What Insecticides to Use to Get Rid of Flies and Insects?
Getting rid of crawling and flying insects is not always possible without the help of insecticides. There are many insect control products available on the market, toxic and non-toxic, which can be divided into different categories depending on their mode of action against the insects (click on links below)
A) 100% Natural & Non-toxic Insecticides or Monitors
- 1) INSECT POWDERS (natural / non-toxic)
- 2) LIQUID INSECTICIDES (pesticide-free)
- 3) STICKY PAD INSECT MONITORS / DETECTORS (non-toxic)
- 4) FLY TRAPS (non-toxic)
B) Chemical Insecticides (Biocides)
- 5) INSECT POWDERS(Chemical)
- 6) LIQUID INSECTICIDES (Residual)
- 7) GEL BAIT ATTRACTANTS
- 8) FUMIGANT INSECTICIDES
1) 100% Natural Insect Powders (non-toxic)
Natural insect dusts such as “Diatomaceous Earth” (DE – a natural clay) affect the insects not chemically but physically, so there is no issues with “resistance” to the product. This chemical-free natural clay is made of silica fragments from diatoms, which look like microscopic shards of glass. As all insects have a wax protection on their body to prevent internal moisture from evaporating, contact with the silica causes scratches to the legs and abdomen, damaging the wax and eventually causing death by dissecation. DE is very safe for humans and is often added to animal feed to kill worms in their body (e.g. roundworms, whipworms, pinworms, and hookworms).
2) Liquid Insecticides - 100% natural / Pesticide-Free
*** Update 2019: Pyrethrum 5EC is no longer available for amateur use in Ireland. There is no other concentrate available at present. ***
In recent years, people are becoming more aware of chemicals and prefer to use natural organic insecticides where possible. It is also a necessity for organic farming. Several products containing pyrethrins, a natural insecticide derived from the pyrethrum plant (Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium) are now available in Ireland for professional and amateur use.
It is cost effective and highly effective against a wide range of insects, but only for several hours so application should be targeted and repeated more frequently than with chemical residual insecticides.
3) Sticky Pads Insect Monitors / Detectors (non-toxic)
Insect Monitors are made of a cardboard coated with a sticky substance, on which some biological mating scents called “pheromones” may be added to attract insects to the glue trap.
Monitors are an excellent way to find out if you have an insect infestation, or if insect activity persists after a treatment. They can also be used to help reduce or eliminate a small infestation.
4) Fly Traps (non-toxic catching devices)
*** UNDER CONSTRUCTION ***
5) Chemical Insect Powders (or Insect Dusts)
Insect powders can be sprinkled in areas were insects can be seen. Insect dusts are the most “residual” of insecticides, i.e. they remain efficient for a long period of time, providing they are not removed (hoovering or washing) and remain dry. “Chemical powders” contain ingredients which affect the nervous system of the insect after it comes into contact with the dust.
The downside of insect killing powders is that they make white stains, look very obvious on carpets, wooden floors and tiles. Most importantly, particles can easily be inhaled by sniffing cats and dogs, or become airborne with drafts. For these reasons insecticide dusts should preferably be used outdoor or in wall / floor voids.
6) Liquid Insecticides (Residual)
Most liquid insecticides are classed as “residual insecticides“: after drying they leave a film which will kill insects and remain effective for some length of time, depending on the formulation, the condition of the surface (greasy, wet, etc.), and the type of surface (e.g. concrete, wood, soil, etc.).
Pyrethroid pesticides (permethrin, cypermethrin, allethrin, etc.) are highly toxic to insects but only of slight toxicity to mammals, and are hence a preferred choice for use around the house.
7) Gel Bait Attractant (ants)
Insecticide gel baits work by combining a slow-acting poison with an attractive food source. Insects such as cockroaches or ants eat the bait and also take some back to the nest to feed the youngs. As the insecticide element is slow-acting, it leaves time for the colony to share and consume the bait, achieving complete eradication.
Most modern cockroach gels are very efficient. Unfortunately ant gels do not always work, as some colonies may or may not like the food ingredient. On another hand, if an ant colony is completely eradicated using gel bait, it is likely that no ants will be seen for several years, which is never happening with traditional residual insecticides.
8) Fumigant Insecticides
For indoor use: Smoke generators work by releasing fumes which kills insects it comes into contact within an enclosed area. Smoke generators or “fumers” are used as a quick solution to kill flying insects, especially if the ceiling is high up or the infested areas are hard to reach (e.g. small attics). They leave only minimal residue so it is important to remember that new flies can reinfest after the fumes have gone. Also note that the smoke only kills the adult form and not the larvae or eggs.