Welcome to killing pests with poison 101.
These are notes I have made over the years speaking with trained pest management professionals. This is NOT a how to do it yourself seminar, but if you are looking to do some amateur pest control at least this will get you started in the right direction.
Nothing, I repeat, nothing can replace the professional, learned pest control people, their knowledge and their patience.
I have assembled a small list of the more popular active ingredients used to kill pests but remember, just to kill the ones you see doesn’t kill the ones you can’t see, which is most of them. For that you really need a pro.
Read and follow all label directions and for crying out loud be careful.
So without further ado – the killers and what they kill best are…
Bifenthrin: Professionals love using bifenthrin both in a granule form and in a liquid form that you mix with water in your backpack spray tank (remember, you should have a back pack spray pack to do the job correctly).
Primarily used for ants, fleas, ticks and mosquitoes with professionals, it is labeled for a lot more insects. It works well to treat your yard in late spring for fire ants with the granule product (Bifen L/P is a common product name). In the liquid form, this is great to put as a barrier around your home once every 90 days.
Fipronil: The active ingredient here is used in Termidor, which is used to eliminate termite colonies. Also used in TopChoice granules which is great for fleas, ticks and fire ant control. Termidor SC (which is a liquid that you mix with water) is great for treating the perimeter of your home for ant control.
Termidor is the product that a professional will use for termite treatments if you choose not to use the bait stations. Funny side note here, if you go with the bait stations for your home termite protection and your pest control company comes out and finds termites, this is the product they will then use to kill said termites.
Funny, you never see Termidor users finding termites and running out and getting bait stations. Hmmmmm…..
Dinotefuran: Easier to say when you aren’t trying to say it into a microphone, pest control professionals use Alpine Pressurized Insecticide, which is an aerosol can that they use to treat cracks and crevices on the interior of homes. This is a great product to use for roaches in the kitchen or general insects inside a home.
This product is applied in cracks and crevices only and not to be sprayed on food prep areas (like a kitchen counter top). Also, Alpine WSG (water soluble granule) has dinotefuran as the active ingredient. This is the pro’s product of choice for carpenter bee control on the exterior of your home. It’s a safe product; it is classified as a reduced risk pesticide (least risk of all pesticide categories). So, it isn't a bad product for you DIYers to carry.
Gentrol IGR and Alpine Flea & Tick with IGR: Anytime you are dealing with drain flies, phorid flies, fleas, and/or German roaches you want a product with an IGR. Certain insects reproduce so quickly, the only way to get quick control/elimination is to prevent the adults from laying fertile eggs. The IGR, (insect growth regulator) does not kill the fleas or roaches on contact, but it does prevent the insects from being able to reproduce.
The Gentrol product is great for drain flies. NyGuard IGR is a great product if you are having severe roach infestations in your kitchen and the Dinotefuran isn't effectively stopping the life cycle.
Termidor works best for ant control and termite control. If you are having ant issues throughout your home, apply Termidor SC or Termidor WG (both have Fipronil as the active ingredient) ONLY ON THE OUTSIDE of your home. DO NOT apply Termidor SC or WG inside.
Where can you find all this death and destruction for pests? Honestly, you can buy all these products on Amazon except TopChoice. TopChoice is a restricted use pesticide (called a RUP in our industry) and can be difficult to get your hands on. But, I just looked online and you can find TopChoice to purchase. Usually comes in 50 lb bags.
The hardest pest for a DIYer is going to be drain flies/phorid flies. Professionals will use a foaming machine, but Gentrol does sell the product on Amazon in a self-producing foaming can. The DIYer just has to be patient and let the product sit. So, if you have drain flies in your kitchen sink, treat the drain and let the Gentrol sit for as long as possible.
Ideally, treat the sink after breakfast and let it sit all day.
I say it again, nothing beats the brains and experience of a professional pest management company. In my opinion, pest control is best left to the professional. They deal with bug death all the time, they know what to use and how to apply it.
(This article written with help from Matt Breda of Breda Pest Management www.BredaPest.com)