Tech Notes

Non-repellent vs. repellent spray strategies

By Nicky Gallagher, technical services manager, Syngenta Professional Pest Management

One of the first steps in a pest management program is to understand the target pest as well as any unique challenges about the account, whether structural or even weather related. The decision regarding product choice, including the active ingredient and formulation type, can make a difference in achieving the primary goal – exclusion, attraction or maximum exposure to the pest. One of the most common separators among product types is whether they are considered repellent or non-repellent, and choosing appropriately will determine the success of your spray strategy.

A distinguishing factor between repellent and non-repellent insecticides is the time it takes to knockdown insects, not necessarily that it deters insects from contacting it. Repellent insecticides, which are primarily pyrethroids, are very fast acting, usually within minutes. These insecticides, such as Demand® CS, are ideal for creating a protective barrier around a structure and preventing pests from moving inside. However, since repellent liquid sprays can act so quickly, the potential for exponential control of social insects, such as large colony ants, through secondary transfer is lessened.

If an area is infested with large colony ants, such as Argentine or Odorous house ants, the use of a non-repellent insecticide may be a better fit. Non-repellent insecticides are slower acting (they usually take hours to effect the target pest), which allows ants to walk across a treated surface and pick up a lethal dose that can be transferred to nest mates. Two non-repellent sprays from Syngenta, Advion® WDG insecticide and Optigard® Flex liquid insecticide, will not disrupt ants foraging along their pheromone trails. As ants continue to forage across treated trails they pick up significant amounts of active ingredient and transfer it back to the colony. This effect can be exponential if the foraging trail is a few feet in length, as the longer the trail, the longer the ant is exposed, which means more transfer of the active ingredient and greater colony control.

The non-repellent nature of Advion WDG and Optigard Flex means they will not disrupt ants from feeding on baits. The combination of Advion Ant gel bait and Advion WDG, which both contain indoxacarb, allows you to amplify your control efforts, leading to a higher exposure rate of the same active ingredient within an ant colony and maximize control.

When using a liquid spray, keep in mind that areas covered with heavy vegetation, ground cover or mulch may be difficult to treat thoroughly. Trailing insects may be able to move freely beneath the treated surface if the liquid has not penetrated below the top layer. In such cases, using a higher volume can help penetrate these areas. Target non-repellent sprays around the structure, but also along ant trails, edges and nests to maximize exposure. In addition, the use of a highly attractive granular bait like Advion Insect Granule can be an excellent addition to reach the harborage sites of nuisance ants and other pests.

Through the combination of understanding pest biology and product capabilities, your pest management program will have a winning strategy to provide customers with a life uninterrupted by pests.

To learn more about other repellent and non-repellent products from Syngenta contact your local Syngenta territory manager or visit SyngentaPMP.com



©2019 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties and/or may have state-specific use requirements. Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration and proper use. Advion®, Demand®, For Life Uninterrupted™, Optigard® and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. Syngenta Customer Center: 1-866-SYNGENT(A) (796-4368).


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© Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties and/or may have state-specific use requirements. Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration and proper use. The trademarks displayed or otherwise used herein are trademarks or service marks of a Syngenta Group Company or third parties. Syngenta Customer Center: 1-866-SYNGENT(A) (796-4368).