Popular Home Insecticide Banned By EPA

First Durspan, now Diazinon. Diazinon is practically a household name for gardeners and homeowners. After studies linked Diazinon to low birth weight children, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency decided to phase out household use of the popular insecticide.

WLOX Outdoor Reporter and Mississippi State Extension Agent Dr. David Held says this ban does not prevent you from using the Diazinon you have. However, Diazinon will no longer be sold after this year, so homeowners who like to use Diazinon are stocking up. Held says look for alternatives to Diazinon such as Sevin or permathrin. More advice; Be safe! Before using any insecticide, always be sure to read the label carefully and follow all label directions regarding personal protection equipment and instructions for mixing and applying the product.

Mississippi State University Cooperative Extension Service offers a publication with valuable information about controlling insect around the home and lawn. The follow tips are from that publication.

Choosing and Purchasing Insecticides:

There are several important factors that must be considered when purchasing an insecticide to use in the home lawn. Time spent considering these factors and reading insecticide labels before making the purchase is time well-invested! Purchasing the wrong product can lead to many undesirable consequences, including poor control, plant injury, application difficulties, and time spent returning the product. Some of the key points to consider when purchasing insecticides are listed below.

1. What is the active ingredient in the product?
When purchasing insecticides it is important to think in terms of the active ingredient, rather than the brand name. Granted, the names of these active ingredients sound somewhat technical in nature (e.g. permethrin, carbaryl, imidacloprid), but in the long run they are much shorter, less confusing, and easier to remember than brand names (e.g., Hi-Yield Kill-A-Bug II, Garden Tech Sevin Concentrate Bug Killer, Bayer Advanced Season-Long Grub Control). Quite often, the same active ingredient may be sold under dozens of different brand names. Knowing the active ingredient makes it easier to find an alternative product if a particular brand-name product is not available. It is also important to be aware that the active ingredient contained in a product with a given brand name may change over time. Do not assume that Mo-Betta Bug Bopper 33 contains the same active ingredient now as it did when you last used it 5 years ago. Check the active ingredients.

2. Is the product labeled for the intended site and use?
If you need a product to control chinch bugs in St. Augustine grass, be sure to read the label and verify that the insecticide you are purchasing is labeled for use in home lawns, that it is safe to use on St. Augustine grass, and that it is effective against chinch bugs. All of this information should be available on the product label, and it should also indicate how much product to use and how to mix and apply the product. If you do not find this information on the label, don't buy the product! Look for products with labels that are easy to read and understand.

3. How is the product formulated?
In many cases the same active ingredient is available in products that are formulated as granules, wettable powders, liquid concentrates, and dilute ready-to-spray products. It is important to be sure that you are purchasing the formulation that is best suited for your intended use. If you purchase a wettable powder formulation, which is mixed with water and applied as a liquid spray, but you do not have the necessary spray equipment, you will be unable to apply the product. Also, be sure to consider what type of formulation is best for the intended use and that you have the necessary equipment to apply that formulation before purchasing the product. Granular products are relatively easy to apply on the home lawn, but they are not as effective as liquid sprays against some types of pests.

4. What is the percentage of active ingredient in the product; how much is in the container; what is the use rate; and how much product do you need to do the job?
If you purchase a quart of ready-to-spray formulation containing 0.002% active ingredient when you really need a quart of 25% liquid concentrate, you will not have nearly enough product. If you know that you need to treat 6,000 square feet at a rate of 4 fluid ounces of product per 1,000 square feet, then you need 24 fluid ounces of total formulated product. Based on this, you know you need to buy the quart size (32 fluid ounces) rather than the pint size (16 fluid ounces). You also know that you do not need to buy the gallon size, as this would result in a lot of leftover product.