Systemic insecticides kill insects by being drawn up into the sap of a plant before insects attack. When a pest insect drinks the plant’s sap, it is poisoned by the insecticide. When a harmless insect simply lights on the plant, it is not affected.
Systemic insecticides may be either drenches or foliar sprays. It is important to apply drenches several weeks before the arrival of pest insects, so there is time for the poison to be drawn into plant leaves.
Imidacloprid, disulfoton and acephate are common systemic insecticides.
The key to effective insecticide use is to first be sure you have identified the pest at hand and to read and follow the pesticide label exactly.
To learn more about the toxicity of lawn insecticides, go to the
and type in the name of the chemical you are researching.