How to Choose the Right Pesticide
Dealing with pests in the grow is never a good time.
There's no shortage of different pests, molds, mildews and other issues that can plague your plants. There's just as many different pesticide products to deal with all of them!
Choosing the right pesticide for your problem can seem daunting at first, especially when there's so many options to choose from, with many products fighting the same issues.
So when you're at Cultivate next time to pick up some pesticides, or checking out our online store to grab them, here's how to know which product can fix your specific problem.
What's the problem?
You can immediately cross out a huge range of pesticides when you know the specific pest or problem you want to remove. For common pests like spider mites, root aphids and fungus gnats, there will be many products to choose from.
Remember that "Pesticides" is an encompassing term for insecticides, fungicides, miticides and other specialized pest products. So even if you have powdery mildew or mold you can still find the right product in the pesticide section.
When it comes to general pesticides, most will cover a wide range of issues and will mainly vary in the ingredients they use. More specialized products that focus on one or just a couple particular issues will be more limited in selection which can make it easier to find the right product.
In either case, the next step to choosing the right pesticide is knowing what ingredients will best deal your problem.
Different ingredients for the same thing
Like we said earlier, there's no shortage of general use pesticides that aim to deal with the most common issues you're likely to see in your grow. What can make it hard to choose which product you want is the fact that most pesticides will have nearly identical ingredients!
This isn't a coincidence either. Scientists figured out which ingredients were the most effective for a specific pest problem, then pesticide companies created their own products containing that ingredient, with the addition of some of their own for a "unique" product.
But don't be fooled, if it has the same main ingredient, it will do the same thing, regardless of what other additives are thrown in to the mix.
One of the most common active ingredients you'll see when looking for pest-specific pesticides like insecticides is Azadirachtin. Azadirachtin is a chemical compound belonging to the limonoid group. It's also a naturally occurring secondary compound in neem, one of the most common organic pesticides in the world.
Additionally, when it comes to insects you'll also see a lot of products that use some type of oil or citric acid. This could be soybean oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, etc., and all of them do the same thing more or less, which is dealing with common pests.
The most common ingredient you'll see when shopping for fungicides is Bacillus. If you ever heard the suggestion to spray your plants with milk to deal with powdery mildew, it wasn't just a crazy person. Milk has natural bacillus within it that fights PM and other issues.
An actual fungicide will be much more effective than milk, but the important thing to look for on the label is bacillus. There's a wide range of different bacillus, most of which solve the same problems regarding fungus and molds.
Concentrations are what matters
When there's fifteen pesticides to choose from, five of them have the ingredient you're looking for, but they are all listed at a different price, which do you choose?
The more expensive option isn't always automatically the best. For example, Lost Coast Plant Therapy and Green Cleaner use soy oil as their active ingredient. Plant Therapy contains 38% active soy oil, and Green Cleaner contains 39%. However Green Cleaner is nearly twice the price.
What you must decide when choosing the right pesticide, is if the other ingredients matter. The active soy oil in these products is the main ingredient that deals with pests.
The 1% difference does not mean Green Cleaner will kill significantly more bugs. But both products may include secondary active ingredients that also play a role, like additional oils or citric acid, and even more inactive ingredients that may or may not be relevant to your decision.
For example, Flying Skull Nuke 'Em is a 2-in-1 insecticide and fungicide that has inactive ingredients like soap to deal with issues like PM, in addition to the active citric acid ingredient that deals with pests. In this case, the inactive ingredients do matter in your decision.
If the main ingredient is what is important to you, knowing which one is most effective and which concentration works best will be the deciding factor, and you will be just fine.
But if you want to dive into the details and see what secondary and tertiary ingredients could also be playing a role, it will just take a little more time to choose. In the end, your decision can be as simple or complicated as you desire.
Having the information to help decide is what makes the difference!