Pest Control Product Comparison: Which Products To Choose?
With thousands of pest control pest control products to choose from, how do you know which products will work the best for your specific situation? Pest Control Everything offers a side-by-side comparison of the most popular pest control products on the market for pest control pros or do-it-yourselfers.
What To Consider When Comparing Products...
At first glance, one product that is designed to kill a certain type of insect or pest may not seem much different than the next. But certain differences may exist below the surface that could make all the difference in how successful you are at eliminating your own pest problems. We've outlined some of the key elements to help you make the best possible decisions when comparing pest control products.
What Pests is the Product Labeled For?
Before purchasing any product, check the product label to make sure the type of pest you're dealing with is included. Some ant baits, for instance, are only labeled (and may only be effective) for certain specific types of ants. If you're treating for Pharaoh Ants with ant bait designed for Fire Ants your chances of success are essentially non-existent.
What is the Active Ingredient?
The active ingredient (AI) in a pesticide is the element or ingredient that actually does the killing. As you begin to compare products you'll start to see that there are often several different products containing the same active ingredient. On the surface, it might seem that those products should then work similarly. However, that isn't always the case.
In many products, the active ingredient typically makes up only a tiny part of the overall product, often less than 1/10th of one percent. The other 99% of the product is made up of different, inert, unidentified ingredients. These inert ingredients are often the components that determine well a particular pest accepts a bait, or whether a non-repellent functions as it should, or a whole host of other things.
So while the active ingredient may not tell us how well the product is going to work, it does tell us what impact that product will have on our pests if exposed to the product as intended. If you're not having luck resolving a problem with a certain active ingredient, consider switching to an alternative product with the same AI, or a product with an entirely different one.
What is the Concentration of Active Ingredient?
The concentration of an active ingredient is listed as a percentage on the product label. On a basic level, this can be viewed as the strength of the product's toxins. Sometimes a product with a lower active ingredient might actually be a better option than a product with the same AI in a higher concentration.
What is the Formulation of the Product?
Pesticide products come in a wide array of formulations, from dusts and powders, to gel baits, granules, liquid concentrates, foams, aerosols and several others. Each formulation has its own set of practical applications. Consider where you will need to be treating your pests and select a product that is conducive to that application. Using an ant gel bait to treat an exterior fire ant mound isn't the best formulation, for instance. Neither would be a foam.
Professor Pest Discusses What Makes Baits So Great...
For the do-it-yourself pest controller, baits (for certain insects) have become the great equalizer. Not only are bait products often highly effective (when properly applied), their low cost makes them an ideal, readily available option. Additionally, most baits come in a ready-to-use formulation and typically don't require any additional application equipment or extensive personal protective equipment. If you're looking for a simple way of managing ant and roach infestations, start your research with baits.
How Easy is the Product to Apply?
Some products, such as many insect baits, are easy to apply right out of the box and have straight-forward usage instructions. Others may require mixing before application. Make sure you are clear on how the product is to be applied and that you're comfortable with whatever approach may be necessary.
Some products also require additional equipment, like a handheld or backpack sprayer, to apply. If you are considering liquid concentrates without having a any type of sprayer to apply the finished solution with, you will be met with disenchantment.
What Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is Needed?
Pesticide product labels have a section outlining certain precautions that should be taken along with what Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), if any, is required. If you don't have the necessary safety apparel, or aren't planning on getting it, it would probably be advisable to select an alternative pest control product that does have the same types of requirements.
Our list of product comparisons is designed to help you make the most informed pest control product selections. Please check back often for regular updates.