Main Types of Insecticides and Pesticides on the Market

Today, we discuss the types of insecticides on the market. This will help you choose right, so here’s a rundown of them!

Neither are ideal for human health, but they’re necessary if you want those insects out of your house forever. Still, you can try and get the least harmful type available on the market, and this way get the best of both worlds.

Types of Pesticides on the Market

Classifying pesticides into types isn’t as easy as the heading implies. There are a lot of types classified according to many different factors, so we’ve divided them according to ability to kill insects, and chemical properties.

Pests They Kill

If you buy pesticides, you’ll know some of these terms. Here are the four most common ones.



Rodenticides are the least used type of pesticide, because not many people would go for them if they want to get rid of rats. There are other non-chemical solutions, and they are better for human health. Still, they can be lifesavers if you have rats or mice.

Their efficiency is thanks to the chemical compounds that stop the rodent’s blood from clotting. Thereby, ending their life shortly after consuming the toxic liquid.



As we all know, the presence of disruptive, and harmful plants affects the growth of healthy ones. They need to be gone if you want your plants to grow without compromising the process. That’s where herbicides come in.

They’re meant to get rid of weeds, and similar harmful plants. The best thing about them is that they’re focused on their target. In other words, they won’t harm your plant in any way. They target the weeds, and leave the rest unchanged.




Fungicides are similar, because they’re used to get rid of pests that affect crops. However, they target pests and insects, rather than weeds and harmful plants. There’s a wide array of pests that can affect a plant’s growth, so pay attention.

Some bacteria pokes holes through the plant’s leaves, thus affecting their growth. Some bacteria leave a white foamy material on top of the plant. These are all signs that you should start using a fungicide.

Fungicides don’t harm the plants. They stop the growth of harmful bacteria, thus eliminating progression of spores.



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Believe it or not, insecticides are actually a type of pesticide. They’re meant to kill all types of insects. This includes bugs, flies, and gnats. They’re typically sold in spray bottles, and contain compounds that kill insects.

The toxic compounds are also the reason for the bad smell, but that’s not the worst aspect.


Types of Chemical Pesticides


Here’s a list of chemical pesticides. Some of them are out of use, but most of them are still present in all markets.




Pyrethroid is the synthetic version of the natural pesticide called pyrethrin. Pyrethrin is found in flowers, particularly chrysanthemums. Pyrethroids were developed to make the best of the chemical properties, but the inorganic version.




Organochlorine is now banned from use in most countries. The chemical pesticide is associated with health issues, and affects the environment. For starters, it’s a persistent type of pesticide, which means it’s not biodegradable.

It’s also full of toxic elements, such as chlordane and toxaphene.




Sulfonylurea is a herbicide that’s been used for weed control. There are a lot of variations of it available in the market, and here are the best-known ones:

  • Nicosulfuron
  • Sulfosulfuron
  • Rimsulfuron
  • Flazasulfuron
  • Pimisulfurom
  • Terbachil
  • Pyrithiobac sodium




Biopesticides are chemical pesticides from organic materials. It can be obtained from plants, animals, bacteria, or even minerals.


Types of Insecticides on the Market


Insecticides are hard to classify due to variations and uses, although they’re a pesticide type. Here are lists of types of insecticides according to their formulas and properties.


Main Types of Insecticides


There are three main types of insecticides on the market, according to the way they act. Here’s a rundown of them, so keep reading.


Systemic Insecticides

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  • Insecticide absorbed through the roots and into the plant for protection that won't wash off

Systemic insecticides act by being applied to the soil. Afterward, the plant roots absorb them, and they start their journey up to all the plant’s parts. They reach the leaves, fruits, branches, and even twigs of the plant. As a result, they protect the plant from being eaten by insects.

These can include larvicides and bactericides.


Ingested Insecticides


Ingested insecticides are mainly used to kill cockroaches, rodents, rats, and creatures that are hard to get rid of. As obvious from their name, they depend on the pests consuming them. One example is rodenticides. These are known for their efficiency in killing rats and mice.

They’re usually tricky to use, because you’ll want to make sure the rat or rodent consumes them. So, you’ll need to put it on food or something, instead of spraying it into the air.


Contact Insecticides

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Contact insecticides are the most used type around households. They come in spray bottles, and are highly efficient for mosquitos and gnats. They’re also available in repellents and liquid vaporizers, so you can choose which is best.

Sometimes, contact insecticides are used to disinfect surfaces.

Synthetic Types of Insecticides


Most, if not all, types of insecticides on the market are synthetic. That’s mainly because of their efficiency and fast act. They penetrate the insects in a second, therefore sending the toxins everywhere in their bodies. Here are the three main types.



Organophosphates are the most commonly used insecticides. They utilize two chemical compounds responsible for the toxic actions. These are malathion and parathion. There are also nazel, diazinon, and methyl parathion.

Organophosphates target the insects’ nervous system. Their main job is to disrupt the enzymes responsible for regulating neurotransmitters. Most of them are used as pesticides, because of their instant ability to kill bugs.

Furthermore, they’re most efficient when they’re used on plant-sucking insects. This might include mites and aphids. You use them by spraying on the plant or applying them to the soil, and leaving them to act.

They are much more toxic than chlorinated hydrocarbons, so be careful dealing with them, especially around kids and pets. On top of that, their effects are irreversible.

Chlorinated Hydrocarbons

Chlorinated hydrocarbons are among the first ones developed after discovering DDT’s ability to kill insects. It was probably around the ‘40s, only after a few months of the discovery.

These compounds are stable, and the best thing about them is their long-term action. Meaning, their effects stay for long, preventing re-infestation any time soon, so they’re ideal if you want protection in the long term.

The way they act isn’t fully understood. What we know is that they mess with the nervous system of insects and bugs. A lot of them were banned in some countries for their harmful effects on the environment, but not all of them.


Carbamates are made with a lot of chemical compounds. These include methomyl, carbamyl, and carbofuran.

Carbamates are a bit similar to organophosphates. They, too, target the nervous system, and disrupt the enzymes that regulate neurotransmitters. The main difference is that the effects of these are irreversible. Meanwhile, you can very well reverse the carbamate effects.


As I mentioned, insecticides are only one type of pesticide. Yet, people still mix them when deciding which to get for their insect problem. So, here’s a brief comparison between the two.


Let’s see how insecticides and pesticides are defined, both in the market and outside of it.


Insecticides are chemical substances people use to kill unwanted insects, including larvicides and ovicides, and a lot of other chemicals used for the same purpose.

Although some insecticides are harmful, they improved the agriculture of the 20th century. If not for them, many plants and crops would’ve been gone due to the tiny intruders.

Systemic insecticides are used for long-term protection. While contact insecticides are used for instant results, because they don’t have any residual activities.


Pesticides are the umbrella under which all insecticides and fungicides fall. They’re chemical substances meant to control and kill pests, no matter what they are. That includes insects, rodents, and even bacteria unseen by the naked eye.

Pesticides are made of biological agents, such as fungus and viruses. These are meant to kill or stop pests’ growth. Still, they come with some downsides. They’re harmful and toxic to human health, and some animals’ health as well.

Chemical Formulation

Their chemical formulation is close, but you can’t use them for the same purpose.


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  • The active ingredient, pyrethrin, naturally occurs in chrysanthemum flowers and is considered to be one of the best biodegradable insecticides;...

Insecticides can be both residual or non-residual, as they’re made from different types of agents, which are responsible for their effects on insects. Residual variations can contain plenty of active compound. Such as boric acid, bifenthrin, and allethrin.

Meanwhile, non-residuals have pyrethrin as the active ingredient.

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  • Pyrethrin Garden Insect Spray Concentrate from Bonide is a fast and effective way to kill aphids, beetles, webworms, leafhoppers and many other common...
  • Designed for use on asparagus, beans, broccoli, peppers, spinach, tomatoes, dogwoods, azaleas, begonias, roses, geraniums, plus ornamental trees and...
  • The active ingredient, pyrethrin, naturally occurs in chrysanthemum flowers and is considered to be one of the best biodegradable insecticides;...



Pesticides are made up of an active compound and a couple of inert ingredients. This can include oils, spices, etc. These are added to the pesticides formula to increase its potency and preserve the product for longer.

Types of Insecticides – Closing Thoughts

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Being aware of these types will help you pick the right product for your problem. Insect infestation can be annoying, but plant pests are the worst to deal with. Because you’ll want to save the plant without harming its growth.

Hopefully, knowing the difference will help you make the right choice, so good luck!

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