How to Use Malathion on My Plants

Malathion is an organophosphate insecticide that can be used in residential, agricultural and public areas for the purposes of pest control. Malathion is often used to control bugs such as mosquitoes and other pests on plants, such as mites. Malathion is reasonably safe for humans and the environment, if used in accordance with the proper safety precautions and application rates, as indicated on the malathion label.

Malathion can be used to treat pests on indoor and outdoor plants.
  1. Put on a shirt with long sleeves, long pants, chemical-resistant gloves, protective eyewear, shoes and socks and chemical-resistant headgear. Do not touch or apply malathion to your plants without first putting on all of these protective items.

  2. Fill a pesticide or liquid fertilizer sprayer with malathion. The amount of malathion that you need to use varies widely depending on the type of plant that you want to treat. Follow the manufacturer's directions for application rates.

  3. Spray the malathion on the affected plants.

  4. Keep all humans and pets away from the treated area until the malathion has dried, which may take a full day.

  5. Wash the outsides of your gloves before taking them off, then discard any clothing that touched or was sprayed with the pesticide and wash your hands thoroughly after using the product.


  • Do not use malathion on or near aquatic sites, as it is very toxic to fish and aquatic plants.
  • Do not use malathion indoors unless there is proper air ventilation.
  • Call 911 immediately if malathion is swallowed or inhaled. If you get malathion on your skin or in your eyes, flush for 20 minutes and then call your poison control center.
  • You may purchase malathion in a variety of bottle packaging. Always follow the exact instructions for application on that specific bottle. Failure to do so is a violation of federal law.