.S. government through Republican and Democrat administrations and published in a respected and peer reviewed journal. You will likely assume it is fraudulent and sponsored by chemical companies, but if you are curious, send me a private message and I will e-mail you the study. Epidemiological studies of this kind cannot be cherry-picked without actually having scientists lie about the data. It’s pretty clear cut.

I think you should be more concerned about the disease these mosquitoes are spreading.


Thank you everyone.
I appreciate the info Alan, I will pass this on to my neighbors. We all have good points.
I know we live in a toxic world and it was much worse with the chems back in the day. I’ll just have to move to a bubble somewhere! :crazy_face:
Have a great holiday.

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Find you a liberal ‘activist’ judge and get a restraining order on the city next time…some judges will do most anything.

Our town is so small…my hubby would not be happy if I took it that far. Eeeek And a liberal judge around here…good stuff. :thinking::roll_eyes:
I asked a question to the city on their Facebook and he asked what I posted! Lol!!! I didn’t post anything.
I could go deep but upon the few people I messaged on Facebook to go to the city council meeting and not getting any responses I am bummed.
It’s like the people are afraid of doing any leg work. It would be me… Ugggh.
Everyone wants to complain but when I want to start something to put in real motion I get zippo.
Well…like I said. I’m going to move to a bubble. Is their a bubbleville city USA?! Haha.

Or to stick their necks out. My wife and I once organized a 500 unit apartment building to get more rights for shareholders from an excessively conservative board. We had some success, but had to compromise much more than what would have been best for shareholders because people were so timid. We sold out of the building but my wife still does a lot of realtor work there. Owners are always asking her to spearhead some movement or another for “justice”, but they are too timid to take on the board themselves. Leadership has its pitfalls- followers use them and flatter them but often aren’t much help in the trenches.

I suppose the most effective leaders get the most help.

The town used permethrin because it is one of the safer insecticides. It’s used to treat head lice. Unfortunately for organic growers it is slow in breaking down so it will be on your fruit weeks from now. Follow @mrsg47 's advice and peal your peaches if you want to totally eliminate it.

Look for a bottle of insecticide that is permethrin based - Martins makes one that is 10% based. I have seen Pemethrin product that is low as 2% based (I think Bonide has a fruit spray at this percent) to as much as 36% based. The labels usually tell you the how close to harvesting time you can safely spray your product. As long as your fruit does not ripen in that period after the spraying occurred you should be fine.

Since they sprayed and all the fruits around here are still ripening…I have decided to not eat it. They have a non organic farm that I can donate to their piggies.
I did ask the city if they could lend tree covers and have someone put them on before they spray next yr.
haha, we will see what they say.
I will be at their meetings and keep asking for this! I think that is very reasonable.
I’ll be the squeaky wheel, maybe some others will want to join my janky ride this October for the meeting! :joy:

The life on the farm is so much better for a person than cramped-up city life. The human body is much better able to fight off all sorts of things…when it is relaxed and happy.

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I suspect the reason your city sent out such a scary news release was to protect themselves against liability (i.e. the city can claim they warned citizens to take every precaution). Various formulations of permethrin are approved for use in schools, approved for use on dogs, and much food is sprayed with permethrin. As Danzeb points out it’s used as a medication to treat head lice and scabies in children older than 2 months of age.

I’m not trying to change your mind about feeding your fruit to livestock, just trying calm your fears some. (But keep in mind I’m one of those farmers Alan mentions, who drives an airblast sprayer in a fog, with chemicals more harsh than permethrin. So I’m not as alarmed by the verbiage used in the city’s press release.)

Unless your gardens were directly sprayed, I suspect after a couple weeks your food crops will have less pesticide residue than the organic food you purchase to replace them.


I would not ask that as mosquitoes for sure will be missed, and the health hazard maybe greater than the risk.
Culex and closely related genera of culicine mosquitoes readily support perennial epidemics of certain major diseases if they become established in a particular region.

Arbovirus infections transmitted by various species of Culex include West Nile virus, Japanese encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, and Western and Eastern equine encephalitis. Brazilian scientists are investigating if Culex species transmit zika virus.
Nematode infections, mainly forms of filariasis may be borne by Culex species, as well as by other mosquitoes and blood-sucking flies.
Protist parasites in the phylum Apicomplexa, such as various forms of avian malaria.

These are very nasty mosquitoes. I would be all for spraying myself. Nobody is going to die from this exposure, but some may if you discontinue the spray. These mosquitoes are well known for causing epidemics. I’m a Med Tech and these mosquitoes scare the crap out of me. You know human malaria is carried by mosquitoes, and still kills about 400 thousand people a year. We have no worries about it, just to show how dangerous these mosquitoes can be. We used to have malarial outbreaks, but none in modern times. If we allow such mosquitoes to establish here, I can see it coming back. All you need is one infected person visiting from Africa, and these parasites will love this mosquito. Actions have consequences and it goes both ways. This is a rather benign treatment for a very dangerous insect, but only my opinion. Everyone should have a choice, so this is far from an ideal situation. It’s hard to say if not spraying is safer? I doubt it, but don’t really know, just suspect it is safer to be cautious of this known vector.


I’m more concerned about the nontarget species that get hit by these sprays.

There are biological approaches to mosquito control, like releasing sterilized males into the population. I see no use for mosquitoes and would just as soon have them eradicated, like any disease.


I agree about farm life, I was raised on a cattle and Agro farm and was around all the sprays also. I didn’t die and I’m not Sick because of those sprays (but I’m sure it all takes it’s toll). It’s now that I know more about what we put in our bodies that I have concern. Plus, I have children living in a world getting worse with chems In the air, ground, water, and in the foods.
I do agree with how bad the mosquitoes are that carry this virus…(and the mice, rats, birds, and all the others that carry stuff) BUT, the bigger problem in my view is the weakening immune systems of our bodies to fight these off with our worsening environment and over use of sprays and whatnots. A lot of people are truly trying to “come back to nature” and do things to “try” to balance our Mother Earth. It’s just frustrating when we don’t have a choice in matters or even be heard. I’d like to be heard without making a huge ordeal. I don’t want to go hold signs and be angry. :roll_eyes:
I can spray my self with my own spray, my tiki torches and don’t go out when they are active. I really think the city is trying to help those out that don’t protect themselves. But I don’t want them being my parent for me and wrecking my space. lol, sounds funnny. Move then, maybe I should. :thinking:
But then again killing all our helpful species that are trying to keep this world going is horrible. The bees I see dead after this is so sad. My hubby keeps bees and I got them covered but the ones out and on the plants the next day didn’t have a chance. How can they protect themselves, and the birds who breath it in and the other wildlife around? Ugggghhhh. I can’t go on anymore.
But, I am still gonna ask questions at this meeting. I just wish they would not spray at all and AT THE LEAST during the last 2 weeks of our harvest times here.

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