Gardening Help FAQs

Here are answers to some of the most common questions we receive about garden plants. You will find concise information on general gardening techniques as well as plant selection and care. For detailed information on specific plant pests and problems refer to our Common Garden Pests and Problems page.

Do you have additional gardening questions? Please contact us. Here's how.

Horticulture Questions and Answers

Which pesticides control insects and mites?


Chemical/Product

Insects

Mites

Additional Comments

Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki

Yes

No

Controls the larva stage of certain moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera). Will not control any other insects or the larva stage of sawflies.

Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis

Yes

No

Controls the larva stage of mosquitoes and fungus gnats (Hymenoptera sub order Symphyta). Will not control any other insect.

Spinosad

Yes

Yes

Spider mites on label for ornamentals but not for vegetables. Kills by contact and ingestion. Best use is for insect control. Controls both sawfly larva and caterpillars. One of the few products to list borers on the label. Toxic to bees.

Neem

Yes

Yes

Stomach poison with some repellent qualities. Most effective on juvenile stages. Also controls some fungal diseases.

Pyrethrins

Yes

Yes

Contact spray with short residual. Controls broad spectrum of insects/mites.

Rotenone*

Yes

No

Stomach poison. Most retail products with Rotenone also contain a fungicide such as copper or sulfur to help control diseases as well.

Oil Sprays

Yes

Yes

Kills by smothering and suffocating the insect or insect egg stage. Ingredient in dormant sprays. Excellent for scale.

Soap Products

Yes

Yes

Contact action. Breaks down the protective layer of the insect. Short residual.

Acephate/Orthene

Yes

Yes

Products listed should be used outdoors on non-food crops only. Great aphid control. Systemic with long residual and an organic phosphate. Resmethrin and triflorine added to Orthenex for expanded insect and disease control.

Bifenthrin

Yes

Yes

Kills by contact and as a stomach poison. Indoor pest label as well.

Carbaryl(Sevin)

Yes

No

Contact and stomach poison. Do not use in the home. Very toxic to bees.

Cyfluthrin

Yes

No

Contact and stomach poison. Indoor pest label as well. Highly toxic to bees.

Imidacloprid

Yes

Yes

Contact and stomach poison. Systemic.  Also available as a turf grub control product. Extended season residual.

Malathion

Yes

Yes

Contact only. Organophosphate. Do not use indoors. Toxic to bees.

Permethrin

Yes

Yes

Contact and stomach poison. Synthetic pyrethroid. Toxic to bees.

Resmethrin
(Discontinued pesticide list)

Yes

Yes

This chemical was primarily sold as a RTU aerosol spray for whitefly /mealybug control and is no longer available in a retail product.

* Rotenone products have been discontinued by VPG and Bonide, may be hard to find - no longer approved for organic gardening.