Enter here to win one of three bottles of EcoSMART products!
EcoSMART makes a line of non-toxic insecticides made from botanicals – natural essential oils like peppermint, rosemary, and wintergreen.
“University research has shown that these oils attack the Octopamine neuro-receptors. Octopamine is a key insect neurotransmitter that regulates insect movement, behavior and metabolism. The blockage of the receptor activity prevents the transmission of the Octopamine signals, which leads to immobilization and/or knockdown, followed by death.” –EcoSMART Fact Sheet
EcoSMART products include an Insect Repellent, Ant and Roach Killer, Flying Insect Killer, and Wasp and Hornet Killer, all of which are safe around kids and pets.
“Eco–friendly and composed of natural ingredients, these compounds are biodegradable and help maintain a sustainable and healthy environment. Additionally, EcoSMART has no adverse impact on birds or fish and will not contaminate water sources.”
Enter 3 times for 3 chances to win a free bottle:
- Subscribe to the RSS feed (the orange button to the right) and leave a comment here letting me know that you did so.
- Leave a comment here telling me how you feel about the word “killer”
- Leave a comment here telling me how you deal with insects, either with poison or naturally.
Enter before October 18!
On Sunday October 19th, I will randomly (scientifically, even) pick three readers to win the product of their choice from EcoSMART. Be sure to enter your email when leaving a comment, so we can contact you.
I already subscribed to the RSS feed months ago! 🙂
“Killer” is not one of my favorite terms, but I think its use is appropriate here. Product names/labels should clearly state what the product does. This one kills certain insects, so call it what it is.
In my home, we use a mixture of boric acid, sugar, and water (which we learned from Mike McGrath’s “You Bet Your Garden”–organic gardening program on NPR) to control ant incursions into our kitchen.
boric acid is used in our house. thanks for the post. my family is always looking for the “natural/green” way to do everyday things!
Clayton B. Cornell says
Be sure to check up on products that are listed as “non-toxic”, because this is a marketing ploy. There is no such thing as a “non-toxic insecticide” – that’s an oxymoron.
Any ingredient, including (even especially) botanicals (like limonene) can be dangerous (eg corrosive to the eyes) in high enough concentrations.
In doubt about something? Call the EPA’s Pesticide Library: 1-800-858-PEST (7378) or visit their website here: http://npic.orst.edu/
While it’s great to hear that folks can win an insecticide in this contest to save a little money, I think a couple of things should be pointed out about “natural” products like this one.
First, natural does not mean non-toxic. There are a number of natural compounds that are highly toxic (arsenic, lead, atropine, nicotine, etc.), and anything can be toxic in high enough amounts. Methyl salicylate (oil of wintergreen) has been listed as a severe skin and eye irritant (EPA Toxicity Category II – Category I is highest, IV is lowest) when tested on guinea pigs.
Second, the claim that this is an absolutely safe and non-toxic product don’t jive with the fact that it kills insects by contact. Clearly, there is some toxicity there if the product kills insects when they touch it. Manufacturers often make claims that products are 100% safe to attract customers.
On the other hand, the active ingredients in this product have been put on a list of chemicals that are exempt from registration by the U.S. EPA due to their low toxicity (not lack of…).
As for “organic” insecticides – that really only means that the plant source of the essential oils was not treated with synthetic pesticides (conventional insecticides). So, this insecticide was not treated with conventional insecticides. That does not change the toxicity of the ingredients, but if you ate the product, you wouldn’t have to worry about ingesting conventional pesticides…
I have been subscribed to your feed for maybe 17 years so that should totally count already. Also, it was only a month.
The word “killer” is awesome. Especially when applied to bugs. Not as in, “Killer bugs.” That’s just creepy. Why are we bringing this up?
“Deal with insects.” Hmmm. Well, I have a jar of apple cider vinegar on my sink to attract and kill the billions of gnats Hurricane Ike dropped off in my kitchen. The billions of gnats are currently circling it and 3 so far have drowned. There was a long line of ants to my front door and I sprayed the trail with vinegar and then they were all confused and wandered around aimlessly for 40 years before…wait…shoot…wrong story…they did get lost and never came back, though. And I live on the third story with a non walking daughter who also can’t carry bags of groceries which is awesome but, hey, we don’t get a lot of bugs. Because if we did, I would probably move to the roof. (I hate bugs!)
I always like to find natural ways of dealing with insects. For ants we use cornmeal, for mosquitos we use a natural herbal repellant from Wishgarden Herbs. I don’t have issues with bees, we just try and leave them alone 🙂
I’ll be subscribing to your feed- I look forward to keeping up with your website!
I subscribe to your RSS feed already.
I don’t like the work “killer” when it applies to humans , but when it comes to bugs and other household pests…I am all about killing them. I don’t want to trap them, release them, and then have them back in my house the next day. In fact, I am not above using chemicals to kill bugs in my house. But with a toddler, I don’t feel safe putting anything hazardous on the floor.
We use vinegar and cayenne to deter ants and vinegar and dish soap to kill fruit flies. Although neither is as effective as I would like. I grew up in a home where bugs were killed immediately and directly by spraying them with poison. I hate having to wait for bugs to slowly go away or die. I would love to try some natural insecticides.
Derek Markham says
Thanks, Clayton and Bryan, for pointing out the inconsistencies and vagueness in label claims. Natural and non-toxic aren’t very precise terms, and the “organic” claim on the product – I agree, that’s pushing it…
In my house, we live and let live. The only time I’ve had to resort to “killers” is with a paper wasp nest right near our door, and I had to choose my family’s safety over the wasps’ lives. I have never had to deal with roaches.
A more accurate description of these might be “less toxic than some.”
If I had to make a choice between something with high toxicity and something with low toxicity, I would definitely try to choose the safest option, but a killer is a killer is a killer, no matter the ingredients.
Readers, what do you think about non-toxic and all-natural claims for products like this?
My sons and I pull out the broom and sweep off the daily build-up of spiders on their wooden play structure – yuck! Or we use a wet wipe to “wipe them out” as my two-year-old says =) I would love to know of non-toxic and / or natural / not going to slime my kids ways to “get rid” of spiders…
I don’t consider myself a “killer,” but I would have to clarify what I’m killing and then, I guess, say that I’m a killer…
I’ve been an email subscriber for a few months now and love it! Thank you for all that you do!
I am subscribed.
In our house a common phrase is, “only killers ring the doorbell.” Our cat is terrified of the doorbell but not when a friend/person she doesn’t know just opens the door and walks in.
I do believe in killing bugs. I don’t mind bugs outside and only ever kill wasps or anything dangerous if they are close to the house. Any bug that comes into my house is fair game for breaking and entering. Inside we squash them. It is more humane (sudden) and less toxic. For wasps which are usually out of reach and too dangerous to wait for them to fly low (allergic husband) I get them with hairspray to make them fall then squash.
I love the idea but think the word “killer” is a bit much; I only want the insects relocated. I only use sprays when I absolutely have no other choice. I prefer to use traps whenever possible.
I live in an apartment so I do not get many insect problems. I do get the occasional swarm of fruit fies hovering around my fruit basket or the composter on the porch. To ge rid of them I usually just cover up the basket with a towel for a few days, or try to eat it up before it gets to that fly attractive point. I have also kept them to a minimum in my composter this year by lining the airholes with extra screen mesh (the composter is made out of a med sized plastic garbage can). No poison or sprays needed and the problems are solved.
Gerry Weitz says
Though it is great to be using organic products, they can still be very messy if used improperly. Pest control professionals are trained to work around pesticides. These organic products are pesticides too. We at Hearts Pest Management (www.heartspm.com), use the EcoSmart product line. We are aware of their benefits and some of their drawbacks. Some of their products are corrosive and can leave bad stains. Check us out for a professional and green pest control company.
Jennifer Taggart says
Did you ever get an answer from EcoSmart on the petroleum product in the ant spray? The “other ingredients” include “mineral oil” and I’ve asked two different publicity reps who have contacted me about it how much, and they just say it is okay under the USDA’s National Organic Program. Yes, I understand that you can process with mineral oil, but I want to know how much of that 92% contains mineral oil. Did you ever find out?
Also, I thought it was a violation of FIFRA to use safety claims such as “nontoxic to humans and pets” as the EcoSmart does??
Derek Markham says
I’m still waiting to hear back from them…
I will do the drawing this evening and post the winners tomorrow.
Thanks for all of your comments!
Derek Markham says
From the EcoSMART website:
“EcoSMART represents that this product is a Minimum-Risk pest control product, and qualifies for exemption from EPA registration under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).”
I still haven’t heard back from them about the percentage of mineral oil…
Derek Markham says
Because EcoSMART has not responded to my question about ingredients, I don’t feel good about giving away their products. If (or when) I do hear back from them, I will leave an update about the winners in a comment here.
Thanks for your patience!
Derek Markham says
Here’s the word from EcoSMART:
“In our ant & roach aerosol, we do not use any mineral oil as the carrier, only water (as listed on the label).
Also, EcoSMART is allowed to use the words “Safe” and “Non-Toxic” on our retail product labels because they are classified as minimum-risk by the US EPA since ALL ingredients are “food grade” material (and regarded as “Generally Recognized As Safe” by the USDA). So since they fall under the minimum-risk classification by the EPA, we are allowed to use safety claims on our product labels.”
Derek Markham says
And the winners are…
We will contact you by email to get your product of choice to you.
Thanks to all who left comments!