How To Use Sevin Dust Powder— How Long Does Sevin Dust Take To Work?

Last Updated on October 30, 2023 by Grow with Bovees

Even though we all aim to grow healthy plants that are free of insect pests, unfortunately, harmful insects, pests and diseases sometimes can not be avoided.

Pest insects are often part of the package.

The question is, do you want to allow this colony of insects to damage all of your ornamental plants, or will you choose to go for a chemical insecticide and apply sevin dust to control insects on your plants and garden vegetables?

Sevin dust insecticide is a popular outdoor pesticide and insect killer that contains the chemical and active ingredient carbaryl. Gardeners — whether commercial or residential — have been using this product for several years to control and kill insects and a variety of pests in garden beds, flowers, vegetable gardens, ornamentals and crops.

Sevin Dust
4 pack x 1 pound
Sometimes called Seven dust powder!
Deals with an extensive list of bugs

And when used properly and as directed on the product label, sevin dust has low toxicity.

This product has been advertised to be one of the best insecticides and is said to kill more than thirty destructive insects all while protecting a few varieties of vegetables such as tomato plants and fruits.

Any beneficial insects or animals in and around your outdoor garden are only moderately affected by sevin dust.

Caution! Do not apply sevin dust indoors, it is not advised due to its toxic properties.

Let us have a look at a few ‘must knows’ before purchasing and when handling this insecticidal product for treating your lawn and garden.

User Guide — How To Use Sevin Dust

Sevin dust is an easy-to-use product. You simply shake the container’s contents across your lawn or garden plants to control and get rid of pests. There are, however, a few things that need to be taken into consideration when making use of this product.

These factors include safety precautions and the type of crops and flowering plants that you are growing and treating.

How To Apply Sevin Dust

When applying sevin dust — which is a large-scale pest protection dust — always wear safety gear. This gear should consist of a mask, a pair of latex gloves or any other waterproof gloves and some sort of protection for your eyes. Always wear long pants, rubber gloves, and a shirt with long sleeves.

After gearing up, you can start to use sevin dust by lightly sprinkling the pesticide around the trees and plants that you wish to protect from pests and hungry insects. Be careful to avoid applying the sevin dust to any fruits, vegetables and flowers, only sprinkle it on the ground that surrounds them.

See also  Natural Ways to Get Rid of Ants - Home Remedies

If you accidentally get some insecticide dust on flowers, be sure to remove them in order to avoid bees ingesting the dust, it is harmful to them.

As mentioned above — and we cannot stress this enough — avoid using this product indoors. The inhalation of the neurotoxin carbaryl may affect humans and pets negatively.

Sevin Dust
4 pack x 1 pound
Sometimes called Seven dust powder!
Deals with an extensive list of bugs

How Long Does It Take Sevin Dust To Work?

Another thing that makes this broad-spectrum powder product great is that there is basically no waiting period for the insecticide to work. As soon as a bug comes into physical contact with the sevin dust, it will start affecting the insect within minutes. 

In most cases, it would take no more than an hour for the insect to die after crawling over the powder. But the bug has to crawl over the powder and come into direct contact with it for the pesticide to work. So, be patient and give the sevin dust about three weeks to diminish an entire infesting colony of bugs.

How Often Do You Use Sevin Spray?

The frequency of sevin dust application will vary depending on what environment you plan to use it in but, using it more than about once every seven days, should not be necessary.

When the surrounding conditions in your yard are relatively normal and with dry weather, this dust should last for up to three months. If, however, you live in quite rainy or humid and hot areas, you can expect to use sevin dust on a monthly basis.

Applying this insecticidal dust to your lawn or garden, should not exceed seven times in one year — according to the manufacturers of sevin dust, Garden Tech.

Factors That Affect The Length Of Effectiveness

There are some environmental factors and human interferences that may affect the period of time in which sevin dust is effective. These factors include:

Some Insect Pests That Sevin Dust Will Kill

As mentioned further up in this article, sevin dust is a fast killer that can get rid of almost any outdoor insect or pest present in your garden or on your vegetables. Among the most common insect species are:

  • Japanese beetles
  • Leafhoppers
  • Spider mites
  • Squash borers
  • Earwigs
  • Cabbage beetles
  • Flea beetles
  • Millipedes
  • Squash bugs
  • Control of spider mites
See also  How to Get Rid of Oak Mites — Kill Oak Gall Itch Mites

Beneficial Insects To Keep In Mind

It should be remembered that while it kills many pests, sevin dust is also harmful to noninvasive insects that are beneficial to your garden. These other insects include:

  • Bees
  • Wasps
  • Lady bugs
  • Some types of beetles

You need these bugs to pollinate your plants, so be careful not to eradicate them.

Different Forms Of Sevin Pesticide

Apart from sevin dust powder, this product can also be bought in several other forms for customers to purchase and use. These product forms include:

  • Wettable powders
  • Liquid concentrates
  • Granules
  • Baits


Pellets are commonly used by gardeners to treat grass lawns, whereas the dust form is often used in gardens, flower beds or vegetable patches.

Sevin Dust
4 pack x 1 pound
Sometimes called Seven dust powder!
Deals with an extensive list of bugs

Is Sevin Dust Harmful?

The toxic effect of sevin dust was briefly mentioned above. We feel that a bit more detail in this area is of importance.

Like every insecticide or chemical gardening product, this one, too, should always be handled with care and caution.

It is important to wear protective gear when handling this product in order to avoid accidental ingestion and/or contact.

Potential Side Effects

Symptoms that may occur after consumption or prolonged exposure of carbaryl may include blurred vision, muscle weakness, abdominal cramps, nausea, headaches and — in bad cases — respiratory failure. Burning of the eyes and skin may be caused by direct contact with carbaryl.

When making use of the granule form of sevin dust, always sweep away any particles that do not land on the designated area of treatment. The grains should not be lying around on sidewalks or driveways, for example.

Keep Away From Pets & Children

Pets and children should be kept away from sevin dust treated areas. Especially cats, they are the most vulnerable on which the dust may cause lethal effects. Treated areas can be considered safe when the ground and plants are completely dry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that we have covered the basics about getting rid of insect infestations with sevin dust, let us take you through a few questions that are often asked by customers using this product. Who knows, you may have the same question.

How To Wash Off Sevin Dust After Use?

The method that has proven to be most effective, is proper and extensive washing with clean water.

See also  Does Citronella Repel Wasps and Bees?

Fruits & Veggies

If you have fruits or vegetables that you harvested after sevin dust treatment, start by soaking them in water and then rinse them thoroughly before eating them.


When getting this insecticide on your floor or other surfaces, clean the area properly with a mixture of soap and water before making contact with the floor or surface again.

Does Sevin Dust Kill Birds?

The answer to this question is yes, the chemical carbaryl found in sevin dust is harmful to birds.

Birds that consume insects that have died due to carbaryl exposure, does not have a harmful effect on the birds immediately. However, exposure to larger amounts of this chemical will harm birds. 

If you have large amounts of birds roaming your garden, we advise you to use a safer insecticide, such as diatomaceous earth.

Is Sevin Dust Insecticide Safe To Use On A Compost Pile?

It is not recommended to use sevin dust on your compost pile. On the contrary, it is warned against. Especially if the compost is being used for the cultivation of a vegetable garden.

Check The Label

You should, however, find a label on the sevin dust product advising on which seeds are safe to plant after having used this insecticide. This should give a good indication of when to use, and when not to make use of sevin dust.

Does Seven Dust Powder Kill Fleas?

Yes, sevin dust will get rid of fleas as well. Only use it on garden fleas though and do not sprinkle your pets with it if they have fleas. This is not a pet safe product. You will harm your pet in the process.

To Conclude

We have established that this broad spectrum insecticide, sevin dust, is one of the most effective and popular insecticides used to date.


This neurotoxin is a fast-acting one, and it takes effect on detrimental insects that damage crops straight away after contact, and it remains greatly effective for roughly three months after applying it to an insect infested area.

Avoid Water

Remember not to get this plants pesticide into contact with water, it will then lose its killing effect. And keep it far out of reach of your kids and pets.

All in all, this is a great product to use. Purchase it and try it out for yourself.