10 Best Insecticides for Lawns | Must-Read Before You Choose

Insects can cause large-scale residential lawn damage if left untreated. Certain species can even specifically damage or kill turfgrass, causing it to turn yellowish or brownish and, worse, die. In this case, choosing the most appropriate insecticide is the best thing to do.

To know more about the best insecticides for lawn products, their specifications, product dimensions, how and when to use them, and other relevant information, read this article further!

Are Insecticides Bad for the Lawn?

Are Insecticides Bad for the Lawn

Insecticides are not bad for the lawn if applied according to their respective product labels. Usually, they are used if a pest has been properly identified and is damaging or at a susceptible life stage. Moreover, insecticides should not be applied if a lawn or yard is stressed since it will suffer phytotoxic damage.

What Is a Good Yard Insecticide?

A good yard insecticide is preferably formulated with organic ingredients so that it is not toxic to the environment, humans, and pets. However, chemical-based insecticides cannot be avoided since they are highly effective when applied correctly. 

What Does Lawn Insecticide Kill?

Depending on the product, lawn insecticides can kill various pests including, but not limited to, ants, mealybugs, aphids, crickets, flies, fleas, grasshoppers, leafhoppers, ticks, chinch bugs, cutworms, and millipedes. Some products can even kill scorpions and spiders.

When to Apply Insecticide to Lawn?

When to Apply Insecticide to Lawn

Insecticides are often applied at the first sign of the insects, their activity, or damage. The best time to apply is usually during the summer, but it depends on the insect type to treat.

How Often to Apply Insecticide to Lawn?

It depends on the product. Some insecticides may need to be applied twice for severe infestations or to increase their effectiveness. However, there is a limit to how many times a year you can apply insecticides. You must always refer to the product label for proper instructions.

Things to Consider When Buying Insecticide for Lawn

  • Ingredients. It is up to you whether you want to buy products made from organic ingredients such as essential oils or chemicals. Just ensure that it has a lower LD50 number, indicating it is less toxic.
  • Species of Insect. Some insecticides are particularly effective against specific types of insects. Know what kind you want to treat and look for products to combat this insect.
  • Effectiveness. Read all about the product and determine how long they protect your lawn. Most products can control insects for up to 3 months.
  • Endurance. After applying insecticides, observe the pests in your lawn. They may have built resistance against the insecticides you use.
  • Cost. Determine by measuring the price per volume. Some products, even in small containers and doses, contain more concentrated material that may be more effective than larger-sized products. However, they may be more expensive. 

What Is the Best Insecticide for Lawn?

EcoSmart 33611 Natural Insect Killer Granules

EcoSMART 33134 Insect Killer Granules Bag, 1 Pack(10 Lbs), brown
  • Sold on Amazon
  • ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY: This product will not contaminate...
  • CHILD AND PET FRIENDLY: This product is safe to use around kids...

Active Ingredients: 2% clove oil, 0.6% thyme oil

Features: This insect killer can kill ants, mealybugs, aphids, flies, brown dog ticks, fleas, and crickets in lawns, ornamental landscapes, and around home foundations. It is formulated with environmentally friendly ingredients but should be kept out of reach of children and pets. Additionally, it smells fragrant too!

How to Use:

  • Using a spreader, apply 1 to 2 pounds of product per 500 square feet of area you wish to treat. Wear protective gloves before applying, then rinse your hands thoroughly after. 
  • Reapply every 2 to 4 weeks or as needed, depending on the severity of the infestations. 
  • If the granules are wet after heavy rainfall, reapply the product.

Product Dimensions: 4” (length) x 11” (width) x 18.3” (height), with a weight of 10.1 pounds.

Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer Granules

Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer Granules 3, 2.5 lb.
  • One application controls insects for up to 3 months (Refer to...
  • Treats an average 2,000 sq. ft. home more than twice
  • Apply around home's foundation
  • People and pets may re-enter area after product is watered in and...
  • Kills all listed home-invading insects (Refer to booklet for...

Active Ingredients: 0.115% Bifenthrin

Features: One application of this pesticide can control insects including, but not limited to, aphids, ants, beetles, and their larvae, caterpillars, earwigs, flies, grasshoppers, and mealybugs, for three months! This product can also kill scorpions and spiders. Pets and children can re-enter treated areas after the product has settled in after watering.

How to Use:

  • Apply at the first telltale signs of insect activity or damage. This product is usually used to prevent infestations instead of treating current infestations.
  • Evenly apply 0.5 to 1 pound per 500 square feet of lawn or a wide band of 2 feet for home foundations. Water the treated area thoroughly immediately after application. Avoid using it directly on the water.
  • Reapply after 3 months if necessary. 

Product Dimensions: 4.13” (length) x 10.75 (width) x 7.5” (height), with a weight of 2.9 pounds.

Spectracide Triazicide Insect Killer

Spectracide Triazicide Insect Killer for Lawns Granules, 10 Lb
  • Triazicide Insect Killer for Lawns Granules
  • Spectracide 10 Lb

Active Ingredients: 0.08% Gamma-Cyhalothrin

Features: Able to kill more than 260 species of insects through direct contact, this insect killer can provide up to 3 months of control of pesky above and below-ground insects. It is ideal for landscapes and lawns but can also be used on vegetable gardens, trees, shrubs, and ornamental plantings.

How to Use:

  • Shake the product’s container well before using it, then connect it to a garden hose with a spray nozzle. Turn the water on at the faucet, extend the hose to the farthest area to be treated, then begin spraying. Work back towards the faucet.
  • Spray the lawn until it becomes wet with the product. Slightly overlap the treated areas. 
  • After thoroughly applying the lawn, turn off the dial of the nozzle and the water at the faucet.
  • 1 quart of the product can treat 2,560 square feet of lawn area for underground and thatch-infesting insects. For surface insects, 1 quart of this product can treat 5,120 square feet of lawn area.

Product Dimensions: 18.6” (length) x 12.17” (width) x 3.82” (height), with a weight of 10 pounds.

BioAdvanced Complete Insect Killer

BioAdvanced Complete Insect Killer for Soil and Turf, Concentrate, 40 oz
  • INSECT KILLER: Army worm killer and kills other listed surface...
  • 3 MONTH PROTECTION: Kills listed soil insects for up to 3 months
  • USE ON: Soil and turf lawns and around the home
  • PLUS MOSQUITO KILLER: Kills mosquitoes in addition to 30 other...
  • COVERAGE AREA: Treats up to 6,667 square feet

Active Ingredients: 0.72% Imidacloprid, 0.36% Beta-cyfluthrin

Features: This pesticide is formulated to work against above and below-surface insects to protect your lawn, buildings, landscapes, and homes from pests with just one easy and convenient application. It can provide up to 3 months of protection when applied correctly. Visible results can be observed within 24 hours!

How to Use:

  • Dilute 6 tablespoons of product per gallon of water and use a pump-style tank or dial-style hose-end sprayer. Apply when insects appear or the first signs of activity or damage appear. For grubs, this should be applied from May to July. 
  • Avoid spraying directly into the water. Do not apply when there has been rainfall in your area. It must be limited to spot or crack treatment if used for outdoor applications. 

Product Dimensions: 5” (length) x 2.65” (width) x 10.25” (height), with a weight of 2 pounds.

Telstar 35832596186 Xtra Granular Insecticide

Talstar 35832596186 Xtra Granular Insecticide-25 lbs

Active Ingredients: 0.05% Zeta-Cypermethrin, 0.2% Bifenthrin

Features: This insecticide is the best choice against most ants, as well as other lawn pests, including fleas, mole crickets, chinch bugs, ticks, and crane, flies. It can also be applied within and along perimeters, mounds, ornamental gardens, vegetation areas, and fence lines. 

How to Use:

  • Using a broadcast spreader, uniformly apply 1.15 to 4.6 pounds of product per 1,000 square feet of lawn, depending on the type of insect infestation. Refer to the product label for more information regarding application rates. 
  • For ants, apply half a cup of this product per mound, then water using 1 to 2 gallons to thoroughly drench it. 
  • Water the treated area afterward but not to the point of run-off. As such, do not make applications while it is raining. 

Product Dimensions: 12” (length) x 12” (width) x 8” (height), with a weight of 25 pounds.

Syngenta 73654 Demand CS Insecticide

Syngenta 73654 Demand CS Insecticide, 8oz, Beige
  • Demand cs controls more than 30 Common insects including spiders,...
  • Demand cs is a water-based insecticide concentrate that offers...
  • Each 8 oz bottle makes 8 - 40 gallons (mixed at 0. 2 to 0. 8 oz/6...
  • The LOT Number printed on the bottle is not an expiration date

Active Ingredients: 9.7% Lambda-cyhalothrin

Features: Able to control more than 30 common pesky insects, this water-based insecticide concentrate can protect indoor and outdoor locations. It has a controlled release of the active ingredient for up to 90 days, making it a reliable form of pest control. 

How to Use:

  • When using hand application equipment, dilute 6 milliliters, 12 milliliters, or 24 milliliters of product per gallon of water, depending on the type of pest you want to treat and the concentration of the active ingredient you wish to use. Refer to the product label for specific instructions regarding this.
  • For broadcast treatments, dilute 1.5 to 5 fluid ounces of product or 3 to 5 fluid ounces per 100 gallons of water, depending on the type of pest. Again, refer to the product label.
  • Apply at the first signs of insect activity or damage since this product shows the best results when used before establishing high populations. 

Product Dimensions: 3.5” (length) x 1.8” (width) x 5.8” (height), with a weight of 10 ounces.

Earth 8004 Ready to Spray Yard and Garden Insect Killer

Dr. Earth 8004 Ready to Spray Yard and Garden Insect Killer, 32 Fl Oz (Pack of 1)
  • Ready to spray yard and garden insect killer
  • Use to kill and control insects on vegetables, fruit trees, turf,...
  • Apply early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid leaf...
  • May be used on edible crops up to the day of harvest

Active Ingredients: 0.05% rosemary oil, 0.05% sesame oil, 0.04% peppermint oil, 0.03% thyme oil, 0.03% cinnamon oil, 0.03% garlic oil

Features: This insect killer comes in a potent blend of essential oils, making it environmentally friendly and non-toxic. It provides fast results and controls pesky lawn and garden insects fast. It is used as a ready-to-use spray bottle for your convenience. You can use this on edible crops, even on the day of their harvest!

How to Use:

  • Shake well before using the product. Attach the product to a hose-end sprayer, then turn on the faucet. Aim the nozzle towards the target area to be sprayed. 
  • Spray on the branches and the undersides of the leaves until they are thoroughly wet. Ensure you apply somewhere in the late morning to the early afternoon before 4:00 PM.
  • You can repeat the application every few days if necessary, depending on the severity of the infestation. 

Product Dimensions: 2” (length) x 11” (width) x 4” (height), with a weight of 2.1 pounds.

Monterey LG6332 Bacillus Thuringiensis (B.t.) 

Monterey B.t. - Biological Insecticide for Organic Gardening - 1 Pint Concentrate - Apply Using a Sprayer Following Mix Instructions
  • INSECT KILLER - Designed for use on caterpillars and worm type...
  • FOLIAGE PROTECTOR - Designed for use on a variety of plants,...
  • FOR ORGANIC GARDENING - OMRI Listed for Organic Gardening....
  • EASY TO APPLY - Product instantly mixes with water and should be...
  • QUICK ACTION - Insects eat treated foliage, then immediately stop...

Active Ingredients: 9.83% Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies kurstaki strain SA-12 solids, spores, and Lepidopteran active toxins

Features: This pesticide is formulated to use against worm-type insects such as caterpillars, gypsy moths, bagworms, cabbage loopers, fall cankerworms, and many more. It is an organic product safe for beneficial earthworms and bees when used as directed. All you need is to spray directly onto foliage and viola!

How to Use:

  • Thoroughly shake the container before using it. Spray directly on the upper surface of the leaves, the top and bottom for best results. While spraying, make sure you shake it now and then.
  • Apply at the first signs of an infestation, then repeat at weekly intervals if necessary. For fruits, vegetables, shade trees, and ornamentals, the product should thoroughly cover all foliage.
  • Do not let the product enter or run off into water sources.

Product Dimensions: 2” (length) x 4” (width) x 7” (height), with a weight of 1.17 pounds.

Garden Safe Houseplant and Garden Insect Killer

EcoSMART 33134 Insect Killer Granules Bag, 1 Pack(10 Lbs), brown
  • Sold on Amazon
  • ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY: This product will not contaminate...
  • CHILD AND PET FRIENDLY: This product is safe to use around kids...

Active Ingredients: 0.01% Pyrethrins, 1% Canola oil

Features: Another organic choice in this list, this ready-to-use insect killer comes in a spray bottle for ease and convenience. It can kill over 100 types of insects on direct contact and can even be used up until the day of the harvest of edible crops. 

How to Use:

  • Before spraying, ensure pets and children are kept away from the area to be treated until the product has dried. Do not apply during rain. 
  • Simply spray all parts of the plant thoroughly but not to the point that the product is dripping or running off. Repeat treatment after 1 to 2 weeks if necessary.
  • Avoid applying more than 20 fluid ounces per 100 square feet of area, and do not apply more than 10 times a season.

Product Dimensions: 2.7” (length) x 4.6” (width) x 10.8” (height), with a weight of 1 pound.

Safer Insecticidal Soap for Plants

Safer 5118-6 Insect Killing Soap Concentrate - Insecticidal Soap for Plants - Kills Aphids, Whiteflies, Thrips, Spider Mites, and More - OMRI Listed for Organic Use
  • Protect Plants from Insects - Kills a variety of soft-bodied...
  • Gentle on Most Plants - Ideal for use on flowers, herbs...
  • Kills On Contact - Potassium salts of fatty acids weaken insects'...
  • Use Throughout the Season - Spray plants at the first sign of...
  • Peace of Mind – This spray is OMRI Listed and compliant for use...

Active Ingredients: 49.52% potassium salts of fatty acids

Features: Able to kill damaging insects on contact, this insecticidal soap comes in a concentrated bottle and is formulated with potassium salts of fatty acids that can weaken and break down insect bodies, causing dehydration and death. When mixed appropriately in water, it is a gentle solution and will not harm the environment.

How to Use:

  • For flower and bedding plants, vegetables, ornamental trees, and shrubs, dilute 5 tablespoons of concentrate per gallon of water, then wet all infested surfaces of your plants. 
  • This should be applied when insects appear. A repeat application may be needed to control the hatching of young insects. You can also repeat weekly or biweekly if necessary, but only up to 3 times.

Product Dimensions: 2.2” (length), 7.32” (width), 6.18” (height), with a weight of 0.01 ounces.

Why Use an Insect Killer For Your Lawn?

Insect killers are a last resort if cultural and mechanical control is no longer feasible. This may be due to various reasons, including the severity of an infestation or because it is convenient for the lawn owner.

How to Apply Insecticide to a Lawn?

How to Apply Insecticide to a Lawn

It depends on the product. Some are available as ready-to-use sprays that are directly applied to target areas; some are concentrates that need to be diluted in water first and connected to a hose before application, while some are granules that need to be applied using a broadcast spreader.

List of Sources

Lawn Insects: How To Control Them – https://extension.tennessee.edu/publications/documents/pb1158.pdf

Selecting Pesticides – http://npic.orst.edu/pest/select.html

Lawn Insects – https://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7476.html#TABLE2

Selecting and Using Pesticides – https://pested.unl.edu/selecting