Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Insecticides
Updated: May 25, 2022
The ongoing controversy regarding insecticides and their use has been going on at least since the middle of the last century ̶ and show little sign of abating, at least in some more radical quarters.
Hopefully, cooler heads will eventually prevail and there will be an understanding that some pesticides actually do have an important role to play.
As one group of Chinese scientists recently pointed out, “Pesticides are an increasingly important tool in providing food for all people on earth, and they also protect people and their domestic animals from many diseases.” And they’re right!
Without them it would be almost impossible to get rid of rodents, insects, and bacteria - all of which cause pest problems not only in our home, but are destroying crops worldwide. According to one unimpeachable source:
“By preventing crop losses, raising the quality of produce, and lowering the cost of
farming, modern insecticides increased crop yields by as much as 50 percent in
some regions of the world in the period 1945–65. They have also been important
in improving the health of both humans and domestic animals; malaria, yellow
fever, and typhus, among other infectious diseases, have been greatly reduced in
many areas of the world through their use.”
When it comes to insecticides, their usefulness cannot be overemphasized. In fact, in the US alone there are almost 700 different brands of insecticide on the market ̶ most of them claiming to be the best at what they do. We obviously can’t speak to the efficacy of each and every one of these products, but we can at least tell you about what’s out there and how it works.
Types of Insecticides
Generally speaking insecticides can be sorted into two major types. The first are so-called ‘systemic’ insecticides, which can have residual effects or can exhibit long-term effects. The second kind are contact insecticides, which work through physical contact, although they almost never have any residual effects.
Digging deeper, we find that within this initial bifurcation there are three further subdivisions or types of insecticide:
Inorganic insecticides, which are usually metals based.
Natural insecticides, such as nicotine, pyrethrum and neem extracts, which are manufactured by plants as a defense against insects.
Organic insecticides, which are chemical compounds that generally contain carbon, and work mostly by contact.
Unlike naturally occurring insecticides, inorganic insecticides are usually man-made or are synthetic formulas based on carbamates or pyrethroids. As a rule, heavy metals and arsenic compounds such as boric acid and silica gel form the basis for these substances. Inorganic insecticides are usually very effective, but they do need to be handled with great care and applied in strict accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions.
Again, there are many different types of inorganic insecticides, but the most commonly used are:
1. Systematic Insecticides
These are designed to protect plants from being attacked by insects and are usually
applied to soil. They are targeted at plant roots, which absorb them directly.
Bactericides and larvicides are also considered to be systematic insecticides and help
in the eradication of plant-destroying bacteria and larvae.
2. Contact Insecticides
These usually come in spray form ̶ although they can also come in the form of coils,
liquid vaporizers and repellents ̶ and are frequently used in homes and offices to
destroy insects, such as mosquitoes and house flies. Some of the more versatile
products in this category can also be used as disinfectants and deodorizers.
3. Ingested Insecticides
As the name suggest, these types of compounds are consumed and are generally
designed to exterminate rats, rodents, and cockroaches. Very effective, but very
4. Organic Insecticides
There has been something of a debate recently about the true efficacy of organic insecticides, and yet the fact remains that they have been used, apparently with observable successes, in a number of contexts. In any case, they are generally eco-friendly and harmless to crops and other plant life. Usually derived from plant oils and the fatty acids of various plants or animals, these types of insecticides include:
Nicotine ̶ an alkaloid that can be found in a variety of plants, most notably tobacco, it's usually mixed in water and sprayed on plants.
Plain water ̶ arguably the most eco-friendly substance on the planet, it can be sprayed on plants to prevent their being eaten by insects.
Insecticidal soap ̶ made from powdered detergent or liquid soap of one kind or another ̶ is a non-toxic method of protecting plants from the ravages of various insect species.
What Bugs You Most?
Clearly, knowing which types of insecticides are available and how they work, will help you make informed decisions about what you use, or alternatively, decide not to us.
It’s worth keeping in mind that insecticides are either repellent, or non-repellent, in nature. Social insects ̶ such as ants ̶ are unable to detect non-repellents, which is why they readily crawl through them and unwittingly take insecticide back to their nests. With fatal results. Remember, too, that insecticides are dissimilar from non-insecticidal repellents, which repel but do not kill.
So, with all this information in hand, how do you go about choosing the right insecticide? (Humble as we are, we think you should use Sterifab, but we have the facts to show why.)
Why Use Sterifab Insecticide?
Because Sterifab is an exceptionally potent means of eliminating virtually any insect, including the most common types of home invaders, such as bed bugs, lice, ticks, fleas, etc. A mite insecticide, tick insecticide, bed bug killer and more ̶ it is extremely versatile. Just remember that you should never, ever, use it on people, animals or cooking utensils, but it can be used effectively on everything else!
Easy to use and will not stain
Without added perfume or unpleasant odor
Fast drying and completely clear
Not harmful to fabrics or carpets
Labeled for use on mattresses and upholstered furniture
Plus, there are no other products registered with the U.S. EPA that can make these claims. In fact, for decades now Sterifab has been the disinfectant/insecticide (yes, it is also a very effective disinfectant) of choice for a wide variety of institutions, organizations and facilities, including:
Factories, Manufacturing Facilities
Hospitals, Hospital Emergency Rooms, Ambulance Corps
Veterinarians, Animal Kennels
Hotels, Motels, Guest Houses
Police Departments, Jails, Prisons, Detention Facilities