Insecticides can be purchased in many different formulations, with each form having its own sets of advantages, disadvantages, and practical applications. When it comes to pesticides in a "spray" form, products are typically either an aerosol spray, a ready-to-use liquid spray, or a pesticide concentrate. Concentrated insecticides are formulations that are generally mixed with water to produced the desired dilution, or concentration of a finished product to be applied. (Ready-To-Use products such Ortho Home Defense have already been diluted without the need for further mixing).
There are several classifications or categories of insecticide concentrates that impact how a particular concentrate reacts when mixed with water and how that particular product is likely to interact with pest organisms and the environment. These classifications are usually included on the product label with the corresponding letter(s) before or after the product name.
EC - Emulsifiable Concentrates: Emulsifiable Concentrates are a blend of active ingredient and organic solvent (along with other surfactants) which typically produces a milky finished solution when mixed with water. ECs often provide for a cost-effective means of treating large areas. Common emulsifiable concentrates include Demon EC and Cynoff EC.
CS - Micro-Encapsulated Concentrates: Micro-Encapsulated Concentrates are packages as fluids that are mixed with water and applied similar to other concentrate formulations. These products contain tiny capsules that break down slowly after application, allowing for a slow release of the active ingredient and longer residual effectiveness. Demand CS and Onslaught are two common micro-encapsulated pesticides.
SC - Suspended Concentrates: Suspended Concentrates are packaged as fluid or liquid-form pesticides containing a stable suspension of solid particulates. They combine many of the characteristics of emulsions and wettable powders into one formulation. Common suspended concentrate insecticides include Suspend SC and Tempo SC.
WP - Wettable Powders: Wettable powders are packaged as solid, powder-form pesticides that are applied as suspended particles after being mixed with water. Wettable powders generally have a much longer residual effectiveness than Emulsions along with a quicker knock-down than some other concentrate formulations, and are often selected when dealing with spiders and other insects that may be difficult to kill. Popular WP insecticides include Tempo WP, Cyper WP, Demon WP, and Cynoff WP.
For the do-it-yourself pest controller, few differences may be noticed between the manner of mixing and application of EC, CS, and SC insecticides. Each are fluids mixed with water to achieve a desired finished concentration and applied through a designated handheld, backpack, or truck mounted spray system. Wettable powders have the distinct difference of being packaged in dry form. Upon dilution with water, WPs will appear similar to the others as well.
When mixing insecticide concentrates it is important to adhere to the dilution requirements set forth on the product label. Some products allow for a range of concentrations based upon the insects being targeted and the location of treatment. Because individual states regulate their own pesticide use, not all concentrates are permitted for use in all locations. Please check with your state regulatory agency before making any pesticide applications.
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