Where is Acephate used?
Agricultural communities apply it to crops such as citrus trees, fruit, potatoes, sugar beets, vine plants, mint, cotton, tobacco, hop cultivation, cranberries, and other berries. The Forest industry uses it on pine trees and Christmas trees. Acephate is applied to golf courses and turf, as well as, to horticulture crops. It can also be applied outdoors in residential areas and is often used to control fire ants. As a general use insecticide, it has a residual effect of 10-15 days.
How does Acephate work?
Acephate is an organophosphate, meaning it blocks an enzyme in the nervous system that stops signals to the nerves. Without the enzyme there is over-activity in the nerves, muscles, and/or brain. The nervous system stops functioning and fails. Acephate is absorbed into foliage where it is applied. When the target insect touches or eats it, the acephate takes affect.
How safe is Acephate?
Acephate breaks down quickly in the environment as it is absorbed from the soil by plant roots. The roots then transport the Acephate to other parts of the plant causing little residue on food and in drinking water. The EPA has deemed that those residues do not pose risk concerns. Acephate emits toxic fumes of phosphorus, nitrogen, and sulfur oxides when heated to decomposition. When applying Acephate, wear a mask, avoid contact with skin, and wash thoroughly when finished. Always apply as directed.