6 Best Insecticides for Home and Garden

Simply put, insecticides are pesticides designed to control insects. Other pesticides include, for example, herbicides, which are formulated to kill weeds.

When buying an insecticide, you should read the label info to see if the product can do any potential harm to some beneficial insects.

ModelEditor RatingPrice 
1. Talstar Pro 96 ounce (3/4 gallon) jug
2. Suspend Sc Insecticide
3. Raid Ant & Roach Killer Insecticide Spray
4. Demon Max Insecticide
5. Bifen I/T Insecticide
6. PyGanic Gardening Insecticide

Best Insecticides Buying Guide

The most important decision you need to make when selecting an insecticide is what formulation to use. The term “formulation” refers to an actual way the pesticide’s active ingredient is mixed with inert ingredients in order to make it convenient and effective to use.

The factors which influence the choice of formulation include convenience in mixing and use, effectiveness against your target pest, costs, and safety.

To minimize the harmful effects of insecticides, you should buy a cost-effective, low-impact product which will adequately control the pests you need to deal with. However, use insecticides as the last resort.

Now, just because a certain product carries the potential for harm, it does not mean it cannot be used safely, as long as you choose wisely and are really careful when interpreting the product label and specifications. You also need to follow the instructions how to properly use the product.

Here are the most common precautionary rules to be followed when applying insecticides:

  1. Do not apply a broadcast application to interior surfaces of homes

  2. Do not apply to pets, food crops, or sources of electricity

  3. Firewood is not to be burned for one month after treatment

  4. Use only in well-ventilated areas

  5. Do not use on edible crops

  6. During any application to overhead areas within the structure, cover surfaces below with plastic sheeting or similar material, except for soil surfaces in crawlspaces.

  7. Do not allow spray to contact food, foodstuffs, food contacting surfaces, food utensils or water supplies

  8. Thoroughly wash dishes and food handling utensils with soap and water if they become contaminated by application of this product

  9. Do not treat areas where food is exposed

  10. During indoor surface, applications do not allow dripping or run-off to occur

  11. Do not allow people or pet on treated surfaces until spray has dried

  12. Let surfaces dry before allowing people and pets to contact surfaces

Conventional pesticides include a lot of effective products which can be used safely by most gardeners and homeowners. Here are some of the common types of conventional insecticides:

TypeCommon NameExamples (Trade names)Pests
Systemics (water-soluble insecticides that can be taken up by plants)acephateOrthene, otherschewing and sucking insects, mites, and lace bugs
imidaclopridBayer Advanced Garden productssucking insects, beetle larvae, white grubs
dinotefuranSpectracide Systemic Tree and Shrub Insect Control + Fertilizersucking insects including armored scale, beetle larvae, some borers
disystonBayer Advanced Garden Rose Insect Killer Granulessucking and chewing insects
PyrethroidspermethrinConquest, Spectracide, otherschewing and crawling insects, borers
resmethrin, allethrinWasp and Hornet spray, othersflying insects, spiders, household insects, mosquitoes
esfenvalerate, cyfluthrin, bifenthrin, deltamethrin, lambda-cyhalothrin, tralomethrin, cypermethrin, othersOrtho Home Defense, Bayer Advanced Garden, Zep, others…chewing and crawling insects
Other residual insecticides (leave a killing residue on surfaces)CarbarylGarden Tech Sevin, otherschewing and crawling insects, slugs, snails
MalathionMalathion, otherschewing, crawling insects, mosquitoes
FipronilOver N Out, MaxForce ant baits, othersfire ants, termites, ants

As you can see, there is a wide range of insecticides which can be used to exterminate the most common pests we have to get rid of.

Here’s a comprehensive list of General Use Insecticides for Home Gardening.

Best Insecticides For Your
Home And Garden

Editor Rating:


Talstar Pro 96 ounce (3/4 gallon) jug

Talstar Pro is a multi-insecticide with 7.9% bifenthrin as the active ingredient. This is one of the most trusted and widely-used insecticides by pest control professionals and home and garden owners today.

The name itself indicates that this product is a professional solution now available to you. You can use it to get rid of over 75 insect pests. Here are some of the most commonly targeted pests which Talstar Pro efficiently exterminates:

Ants, Carpenter Ants, Bed Bugs, Bees, Beetles, Biting Flies, Boxelder Bugs, Centipedes, Cicadas, Cockroaches, Crickets, Earwigs, Fleas, Flies, Gnats, Millipedes, Mosquitoes, Moths, Scorpions, Silverfish, Sowbugs (Pillbugs), Spider Mites, Spiders (including Black Widow, Brown Recluse and Hobo Spiders), Springtails, Stink Bugs, Ticks (including Brown Dog Ticks), Vinegar (Fruit) Fliesand Wasps.

This product can be used for indoor pest control, outdoor pest control, food handling areas, turf and ornamental treatments. Also, you can apply it in your yard as a yard spray to treat the targeted yard pests such as fleas and it’s also applicable for termite control.

Talstar Pro has a long residual. It will keep on killing pests for over three months after you've sprayed it. It’s odorless, dries clear, leaves no stains, and it’s non-irritating to the skin.

Another advantage is that it won't break down easily with rainfall. Talstar Pro is an effective solution for exterminating termites, ants, mosquitoes, roaches, beetles, spiders, and similar pests.

Talstar Pro is a huge money saver if you consider the costs of regular pest control services. You’ll save about $1.000 over the course of three years. Let’s do the math together.

The cost of Talstar Pro plus a decent respirator, a box of protective gloves, a sprayer, and protective goggles works out at about monthly costs for the professional service. For a moderate size home, there is enough in a 3/4 gallon of Talstar Pro to last over three years. So there you go!

It’s convenient to use and each application takes about an hour, maybe hour and a half, from preparations to cleaning. Overall, Talstar Pro is a professional grade chemical for a great price.

Things We Liked

  • Controls over 75 different pests
  • Can be used in all areas as long as you follow the instructions
  • Cost effective insecticide which will save you a lot of money in the long run
  • It doesn’t break down easily with rainfall
  • Keeps on killing pests for over three months
  • It’s odorless, dries clear, leaves no stains

Things We Didn't Like

  • Some roaches seem to be resistant to Talstar Pro



Editor Rating:


Suspend Sc Insecticide

Suspend Sc Insecticide is an advanced-generation product that exterminates more than 50 different pests. It works at low concentrations and provides fast knockdown with a long residual.

It has a flexible label which allows application on mattresses, box springs, carpet, and upholstery, as well as in food service areas. This goes if water alone causes no damages to these surfaces, obviously

Suspend SC is a long lasting residual that will last up to 3 months following the application. When sprayed, it is absorbed on the surface spreading the exposure continuously.

This product leaves a clear residue and it is odorless. Suspend SC can be used in the home or outdoors. It also works well when sprayed on turfs and lawns.

It is a suspended concentrate insecticide containing 0.42 lb active ingredient per gallon. When you use Suspend SC, we recommend that you use a spraying tool such as a one-gallon sprayer.

This insecticide offers the benefits of deltamethrin in a concentrated suspension of pure micro-crystals. The micro-crystals give Suspend SC a long residual and, instead of being absorbed into porous materials, the micro-crystals will stay on the surface. As a result, insects continue to get in direct contact with the crystals long after the insecticide has been applied.

Suspend SC leaves no visible residue, has no odor, and won't clog spray equipment. It is a versatile insecticide approved for a wide variety of uses. It's even approved for use in restaurants and other places where food is manufactured, processed or served.

Outside the home, it can be applied to turfgrass and landscape ornamentals. It's highly effective against many common pests from ants and cockroaches to spiders, scorpions, and bedbugs.

As all insecticides, Suspend SC is extremely toxic to freshwater fish and invertebrates. You should use it with care when applying in areas adjacent to any body of water.

Rinsing application equipment over the treated area will help avoid run off to water bodies or drainage systems. This pesticide is also highly toxic to bees if they are exposed to direct treatment. Also, do not apply or allow it to drift to crops or weeds on which bees are actively foraging.

Suspend SC product is intended to be mixed with water and applied with hand pressurized or power operated sprayers. You need to shake this product well before measuring concentrate for dilution in water.

Things We Liked

  • Applicable to more than 50 most common pests
  • One pint Suspend SC makes up to 64 gallons of solution
  • A reliable insecticide used by the professionals as well
  • Works well on porous surfaces
  • No odor or visible residue
  • Can also be applied to turfgrass and landscape ornamentals

Things We Didn't Like

  • Not equally effective for different types of roaches and millipedes



Editor Rating:


Raid Ant & Roach Killer Insecticide Spray

Raid Ant & Roach Killer Insecticide Spray has Imiprothrin 0.060% Cypermethrin 0.100% as active ingredients and it’s designed for indoor use only.

This product kills bugs fast and on contact and keeps on killing with residual action indoors for up to 4 weeks after you spray it to the infested areas. It comes in a two-pack which will save you some money and time for ordering another container.

To exterminate ants, apply Raid to ant trails, also around doors, windows and wherever ants come into your rooms. Black widow spiders and scorpions must be sprayed directly to be killed.

Raid leaves no harsh scent, but it does have a slight chemical smell during use. That scent, however, disappears rather quickly.

Spray areas infested with silverfish, carpet beetles, crickets, earwigs, household spiders, multicolored Asian lady beetles and stinkbugs to get rid of these pests.

You should hold the container upright while using it. You mustn’t spray this insecticide up into the air but only directly to insects on surfaces holding the container about 18" from the surface being sprayed.

You should keep on spraying until the surfaces are wet. However, you need to avoid excessive wetting of asphalt, tile, rubber and plastic materials. Based on the tested effectiveness, a more frequent application will be required to plywood surfaces.

In case the roaches and ants miraculously survive the attack, you will need to repeat the treatment. To maintain your indoor surfaces pest-free, you should repeat the application every 4 weeks if necessary.

Raid is not designed to be applied to humans, pets, plants, foodstuffs, dishes or utensils. For this reason, you should cover or remove exposed food, dishes, utensils and food handling equipment before spraying. If you need to apply Raid to ceilings, you should cover all surfaces below with plastic sheet or similar materials.

Remove birds and other pets before application, cover any aquariums and do not use Raid in greenhouses where plants are grown for food. During any indoor surface application, you shouldn’t allow any dripping or runoff to occur to avoid contamination.

For roaches, waterbugs and palmetto bugs you need to spray until you thoroughly wet cracks around baseboards and other hiding places. When bugs are driven out, spray directly onto them.

Things We Liked

  • Kills on contact
  • No need to mix, just spray those pests
  • Efficiently exterminates ants and roaches
  • Works well with other pests
  • Convenient to use and store away

Things We Didn't Like

  • Occasional problems with a defective nozzle



Editor Rating:


Demon Max Insecticide

Demon Max Insecticide is a reliable and industry proven general pest control product that provides knockdown as well as residual control and it’s especially effective on termites.

Demon Max provides control of subterranean termites (including eastern subterranean, western subterranean, desert termite, and Formosan subterranean termite), and when applied to wood, this product can be used for spot treatment of drywood termites.

It is also a powerful soil pretreatment solution against other pests and can be used indoors in cracks and crevices treatments and outdoors for termite and general pest control. It’s highly efficient for dual action perimeter application with Cypermethrin as the active ingredient.

Demon Max Insecticide can be used for both pre-construction and post-construction termite treatments in residential and commercial structures as a soil application, wood surface, injection treatment or foam application.

Effective preconstruction subterranean termite control requires that you establish an unbroken vertical and/or horizontal chemical barrier between wood in the structure and the termite colonies in the soil.

To control colonies of subterranean termites or for control of drywood termites in localized areas of infested wood in finished structures, you need to apply as a 0.1%-0.25% emulsion to voids and galleries in damaged wood and in spaces between wooden parts of a structure and between wood and foundations where wood is vulnerable.

It efficiently exterminates over thirty most common pests. Here’s the full chart of pests and use rates:

Trusted by Pest Management Professionals (PMPs) for years, Demon Max Insecticide offers reliable performance features which homeowners can benefit from as well. So why not take advantage of this powerful and trusted insecticide?

Things We Liked

  • Reliable and efficient all-around insecticide
  • Termites’ worst enemy
  • Applicable for indoor and outdoor use
  • Professional grade product
  • Efficiently exterminates over 30 pests
  • Makes up to 32 gallons of finished spray
  • Low water solubility: does not leach into water supplies

Things We Didn't Like

  • Not effective on all scorpions



Editor Rating:


Bifen I/T Insecticide

Bifen I/T Insecticide is a 7.9% bifenthrin insecticide that will help you get rid of over 75 different pests. It is a widely used professional insecticide, very safe to use and without an odor or a visible residue when applied.

This product is used to control termites, fleas, cockroaches, ants, chinch bugs, spiders and over 70 other types of pests.

Bifen I/T should be mixed at a rate of 1oz per gallon of water for most pests. It can be used indoors as a crack and crevice treatment and outdoors as a perimeter application or broadcast. The product label contains detailed instructions and the appropriate application techniques.

To use it indoors, simply apply as a coarse, low pressure, crack and crevice or spot spray to areas where pests hide. Inspect your baseboards, corners, storage areas, closets, around water pipes, doors and windows, attics and eaves, behind and under refrigerators, cabinets, sinks, furnaces, stoves, the underside of shelves, drawers and similar areas.

Please read the product label for specific outdoor use instructions. Bear in mind that Bifen I/T should be used as a broadcast spray around your home and it should be re-applied every 3 months for best results.

Do not forget to keep your kids and pets off the treated area until the product is dry. Once dry, Bifen I/T is safe.

1 ounce of Bifen IT can be used to treat an average of 1000 square feet and the time needed to exterminate pets depends upon targeted species. The mix ratio varies from 0.2 ounces to 2 ounces per gallon of water depending on application site and target pest.

Things We Liked

  • Professional and general insect and termite control product
  • Controls over 75 different pests
  • Non-irritating and non-staining
  • Contains no odorous or plant-damaging solvent
  • It provides fast knockdown and long-lasting control
  • Non-volatile and stable in sunlight

Things We Didn't Like

  • The mixing instructions could be simplified



Editor Rating:


PyGanic Gardening Insecticide

PyGanic Gardening Insecticide delivers consistent and reliable knockdown and efficiently exterminates most damaging garden pests.

It is made from botanically-derived active ingredients - pyrethrins, extracted from chrysanthemums - and is very effective at killing garden pests while being suitable for organic gardening.

PyGanic Gardening Insecticide efficiently helps you get rid of a wide range of insects, from aphids to whiteflies, and can be used on ornamentals, leafy vegetables, fruit, and nut trees.

It provides a quick knockdown of over 100 different pests. This product is OMRI listed for organic use. It comes in an 8 fl. oz. bottle and one pint of this product makes up to 16 gallons of organic pest-exterminating solution.

To protect the environment, you mustn’t allow pesticide to enter or run off into storm drains, drainage ditches, gutters, or surface waters. Applying the product in calm weather with no rain forecasted for the next 24 hours will help to contain the product inside the treatment area.

For the safe application of PyGanic Gardening Insecticide, you need to keep people and pets out of the area during spraying. You should also leave the sprayed area immediately and remain outside the treated space until the sprays have dried.

Things We Liked

  • Created from botanically-derived pyrethrins
  • Meets National Organic Program (NOP) requirements
  • Efficient on more than 100 types of crop-damaging insects
  • Suitable for most common plants: tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and celery
  • Available in convenient 8oz. Size

Things We Didn't Like

  • Efficiency may vary on some beetles