What are the Different Types of Insecticide?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Lucy Oppenheimer
  • Last Modified Date: 22 September 2019
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An insecticide is a natural or man-made preparation that is used to kill or otherwise control insects. Instead of killing insects, an insecticide may work to prevent them from reproducing. Widely used in agricultural, insecticides are also commonly applied in the homes and workplaces of humans. Insecticides are classified as either organic or inorganic.

An organic insecticide is derived from a carbon-based organisms and substances. Organic insecticides are thought to be environmentally sound, causing no harm to the earth, humans, or animals. They often consist of such things as fatty acids and plant oils.

Inorganic insecticides are often derived from heavy metals and arsenic-containing compounds. Some versions are man-made or synthetic. Types of inorganic insecticides include boric acid, diatomaceous earth, and silica gel. Commonly-used synthetic formulas include, but are not limited to, pyrethroids and carbamates. Considered highly effective against insects, inorganic or synthetic formulas typically offer good residual activity.

Though an inorganic or synthetic insecticide may work well at getting rid of annoying pests, each comes with potential dangers. Many are toxic, having the ability to cause harm to a variety of living organisms. Levels and types of insecticide toxicity vary widely. Opponents of inorganic and synthetic insecticides believe their continued use will lead to grave environmental consequences, while proponents believe risk to the environment is negligible.


Even organic insecticides are not free from criticism. Many believe there is no such thing as a harmless insecticide. Opponents of organic formulas argue that if an insecticide were truly environmentally benign, it would not be capable of killing insects. They point out that even organic substances can be damaging to the environment, in certain concentrations and forms.

Insecticides are sold in the form of sprays, dusts, lacquers, gels, baits, smokes, fumigants, and powders. When purchasing an insecticide, it is important to carefully read the label and use it only as directed. Most insecticides have very specific instructions, intended to limit risk to both the user and the environment.


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Post 4

what kind of insecticides would I use for slugs in my garden?

Post 3

great information.

Post 1

How do I get rid of brambles which are growing in a difficult place and cannot be dug up? Can an insecticide be recommended?

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