Systemic insecticide is a water-soluble chemical that easily enters unwanted plants and circulates throughout the vascular system. Within this system, phloem and xylem tissues control the transportation of food, nutrients, minerals and water throughout the plant.
One positive aspect of using a systemic insecticide is the ease with which plants absorb it due to the plant's high water and sap content. As opposed to using a topical application, systemic insecticides are applied to the soil which prevent insects, birds and pets from ingesting spray residue left on the leaves. However, because the insecticide is water-soluble, it may wash off during watering or rain and contaminate ground water.