One of the most difficult parts of maintaining a healthy lawn is ridding it of any pesky insects that can cause quite a bit of significant (and costly) damage. It’s even tougher to figure out the best method or approach to use to eliminate troublesome insects. With so many chemicals available in a variety of different insecticides on hardware store shelves, choosing the right insect control product can become daunting. You also don’t want to select an insecticide that can damage your grass or cause harm to any pets or children running around outside either. Sod University compiles a list of the top-rated, most popular and effective insect killers available to homeowners that you can purchase from the comfort of your home. With any control product—be it herbicides, fungicides or insecticides—be sure to read the product label thoroughly before application.
Spectracide Triazicide Insect Killer for Lawns & Landscapes
Spectracide Triazicide Insect Killer for Lawns & Landscapes is a popular homeowner favorite because of its ease of use. This product hooks right up to the end of your hose for an even spray application. It is also labeled to control 260 insects above and below the ground upon contact including the bluegrass billbug, chinch bugs, white grubs, mole crickets, ants, armyworms, webworms, spiders and cockroaches. Spectracide Triazicide can be used on more than just turf—spray it on other plants in your landscape like vegetables, fruit and nut trees, roses, flowers, trees and shrubs. A single quart will cover 2,500 sq. ft. and its active ingredient is Gamma-Cyhalothrin. For best results with Spectracide Triazicide, wet down your grass a few hours before appplication and wait to mow or water it again for at least 24 hours after treatment. Spectracide Triazicide should be applied when insects and grubs are active in the lawn and soil. For more information, click the product image below or read our Sod University product profile here.
- Coverage: One bottle covers 2,500 sq. ft.
- Active Ingredient(s): Gamma Cyhlaothrin 0.08%.
- Ease of Use: Hooks up to the end of your garden hose for even spray application.
- Best Used On/For: Outdoor general insect control.
Bifen L/P Insecticide Granules
Most homeowners have some form of a Bifenthrin product in their storage or garage as it is one of the most effective insect killers on the market. Bifen L/P Insecticide Granules is a professional granular insecticide made available to the homeowner and used to treat the most common of insects found outdoors. Some of these many insects include ants, fleas, ticks, crickets and others. Consult the product label for a full list of insects Bifen L/P controls. Sold as a 25 lb. bag, Bifen L/P will cover between 5,000–17,000 sq. ft. and will need to be used with a broadcast spreader. The spreader rate at which you apply it at depends on the type of insect you are treating for, hints the wide range of coverage. The label will provide you with instructions on what your application/spreader rate should be based on the insect you are encountering. For more information, click the product image below.
- Coverage: 25 lbs. treats 5,000–17,000 sq. ft.
- Active Ingredient: Bifenthrin 0.2%.
- Ease of Use: Requires a drop or broadcast spreader for application.
- Best Used On/For: General outdoor insect control.
Bifen XTS Insecticide
Bifen XTS is similar in its Bifenthrin makeup, but instead of coming in the form of a granular product, Bifen XTS is a liquid insecticide. Bifenthrin granules is slightly less expensive and covers 5,000–17,000 sq. ft. with 0.2 percent Bifenthrin as its active ingredient, but Bifen XTS, as a liquid insecticide, is 25.1 percent Bifenthrin, slighly more expensive and covers between 106,000–458,000 sq. ft. with a single quart bottle. Bifen XTS is an oil-based formula with water resistant long lasting residual control that lasts for up to 90 days. It controls over 70 types of bugs, insects and other pests listed on its product label. This product requires tank mixing and a hose-end sprayer. For more information, click the product image below.
Bifen XTS$55.95 – $194.95
- Coverage: One quart covers between 106,000–458,000 sq. ft.
- Active Ingredient: Bifenthrin 25.1%.
- Ease of Use: Requires tank mixing and spray application.
- Best Used On/For: Pre- and post-construction termite treatments, turf and ornamentals and outdoor perimeter pest control.
Merit Imidacloprid .5G Granular Insecticide
Merit Imidacloprid .5G Granular Insecticide is another granular product similar to Bifen L/P, but with the active ingredient Imidacloprid. This broad-spectrum insecticide offers both preventative and curative treatments for the most common turf and ornamental pests such as billbugs, chinch bugs, mole crickets, grub worms, beetles and chafers. You can find a full list of insects controlled on the product label. Merit .5G is a systemic insecticide, meaning that it soaks into the plant’s system so that the bugs who feed on the plant ingest the chemicals and then die. 30 lbs. of Merit .5G Granular Insecticide will cover between 16,000–21,000 sq. ft. and requires the use of a spreader. For more information, click the product image below.
Merit 2F Liquid Insecticide
Merit 2F is similar to Imidacloprid .5G because its main ingredient is also Imidacloprid. The granular variety contains 0.5 percent Imidacloprid whereas Merit 2F, in comparison, contains 21.4 percent Imidacloprid, so it’s a little stronger. As a liquid insecticide with more active ingredient mixed in its 240 mL bottle, it is slightly more expensive than the granular variety and covers between 14,000–17,000 sq. ft. Like Imidacloprid .5G, Merit 2F is a broad-spectrum, systemic insecticide that offers control of a variety of common turfgrass insects and pests. Merit also offers a long residual control of insects that interferes with the insect’s nervous system to stop feeding or producing so that it dies. For more information, click the product image below.
Merit 2F Liquid$119.95
- Coverage: 240 mL covers between 14,000–17,000 sq. ft.
- Active Ingredient: Imidacloprid 21.4%.
- Ease of Use: Requires tank mixing for spray application.
- Best Used On/For: Liquid broad-spectrum systemic formulation used for outdoor insect control.
Overall, all of the above listed insecticides are really popular and effective for homeowner use—it mainly depends on the situation you have at home. If you are looking for something simple and easy to use, Spectracide Triazicide may be your best bet. If you seem to have a larger insect problem or want something a little stronger than a hose-end sprayer, both Bifen L/P Insecticide Granules and Imidacloprid .5G Granular Insecticide are great options. The active ingredients Bifenthrin and Imidacloprid are some of the most effective ones in insect control products. Both of these, however, will require a spreader for proper application. If you have a very serious issue in your lawn, or would rather purchase a liquid insecticide that will last longer, Merit 2F or Bifen XTS may be your best choices. The liquid insecticides will require tank mixing, so be sure to read the product labels thoroughly before application.
It is also important to note that before making a purchase on an insecticide, you should accurately try to identify which kind of insects you are experiencing. This will help you select the most effective herbicide that is labeled to treat the insects or bugs you are seeing. Learn more in our Insect Identification blog.