Bis(bis dimethylamino phosphonous)anhydride is shown to be a systemic insecticide when sprayed on the leaves of numerous plants. The translation of it from one part of the plant to another, over distances varying from the thickness of a leaf to three feet, was shown with Aphis fabae, Myzus persicae, Brevicoryne brassicae, Macrosiphoniella sanborni and Pseudococcus citri.
Plants treated with it are shown to be toxic to 14 Aphid species, one Aleurodid, one mealy-bug, two Jassids and two species of red spider.
It is not found to be toxic to non-plant-sucking insects, notably predators and parasites. It is, therefore, a selective insecticide for the control of Aphids, and field experiments have shown that treatment with it gives plants prolonged toxicity to Aphids and allows the parasites and predators to keep in check any survivors or newly arrived individuals.
Non-selective organic phosphorus insecticides such as Parathion, Paraoxon and HETP give a high mortality, but the Aphid population builds up again very rapidly after treatment with them, leading, in many cases, to a heavier infestation than before.
Plants treated with bis(bis dimethylamino phosphonous)anhydride, on the other hand, keep free from Aphids for prolonged periods (2 to 5 weeks depending on the species of Aphid, the stage of growth of the plant and its physiological condition).