Granular Insecticide vs. Liquid Insecticide

An orange insect.

When it comes to choosing a granular insecticide or a liquid insecticide, its targeted use may be the determining factor. Pesticides come in a variety of different formulas for different uses. There is no one pesticide that can control or kill every pest, therefore many target specific insects. Knowing when to apply insecticide is as important as knowing how much to apply.

Granular Application

Most granular insecticides are used outdoors. The most common and recognizable granular insecticide is used on lawns to control ants. The granules contain some type of insect poison that causes death when consumed by a pest.

Homeowners generally use granular insecticide to treat individual beds that sprout up throughout the yard. Unfortunately, this does not take the entire yard into consideration when doing spot application. Many homeowners mistakenly believe that although they treat all visible mounds, when one sprouts up in a different location it is because ants from a treated mound fled. This is not necessarily true. Other ant beds may be forming from members at a mother colony that sends them out into the wild. When spot treating visibly existing mounds, others could be forming.

The best method is to treat the entire lawn with a single application using a seed spreader. Use enough to cover every area. This way the entire surface area is treated, producing better results than spot treating. Treat your lawn in the early morning hours before ants get too active with heat from the sun. After an entire lawn application, it should be watered to allow the poison to seep into the soil where ants will come in contact with it.

There are a number of advantages using granular insecticides. There is no mixing. Granular insecticide is already packaged for instant use without any preparation. The granules are large enough so there is minimal chance they will be ingested while spreading these about your lawn. When watered, the poison seeps into the soil where it becomes extremely effective.

Liquid Application

Liquid insecticides typically come in concentrated forms that you need to add water to. Some are packaged ready-to-use, whereas most major outdoor/garden formulas are applied using a sprayer. Since most are concentrates, you need only mix the required volume. This aspect makes it extremely economical since you need not dispense the entire container contents at once. Liberally spray plants in the early morning or later evening hours to avoid rapid evaporation, making sure to spray the underside of leaves.

Liquid insecticide is a good choice for all types of plants, since the soaking application can cover all plant body parts where insects may be crawling and feeding. The great disadvantage is that a spraying technique can cause a “drift” in the application that dispenses product in areas that need not receive any application, Also, users are exposed to the product when mixing and applying, therefore use of a protective mask is highly recommended.

It is better to purchase a liquid concentrate than a pre-mixed solution. The effectiveness begins to break down when water is added to the insecticide, and many pre-packaged ready-to-use products can be 50 percent less effective.