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Amdro's own marketing says not to use on vegetable gardens, but everyone I know does it. How toxic is Amdro? Does soil treated with Amdro "go bad" or does the product break down naturally? And if so, how long after applying Amdro before you can grow vegetables in the soil again?

Amdro according to Wikipedia is a "hydramethylnon-based hydrazone insecticide." But there is no information regarding toxicity in soil. It's also hard to come to a conclusion based on tumors in rats at "highest dose" leading the EPA to conclude it's a "possible human carcinogen".

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  • You'd rather poison your soil than remove the rotten wood in it? SMH.
    – Jurp
    Jan 10, 2023 at 21:28
  • @Jurp Removing the wood won't solve the fire ant problem. I've only had hugulkulture for the past 3 months, but I've had fire ant problems my whole life. Even if I removed the wood to solve the ant problem, what am I going to put back there that won't give me another problem? Jan 11, 2023 at 1:13
  • I'm certainly no fire ant expert, but a quick search tells me they build their nests in dampish areas, often under things such as wood and rocks—like the wood in your bed, perhaps? A different option would be to raise the beds above ground, but I don't know if a) that's possible with your bed and b) that the ants won't climb the legs to get to the soil. I would suspect not, though.. As with any insect pest, changing the environment to one that they don't like will encourage them to move on. Have you had them in other beds?
    – Jurp
    Jan 11, 2023 at 2:43
  • @Jurp They're in every bed. Nevermind bed legs, in Houston they work their way into the home. However, I will admit that the hugulkulture is ideal for them. There would be some kind of way to get rid of them. Jan 11, 2023 at 2:46
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    This just occurred to me and you'll probably laugh... How about a flamer, used directly on the nest? The idea is to incinerate the buggers and get the queen. Again, I could be very naive here... And I suspect that even if you got one nest, more would move in. Would your local University Extension have ideas/procedures? They'd also be ones to ask about chemical safety.
    – Jurp
    Jan 11, 2023 at 2:51

1 Answer 1

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How toxix is Amdro? According to the manufacturer, VERY (see the "signal word" below). This is from the MSDS (Safety Data Sheet) for Amdro:

enter image description here

Note the "May damage fertility" statement. That's YOUR fertility.

MSDSs apply when you add the product, but since the manufacturer says that it is effective against ants for three months, then it's not leaching out of your garden very soon.

DO NOT PLANT ROOT CROPS IN THAT GARDEN.

Here's the EPA sheet on it. Note that there is a 12 hour restricted entry provision in it, which means that you shouldn't be anywhere near your garden for 12 hours after you apply the pesticide. This is most applicable in a greenhouse situation, however.

For what it's worth, I was a certified pesticide applicator in Wisconsin ten years ago. This required me to pass a state-administered test on pesticide application, storage, and disposal, and included information on proper PPE to wear when applying pesticides. The two most lethal pesticides for humans are insecticides and fungicides. I refuse to use either. And BTW, "organic" doesn't mean safe, as organic pesticides can kill you. Liquid nicotine is a great pesticide - it also quickly kills a human.

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  • Perhaps it's just me, but I'm not concerned about fish in my garden any more than I'm concerned about them in the grass. The point on fertility is concerning though. I'll try to avoid re-application, though "may damage fertility" doesn't sound too threatening. Underwear have the same warning. Jan 11, 2023 at 1:13
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    Did you not notice the Signal Word "DANGER" in the MSDS? That applies to humans. Runoff can kill fish if you're near a stream or pond. I know we in the US have a laissez-faire attitude to "better living through chemistry", but please trust me that you don't want to cavalierly use insecticides or fungicides. If you can expose the nest, try covering it with boiling water to attempt to kill the queen. I suspect you'd have to work very quickly and run like a bat out of hell to do that, though. Nasty predicament.
    – Jurp
    Jan 11, 2023 at 2:49
  • youtu.be/TH_JRjJtNSw Jan 11, 2023 at 3:20
  • This answer is a complete misrepresentation of published sources on the toxicity of AMDRO and its active ingredients. Readers are invited to consult the government sources themselves. They pretty much all describe the toxicity to humans as "very low", and no one has any reason to fear this product if used as intended.
    – kreemoweet
    Jan 17, 2023 at 19:12
  • @kreemoweet The answer shows BASF's OWN DATA SHEET, which shows that the area in which the product is used is considered dangerous; the EPA (see link) mandates a 12-hour re-entry period before a person should enter an area in which the product is used. These are for applications. Once in the soil, the product will remain there for approximately three months, during which it is available for uptake by root crops. I have seen no one recommending it for vegetable gardens, which is what the question involves. Post another answer WITH LINKS proving the answer for vegetables gardens is incorrect.
    – Jurp
    Jan 17, 2023 at 19:53

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