Are Over-The-Counter Pesticides As Effective As Professional Grade Insecticides When Each Contain The Same Primary Ingredient

There exists a variety of over-the-counter pesticides and chemical bait products available in stores, the most common of which are handheld aerosol sprays used to kill common house pests on contact. Synthesized pesticide products that are available to consumers come in many other forms, such as liquids, sticks, powders, crystals, balls and foggers. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 75 percent of homeowners used some form of over-the-counter pest control product during the past year, and 85 percent of homeowners store at least one pest control product in their home. An even more surprising statistic from the US Fish and Wildlife Service states that homeowners use ten times more pesticides per acre on their lawns than farmers do on agricultural crops.

In addition to over-the-counter chemical insecticide products, several electronic pest control devices can also be purchased within stores. Electronic insect pest control products include “bug zappers” that use ultraviolet light to lure winged insects like flies, moths and mosquitoes to an electronic grid that electrocutes the pests. The electronic flyswatter resembles a tennis racket, and swinging it into a flying insect will electrocute the pest on contact. Sonic pest repellents are relatively new to the consumer market, and they supposedly emit low-frequency (infrasonic) and/or high-frequency (ultrasonic) sounds that cannot be perceived by humans, but are very disturbing to pests. Unsurprisingly, the effectiveness of over-the-counter insecticides has been questioned by researchers.

Due to the recent widespread adoption of regulated pyrethroids among properly licensed pest control professionals in the US, many older insecticides that are no longer favored by professionals have been introduced to the consumer market. However, it is important to keep in mind that these former professional grade insecticides have been heavily diluted in order to make them safer for use among untrained and unlicensed consumers. Studies have shown that while these insecticides are effective when diluted in accordance with professional standards, they become ineffective when diluted in accordance with consumer market standards. Studies have also found that sonic pest repellents fail to keep insect and rodent pests from invading homes in large numbers, and not only are total release foggers ineffective at killing bed bugs and cockroaches, but they have also been known to cause serious medical harm.

Have you ever used over-the-counter insecticides to combat an insect pest infestation?