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Types of Pesticides
Jan 07, 2019

There are several variations of pesticides for weed and insect control.

Selective pesticides are formulated to deal with a specific problem.

Non-selective pesticides indiscriminately kill anything that they contact.

Systemic pesticides are meant to be ingested by the target pest, working from the inside out.

Topical or contact pesticides are applied to the outer surface of the pest, working from the outside in.

Pre-emergents deal with weeds in the dormant or seed stage before germination.

Post-emergents kill weeds after they've sprouted and are actively growing. Contact herbicides are post-emergents.

Liquid, Powder or Granules

  • Liquids are easy to apply and stick to the surface when dry.

  • Powders or dusts are applied in their dry state.

  • Granules are applied like powders, usually to the soil, but cause less dust.

  • Baits attract pests to a trap or strip. The pest ingests the pesticide and returns to the nest, where it spreads the poison and kills the others.

  • Gels act the same as baits; effective when shared with the pest colony. Gels work well when applied to cracks or other gaps where pests may enter.

  • Sprays usually kill soon after contact after being absorbed by the weed or insect.

  • Barriers are applied to the perimeter of the house to keep insect pests out.


Concentrates are mixed with a delivery medium (usually water) and sprayed.

Synthetic pesticides are chemical compounds formulated to attack certain pests.

Organic pesticides serve the same purpose as synthetics, but are formulated from organic or other natural sources. 

The application method varies depending on the composition of the pesticide. The most common means of application are:

  • Aerosol or non-aerosol pump trigger sprayer

  • Spreader

  • Duster

  • Compression sprayer

  • Backpack sprayer

  • Hose end sprayer

  • Bait trap