I recently treated my basil plants with cypermethrin insecticide to control pests. While the product label indicates a waiting time of 3 days for tomatoes, it doesn't specify the waiting period for basil. I want to ensure the safety of consuming the basil leaves after the cypermethrin application.

Considering the 3-day waiting time for tomatoes, I would like to know the recommended waiting period before consuming basil leaves treated with cypermethrin. Is it safe to assume a similar waiting time for basil, or should I extend the waiting period?

I understand that using pesticides on edible plants should be done cautiously, and I want to adhere to the appropriate safety guidelines. Any insights or recommendations regarding the waiting time for basil after cypermethrin application would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

1 Answer 1


Personally, I wouldn't spray anything on leaves for consumption.

From this, I would wait for 10 days (especially if the concentration and spread have not been accurately measured).

A preharvest interval of 3 days might be considered for dry season. But in case of early wet season where crop canopy was smaller allowing higher deposition of cypermethrin residues on pods, it showed a preharvest interval of 10 days for the safe use (Nurika et al., 2022). Therefore, vegetable soybean should be harvested after 10 days of cypermethrin application to avoid any health risk of consumers.

This does not apply, as it suffers from photodegradation. I couldn't find this rate.

Under aerobic conditions, the half-life is 0.5–8 weeks.

Both from ScienceDirect

It all seems uncertain to me, this one contradicts itself about soli persistence.

Persistence in Soil The half-life (the amount of time required for half of what was originally applied to break down or move away from the test site) for cypermethrin in soil is between 4 and 12 days. However, it can be significantly more persistent. In agricultural soil in Ontario, Canada, cypermethrin persisted for between 4 and 12 months.

From Cypermethrin — toxicity, side effects, diseases and environmental impacts

  • Thank you, to be safe, i'll just discard the plants and get new ones.
    – elarichi.y
    Commented Jun 9, 2023 at 16:07
  • @elarichi.y - your plan to discard the plants is exactly what I would've recommended. A good rule of thumb is as Rohit has stated - NEVER use pesticides on plants you intend to eat.+-
    – Jurp
    Commented Jun 9, 2023 at 22:52

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