They are of different types, each with its own unique eating and nesting habits. Some attack your plants while others target your house, both inside and outside, including your furniture, pets, beds, and more. This is where a good insecticide comes into play to protect your home against these threats. And we are here to help you choose the best fit for your needs.
IS INSECTICIDE THE SAME AS PESTICIDE?
Although similar in meaning, pesticide is a broader term used for chemicals that help protect against all kinds of pests like bacteria, fungus, weeds, and insects. Insecticide, on the other hand, is a particular type of pesticide that specifically targets insects, like mosquitoes, fleas, spiders etc. There are also pesticides for unwanted plants or “weeds”, which are known as herbicides.
TYPES OF INSECTICIDES
There are different types of insecticides available today with varying levels of toxicity and effectiveness. An organic gardener will prefer an eco-friendly insecticide that doesn’t harm the plants and other useful insects. On the other hand, a homeowner facing an infestation might find a stronger and long-lasting insecticide a better fit.
Another important thing to keep in mind about insecticides is their chemical composition.
Eco-friendly insecticides usually have spinosad or pyrethrin as their active ingredient.
Spinosad is a substance naturally produced by soil bacterium via fermentation and is toxic for many types of insects including fruit flies and mosquitoes. Widely used on crops and ornamental plants, it readily targets the nervous system of the insects that touch or eat it.
Neem oil is also becoming popular as an eco-friendly insecticide. It’s taken from the seeds of the neem tree, and works great against many types of insects. The chemical compounds present in the oil affect the insect’s hormones as well as it’s feeding habits.
Pyrethrin is another natural insecticide and is obtained from chrysanthemum flowers. Like spinosad, pyrethrin also attacks the nervous system of the insect upon contact and causes paralysis followed by death. In lower concentrations, pyrethrin also works great as an insect repellent.
Pyrethrin is also used to create synthetic chemical insecticides like pyrethroids which are widely used today in everyday household as well as professional pest control. The pyrethroid-based insecticides and specifically created to boost their effectiveness and make them last longer. Some of the popular pyrethroids available today in the market are Bifenthrin, Permethrin, and Cyfluthrin.
|Home Meat Slicer||QUALITY||PRICE||OUR RATING|
|Bonide Products 857||B||$$|
|Garden Essentials 16||B+||$$|
|Bifen XTS Bifenthrin||A||$$$|
|Bayer - 4031982||A+||$$$|
|Tempo Ultra SC||A||$$$|
Now that you know a fair bit about insecticides and their chemical properties, let’s take a look at some of the bestselling pest control products out there, and find out which one suits you best!
1. Monterey LG6135 Garden Insect Spray with Spinosad Concentrate 32oz
If you maintain a garden full of beautiful flowers, or grow your own vegetables, you know how big a problem insects can be. And given the range of insecticides available, it is important to choose one which doesn’t kill indiscriminately, and is not toxic for plants as well as humans. Monterey Garden Insect Spray is a one-stop solution for garden pest control and your best bet against pesky garden pests like caterpillars, spider mites, thrips, cabbage worms, fruit flies, leaf miners (especially citrus leaf miners), potato beetles, and more. The active ingredient Spinosad (OMRI listed) is produced via bacterial fermentation and does not accumulate in the environment. There are more than 80 registered pesticides available in the market that use Spinosad. The diluted solution can be sprayed directly on many different types of vegetables, especially the leafy ones like cabbage, as well as on fruits and other flowering plants. It’s effective, acts fast, and does not leave an odor. In some cases, it can also help contain the problem of fire ants. The best time to use it is after sunset especially when the pollinating insects, like bees, are gone. To use, mix 4 tbsp of concentrate per gallon of water and spray evenly on both upper and lower surfaces of the plant.
| natural insecticide|
low toxicity, doesn’t harm useful bugs and plants
no residue or odor
can be used on many different types of plants (leafy vegetables, ornamentals, fruits)
|Doesn’t work on some pests|
2. Bonide Products 857Pyrethrin Spray Concentrate, 8-Ounce
Another great pick when it comes to eco-friendly insecticides is Bonide’s Pyrethrin Spray Concentrate. This combats a vast range of garden insects like fungus gnats, aphids, beetles, worms, and mites, and can also be used against many household pests like roaches and spiders. To top it off, the spray works as a great insect repellent as well. Being a contact insecticide, it needs to be in direct contact with the insect to be effective. It offers best results when sprayed directly on the target insect. The best part about Bonide’s Pyrethrin Spray is how it can be easily used on the most delicate of plants without any harm done to them, all the way up to the day of harvest. It’s just as useful if you have a small vegetable patch or a big garden. Simply mix 3 tbsp in a gallon of water for vegetables and fruit plants, and 5 tbsp for other shrubs, flowers, and ornamentals.
| natural and non-toxic|
works as a repellent too
useful against many garden and household insects
| works only on direct contact|
diluted mixture cannot be stored for a long time
Neem oil is counted among the safest and non-toxic insecticides available in the market today and is used in over 100 pest control products. The oil is extracted from the seeds of the Neem tree (Azadhirachta Indica), native to South-East Asia. What makes the oil an effective insecticide is the compound called Azadirachin. Unlike other pesticides, the chemicals in Neem oil are first absorbed by the plant on which it is sprayed and then reach the body of the insect feeding on that plant. Once inside, these compounds affect the insects in many different ways–they restrict their feeding and mating habits, prevent the larvae from maturing, and sometimes, hinder the insect’s breathing. Garden Safe Neem Oil offers a product which works as an insecticide, fungicide, as well as a miticide. It is effective against a range of garden insects like aphids, worms, beetles, loopers, caterpillars, and mites. It also protects the plants against many fungal diseases including powdery mildew, rust leaf spot, needle rust, scab, and flower/tip/twig blight. This insecticide can be used as a dormant or delayed spray as well to target the overwintering of eggs on plants. Overall, it’s the perfect solution for organic pest control and can be used on vegetables, fruit trees, ornamental plants and more. It’s recommended to mix 2 – 4 tbsp of the concentrate in a gallon of water, and spray evenly.
| eco-friendly and non-toxic|
three-in-one product: insecticide, fungicide, miticide
targets a wide range of garden insects and fungal diseases
| cannot be used on freshly planted saplings or seedling|
can cause leaf burns if used in quantities more than those specified
has a strong odor
Bifenthrin is one of the most potent man-made insecticides available today. It comes from the family of pyrethroids which are synthesized from the naturally occurring pyrethrins. Bifenthrin is marketed as an everyday household and garden insecticide and is used in over 600 products. Insecticides that contain bifenthrin come in many forms like granules, sprays, and aerosols. Bifen XTS, with 25.1% Bifenthrin, is one of the best-selling pyrethroid insecticide out there. It’s oil-based and water-resistant, which ensures long-lasting protection against more than 50 different types of common household and garden pests including caterpillars, aphids, fire ants, and fleas. Bifen XTS also works great against termites which makes it a popular pick for pre- and post-construction pest control. As soon as the target insect touches or eats it, its nervous system is wrecked leading to paralysis and quick death. Check the dilution instructions given on the label to get the right composition for the target insect.
| long-lasting and effective|
compatible with other IGRs (Insect Growth Regulators) like herbicides, fungicides, and liquid fertilizers
targets a wide range of garden insects and fungal diseases
does not damage plants
works against more than 50 garden and household pests
stable in sunlight
|leaves a residue and can accumulate in soil over continuous use|
Another popular insecticide used by both pest control professionals and homeowners is Bayer Suspend SC which has Deltamethrin as the active ingredient. Deltamethrin comes from the family of pyrethroids, which are man-made insecticides derived from the naturally occurring pyrethrin. It works on direct contact, and attacks the nervous system of the insect that touches or ingests the chemical. Bayer Suspend SC offers broad spectrum control against more than 50 everyday pests like beetles, mosquitoes, bedbugs, roaches, ants, termites, ticks, yellowjackets, and more. It works on concentrations as low as 0.0015%, and does not leave any odor or visible residue. Given its flexible label, it can be used on many different types of surfaces (including porous surfaces) such as upholstery, mattresses, box strings, as well as in food service areas. People often use it to treat the perimeter around their house and one cycle of treatment lasts 3 months. Being a concentrate, it needs to be diluted depending on the area that needs to be sprayed and the severity of infestation.
| works on very low concentrations|
long lasting (one treatment cycle lasts 3 months) and very effective
does not harm pets
flexible use for many different types of surfaces
| limited use for plants, not recommended for vegetables and fruit bearing trees|
continuous and insufficient use can cause bedbugs to become resistant
6. Tempo Ultra SC 240 ML (8.12 oz) Multi Use Pest Control Insecticide ~ Spiders Bedbugs Roaches Silverfish etc..
For effective pest control against both indoor and outdoor insects, consider Tempo Ultra SC insecticide. It offers the strength of powder solution in a liquid concentrate, which ensures that it’s sprayed evenly when applied on a surface. The active ingredient here is beta-Cyfluthrin which is a pyrethroid widely used in everyday household pest control as well as in the agriculture sector. It acts as a contact and stomach poison, causing continuous muscle spasms in the target insect which then starves and dies. Tempo Ultra SC protects against more than 100 different insects, including all your common indoor and outdoor pests such as termites, beetles, worms, mosquitoes, crawlers, ticks, and spiders, as well as other insects like grain borers, weevils, and mealworms, that damage stored grains. Considering its fast knockdown and low residue, it’s often used for pre-binning treatment for storage areas. Offered as a water-based suspension concentrate, it needs to be diluted and then sprayed on the affected area. You can also use a cold fogger set on low pressure spray with this insecticide. It’s largely non-toxic to humans and pets, but should be kept strictly away from aquatic life and places where it can run off and contaminate water bodies.
| fast knockdown|
no odor, staining, or visible residue
targets more than 100 insect species
non-toxic to humans and pets
|toxic to aquatic life|
FEW THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
- Always wear protective clothing like gloves, long pants, and a full sleeved shirt, to ensure that no part of your body is directly exposed. Also wear a face mask and glasses to avoid the risk of inhaling the fumes or getting it in contact with your eyes.
- Instructions are your friends, so please make sure that you follow the dilution guidelines given on the label. You’ll notice that different compositions work better for different types of insects.
- It’s not recommended to store the diluted insecticide solution so prepare as much quantity as you need to be used in a single treatment cycle depending on the area that needs to be treated as well as how severely it’s infected. Overusing these chemicals can cause damage and pose a risk of contamination.
- When treating a garden, pull out any dying or infected plants beforehand so that they don’t attract pests or infect other healthy plants.
- Treating an infected area at the right time is often the deciding factor when it comes to effective and long-lasting pest control. For instance, when treating plants, vegetable patches, or a larger garden, spray the insecticides after sunset and especially when the pollinating agents are gone. These insecticides are often extremely toxic to bees. Also, avoid spraying on rainy or windy days. The wind disrupts the spray while rain washes it off which allows the insecticide solution to either seep through the soil and contaminate the groundwater, or act as a surface run-off and pollute other water bodies. Aquatic life is largely at risk from these insecticides, just like bees. So, it’s best to use these chemicals on a dry day.
- If you accidentally come in contact with the chemicals, make sure you wash the area thoroughly with soap and water. In case you develop a rash or any burning/itching sensation, contact your doctor immediately.
- Although a lot of insecticides are pet friendly, and some are even used to treat the beds used by pets to get rid of ticks and bedbugs, it’s important to let the solution dry before using the treated area.
So, take your time to understand the different pest control products available and choose one that best fits your needs. The right product used efficiently and in the correct composition can tackle the severest infestation and helps keep all those pesky nuisance pests away from your garden and home.