Jun 26, 2011 – Talstar Is Ticking


How long of a residual does Talstar have when used to control ticks? Are ticks affected by the chemical if they are questing in tall grass?


Talstar should be an excellent tick control product and it is labeled for this use. Pyrethroids in general are good against Arachnids, such as spiders and scorpions, and ticks are closely related and should be susceptible to them as well. The question is always whether or not you can achieve the contact between the tick and the active ingredient. Since ticks cannot fly to those upper locations on grasses and other low plants to "quest" for a host animal, they must begin at the bottom and work their way up. This should put them in contact with your treatment for at least some period of time. What would be a preferred addition to this mix would be to mow that tall grass so that it is much lower to the ground, perhaps within a couple of inches. This would make your application much more effective by ensuring you can actually treat all of the grass stems and limit where the ticks can get to, as well as making the best use of your spray material.

Just how long any pesticide active ingredient will last is tough to pin down, and more often we might speak in terms of comparisons - how much longer could it last in sunshine versus shade, in cool areas versus hot, under dampness versus dry locations. The manufacturer of Talstar has stated in the past that their granular formulation might last for several months, and if this is accurate then adding granules to your application would be very helpful, particularly if the grassy area is mowed to force the ticks down to ground level. I have heard university researchers state that expecting more than 2 weeks of residual from any insecticide spray could be a little optimistic, but this would depend heavily on where it is applied. Certainly the bifenthrin placed under the shaded eaves of a home should degrade more slowly than the bifenthrin applied to grasses in direct sunshine. The Talstar P label recommends retreatment for ticks outdoors IF you see direct evidence that ticks are still present, and no more than once in any 7 day period is permitted. Perhaps this 7 days recommendation is a hint that they feel you may have substantial loss of the active ingredient after that length of time.

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