Botanical cost concerns are a reality. With time, continued research and innovation, we can reduce costs to equal or less than synthetics, especially as environmental concerns rise.

Residual effects

The relatively rapid breakdown of botanicals can be considered a positive or a negative, depending on the circumstances.

  • Frequency: Considering that botanicals have a quicker average degradation time compared to synthetics, this may result in the need for more frequent treatments. This, unfortunately, is one of the downsides of using an insecticide that degrades quickly. If using botanicals for recurring pests, frequent reapplication may be necessary.
  • Lack of residual control: This can mean that botanicals are not controlling the pests that may still be there or are trying to reinfest a treated area. To combat this issue, timing and thorough applications are key. Any missed spots mean that pests in that location aren’t being affected and can rapidly multiply after an application.
  • Pollinator protection by reducing risk: Botanical ingredients often have less residual than synthetic ingredients, which can benefit pollinators and non-target organisms. Quick chemical decomposition of the insecticide means that it isn’t hanging around affecting other species that happen to wander over the treated surface.
  • Post-harvest or crop use: Some botanical insecticides like pyrethrins are used specifically for their quick breakdown time. Applications to harvested fruits and vegetables or stored food products that will be taken to market can be sprayed with pyrethrins. By the time the food arrives at the supermarket, the pests have been eliminated and the majority of pyrethrins have degraded. That is exactly the outcome we want in this situation.


Substance safety should be determined by its own properties. Most people think of natural ingredients as safe, but that isn’t always the case. Synthetic ingredients can be extremely toxic or relatively harmless and the same is true of natural and botanical ingredients. Imitation vanilla flavor, for example, is made from synthetic vanillin, while the natural poison ivy plant contains urushiol that causes blisters.

Learn More

Related Posts

Closeup of two bees, which are very important pollinators.

Protecting Pollinators: Following the Bee Advisory Box on Labels

Have you ever noticed on some insecticide labels there is a box with a picture of a honeybee that talks about protection of pollinators? Several years ago, bees started mysteriously disappearing...

Read More

Tick Awareness Week is May 5-11

Ticks: The Nation’s Deadliest Arthropod

When asked to imagine deadly animals, it is easy to conjure images of large predators and sharp teeth. But the deadliest animals are actually much smaller. Vector pests, such as mosquitoes and...

Read More

Innovation in Waste Management: FedEx Print On Demand

A Leap Towards Sustainability In our continuous journey of environmental leadership, we're proud to spotlight a step forward in waste management—our collaboration with FedEx Print On Demand. This...

Read More