Everything you need to know on insecticides

08/25/2015 - Terminix Québec

We often hear the words pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, etc. But which is which?

  • The word “pesticide” includes some products, such as:
  • Herbicides, that are used against weeds
  • Fungicides, that are used against certain types of plant diseases
  • Insecticides, that are used against insects
  • Rodenticides, that are used against rats, mice and other rodents
  • Pools and hot tubs disinfectant, that are used against microorganisms

An insecticide is therefore a pesticide. By definition, insecticides are “an active substance or preparation having the ability to kill insects, their larvae and/or their eggs.” A wide variety is available: for the garden, mosquitoes, ants, spiders, wasps, etc. The amount of toxicity varies a lot from a product to another. Some will be 100% natural, while others have a negative impact on the environment and health, especially those using DEET and neonicotinoids.



DEET is a chemical product that has a repulsive action against insects, especially by blocking their olfactory sense. Health Canada recommends a 30 % maximum concentration of DEET for adults, that will ensure a 6 hours protection, and of 10% amongst kids under 12 (with a maximum of 3 applications a day and only one for babies from 6 months to 2 years old). Infants under 6 months should never use products containing DEET.

It is also recommended to choose an insecticide that truly matches your needs, by choosing, for example, a smaller DEET concentration if you think you’ll be out for a shorter time period. And more importantly, always read the indications and follow them accordingly.

And the neonicotinoids?

Neonicotinoids are an insecticide class that acts on the insects’ nervous system, with a lower toxicity amongst mammals. They are highly toxic for insects. When used, they end up in every part of the plant treated. And unfortunately, they last very long in the environment.

That type of insecticides is currently ranked number one for sales in the world. Mostly used in agriculture, they are also in our daily lives. We use them to treat the grass and tulips and we even find them in our animals’ flea-repellent collars. Sadly, it’s partly because of neonicotinoids that the bee population is decreasing so quickly.

The impacts

With a goal to eliminate insects and with the way they are spread (in the air, in the water, by sprays), all insecticides used in a natural environment have an ecological impact, varying according to its effectiveness, toxicity and action time.

Another problem is that, sometimes, the insecticide will also kill the natural predators of the insect it’s targeting, which can have an impact in the ecosystems. Also, certain species get accustomed and become resistant to the products, which forces the use of even stronger and more toxic insecticides.

The Cameron Group Promise

At Cameron Group, we are very proud to use ecofriendly techniques that rid you of parasites and insects. Our methods reduce to the minimum the use of insecticides. If it’s inevitable to use them, we will ensure that they have a minimum impact on the environment and health, using only ecofriendly products, with a low environmental impact.

In conclusion, when you use an insecticide, simply make sure you read the label carefully, that you respect maximal doses and that you protect yourself and your environment.

Did you know all of this on insecticides?