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The 6 Best Insecticides That Actually Work [2024]

Zach hand-picks and recommends every product we feature. When you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

best insecticides

Are you seeing creepy crawlies in your home? Whether you’re dealing with spiders, roaches, or ants, you want a solution that works quickly.

Fortunately, we’re here to help.

We’ve done the field testing and combined our 20+ years of pest industry experience into this comprehensive guide that outlines the most effective insecticides that will kill pests and keep them away.

Keep reading to find the one that’s right for you.

Best Overall
Most Eco-Friendly
Summary:
A broad-spectrum insecticide that’s suitable for indoor and outdoor use and kills more than 21 different pests.
Summary:
A versatile, fast-acting insecticide that provides a simple, long-lasting pest management solution.
Summary:
A botanical insecticide that kills dozens of pests and is safer for your family, home, and pets.
4.6
4.6
4.6
Best Overall
Summary:
A broad-spectrum insecticide that’s suitable for indoor and outdoor use and kills more than 21 different pests.
4.6
Runner Up
Summary:
A versatile, fast-acting insecticide that provides a simple, long-lasting pest management solution.
4.6
Most Eco-Friendly
Summary:
A botanical insecticide that kills dozens of pests and is safer for your family, home, and pets.
4.6

Our Top Picks

  1. Best Overall: Alpine WSG
  2. Runner Up: Onslaught Fastcap Insecticide
  3. Most Eco-Friendly: EcoVia EC
  4. Best Spray: Temprid Aerosol
  5. Best Bait: MaxForce Granular Insect Bait
  6. Best Budget: Nature-cide All Purpose
Best Overall
Alpine WSG

Summary: A broad-spectrum insecticide that’s suitable for indoor and outdoor use and kills more than 21 different pests. 

Type: Water-soluble granule (WSG) insecticide

Key ingredient(s): Dinotefuran 40%

Also good for: Ants, bed bugs, Asian lady beetles, kudzu bugs, beetles, brown marmorated stink bugs, centipedes, cockroaches, collembola, crickets, earwigs, fleas, house flies, millipedes, mosquitoes, paper wasps, pillbugs, sowbugs, spiders, stored product pests, and yellowjackets. 

Alpine WSG is a versatile, fast-acting, non-pyrethroid, non-repellent insecticide that uses Dinotefuran as its active ingredient. 

We selected this pesticide as our top choice because of its exceptional effectiveness and versatility. 

It’s easy to apply using a sprayer and is approved for indoor and outdoor use. 

Indoors, it’s an excellent broadcast and spot treatment. Outdoors, it’s ideal as a crack and crevice treatment for your building, sidewalks, driveways, and patios.

As a broad-spectrum insecticide, Alpine WSG is highly effective at killing various pests – even the most resilient species of beetles, spiders, and ants. 

Additionally, it provides residual protection for most insects for approximately 30-60 days, which makes it an ideal treatment for both fast knockdown and long-term control. 

Our Experience: When we applied this product at our clients’ homes, we found it odorless and noticed that it didn’t stain any of the surfaces we applied it to. 

Unlike other sprayable insecticides, this one completely dissolves in water, so it won’t clog sprayers or other application equipment. 

However, it should be noted that the company has recently made changes to the packaging of this product, and the new lid can be difficult to measure the product accurately with.

How to Use: Before using the spray, carefully read the directions on the product label for the correct dilution measurements based on the species of pest(s) you’re targeting. 

To prepare an application, add half of the water you will be using to the tank of your sprayer. Next, add the insecticide to the water and continue filling the spray tank with water. 

Gently agitate the tank until the product completely dissolves.

Once application begins, re-agitate the solution if you take a significant break during your spraying.  For optimal results, use the solution within 10-14 days after mixing.

Effectiveness:
5.0
Safety:
4.5
Ease of Use:
4.5
Pros:
  • Kills pests quickly
  • Economical – one gallon of finished dilution treats about 1,000 square feet.
  • Provides long-term residual protection (30-60 days)
  • Safe for use around kids and pets, as long as you follow label directions
  • Dissolves quickly and completely
  • Non-staining
  • Dries clear
  • Odorless
  • Classified as a “Reduced Risk” Pesticide
Cons:
  • This product is toxic for bees and other pollinators
  • This solution must be mixed before use
  • People and pets cannot enter the treated area until this product has dried completely
Runner Up
Onslaught Fastcap Insecticide

Summary: A versatile, fast-acting insecticide that provides a simple, long-lasting pest management solution. 

Type: Microencapsulated Insecticide 

Key ingredient(s): esfenvalerate, piperonyl butoxide (PBO)

Also good for: Kills spiders, cockroaches, mosquitos,  scorpions, bed bugs, beetles, mealybugs, ticks, silverfish, whiteflies, gnats, deer ticks, yellowjackets, aphids, and more than 150 additional pests. 

If you’re looking for a single insecticide that will quickly and effectively kill virtually any pest in your home, Onslaught® FastCap Insecticide is an excellent choice. 

This product’s rapid knockdown and exceptional killing power, combined with its long-lasting residual protection, make it ideal for combating all sorts of creepy crawlies, from spiders to other pests like scorpions, mosquitoes, and fleas.

Additionally, this product’s microencapsulation technology allows it to adhere more effectively to pests compared to other treatments. This ensures more efficient elimination and better results for you.

Safe for both indoor and outdoor use, Onslaught® FastCap transforms your home into a pest-free zone. 

Our Experience: When we tested this product in the field, we found it to be effective and fast-acting. We liked that it dried quickly and was easy to apply and that it could work as a spot or crack and crevice application.

How to Use:

Combine 0.5 fluid ounces of Onslaught FastCap with a gallon of water. 

Pour half of the required water into the spray tank, followed by the insecticide. Stir the mixture well, then add the remaining water. 

Read label directions for species-specific application instructions. 

Effectiveness:
5.0
Safety:
4.5
Ease of Use:
4.5
Pros:
  • Easy to apply
  • Approved for indoor and outdoor use
  • It adheres to pests’ bodies and provides fast knockdown
  • Kills more than 200 insects
  • Dries clear
  • Provides 90 days of indoor control and 30 days of outdoor control
Cons:
  • Can take up to 24 hours to kill some insects
  • May stain some surfaces
  • This product is toxic to fish and marine animals
Most Eco-Friendly
EcoVia EC

Summary: A botanical insecticide that kills dozens of pests and is safer for your family, home, and pets. 

Type: Broad-spectrum liquid botanical oil insecticide. 

Key ingredient(s): Thyme Oil – 20.0% 2-Phenethyl Propionate – 14.0% Rosemary Oil – 8.0%

Also good for: Spiders, ants, biting flies, beetles, cockroaches, fruit flies, stink bugs, mosquitoes, yellow jackets, drain flies, cluster flies, millipedes, firebrats, stable flies, termites, and more. 

EcoVia EC is an insecticide that harnesses the power of botanical oils to eliminate a variety of problematic pests.

Because this formula is derived from essential oils, it’s safe to apply in settings like homes and businesses, and outdoor spaces near or over water.

Compared to other botanical insecticides, this one is easy to mix and resists separating. It also offers a lower odor than similar essential oil insecticides. 

Our Experience: During our own trials, we discovered that this product is effortless to dilute and mix, thanks to the container’s built-in measuring cup. We also found it highly efficient in eradicating targeted pests. 

We liked that it was versatile enough to apply to trees, shrubs, and vegetation and that it could serve as a perimeter or spot treatment or be applied with a fogger.

How to use: 

Shake the product well before use. Add half of the required amount of water or oil to your spraying equipment, then add 1-4 ounces of this product, and continue filling the container with the rest of the needed water or oil (depending upon the application site and target insect). Use a handheld pressurized air sprayer, backpack sprayer, power sprayer, or fogging equipment. See the product label for more specific instructions. 

Effectiveness:
4.5
Safety:
5.0
Ease of Use:
4.5
Pros:
  • Kills pests on contact
  • Safe for use around kids and pets when applied properly
  • Kills more than 52 different insects
  • Offers a shelf life of 2 years
  • Safe for application in indoor, outdoor, and marine-area use
  • Will not clog application equipment
Cons:
  • Different pests require different dilution concentrates – there’s no one-size-fits-all
  • More expensive than other formulas
  • Will not work as a sole treatment against termites
Best Spray
Temprid Aerosol

Summary: A ready-to-use aerosol insecticide that kills a wide variety of pests, including species that other formulas do not control.

Type: Aerosol Insecticide 

Key ingredient(s): Imidacloprid 0.05% beta-Cyfluthrin 0.02%

Also good for: Crickets, earwigs, fleas, and more than 40 other species. 

Temprid Aerosol is a highly effective, extremely potent contact insecticide that provides fast knockdown for a large assortment of pests. 

We have selected this product as our “top spray” thanks to its convenience, ease of use, and its ability to eliminate even pyrethroid-resistant insects. 

This ready-to-use aerosol version of Temprid FX, which we frequently use in the field, is our preferred option for household use since its bag-on-valve technology ensures easy, fast, and mess-free application without the need for mixing or measuring.

Not only does this product kill many pests on contact, but it also provides up to 6 months of residual protection for some species. With its crack and crevice injector and a spray range of 10-12 feet, it is perfect for spot treatment in hard-to-reach areas.

Our Experience: When we tested this product, we discovered that it eliminated numerous pests upon contact. We also liked the user-friendly spray formulation, which made it easy to apply this product thoroughly – even in hard-to-reach areas. 

How to Use: Shake the aerosol can well before use, and read label directions for species-specific application directions. If you’re using this spray to treat cracks and crevices, secure the crack and crevice nozzle to the bottle and spray directly into pest harborage areas, or treat nests or nest entrance holes directly. 

To get rid of light and moderate infestations, guide this product’s injector tip along the affected area, maintaining a speed of 1 foot per second. In case of heavy infestations, adjust the speed to 6 inches per second for optimal results.

For spot treatments, position the nozzle 12-18 inches away from the targeted surface and spray at a rate of 2 square feet per four seconds. 

Continue to reapply the product every 7-10 days until signs of pest activity have ceased.

Effectiveness:
5.0
Safety:
3.5
Ease of Use:
5.0
Pros:
  • Kills pests on contact.
  • The unique can allows you to apply this spray from a variety of angles without losing pressure or experiencing product leaks.
  • Economical – can empties completely for no product waste.
  • Dries clear.
  • Mess- and odor-free.
  • Provides up to six months of residual efficacy for some pests.
  • Free of (VOCs).
  • Safe to apply on plastics, fabrics, and other surfaces.
Cons:
  • The spray nozzle is flimsy and can malfunction during application.
  • This insecticide is highly toxic to fish, wildlife, and aquatic invertebrates.
  • The can may clog during use.
Best Bait
MaxForce Granular Insect Bait

Summary: A fast-acting, versatile granule bait that kills a wide variety of crawling pests. 

Type: Granular bait. 

Key ingredient(s): Hydramethylnon 1%

Also good for: Roaches, crickets, silverfish, firebrats, earwigs, and a variety of ant species.

We like granular baits because they’re easy to use and apply, and MaxForce Complete Granular Bait is no exception.

Featuring the powerful ingredient Hydramethylnon, this versatile insecticide utilizes a special blend of sugars, proteins, fats, and complex carbohydrates that allow it to attract (and kill) crawling pests effectively.

Unlike other baits, that rely on only a handful of food-based ingredients, this bait provides an ingredient list that effectively caters to and accommodates the seasonal food preferences of crawling insects, which means insects will continue to eat this bait all year long.

Our Experience: When we tested this bait in our customer’s homes, we found it to be remarkably user-friendly and hassle-free. Because this is a granular formula, it can be applied directly from the container without any need for mixing or measuring. Additionally, it kills insects fast, and we observed a significant decrease in pest activity within a matter of days.

How to Use: 

Sprinkle this bait in a 1-2 foot-wide band around structures at a rate of 0.5 ounces per 25 linear feet.

Alternately, place 1-3 ounces of bait into tamper-resistant bait stations, refilling as needed, and placing the bait stations every 20-30 feet around the perimeter of a structure. To use this bait as a broadcast treatment, use 1 ounce per 1,800 square feet. 

For indoor use, use a bulb applicator to apply the bait to cracks, crevices, and other hard-to-reach areas. 

Effectiveness:
5.0
Safety:
4.0
Ease of Use:
4.5
Pros:
  • Easy to apply.
  • Ready to use.
  • Versatile – suitable as a broadcast or crack and crevice treatment or in bait stations.
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use.
  • Odor-free.
  • Safe for use around kids and pets, as long as you follow the label directions.
Cons:
  • Will be less effective if used in areas where aerosol or spray insecticides have recently been applied.
  • Requires frequent reapplication – every few weeks in most cases.
  • May require you to purchase and use additional application equipment, such as a bulb applicator.
Best Budget
Nature-Cide All Purpose

Summary: Economical and botanical insecticide that’s safe to use around kids and pets.

Type: Broad-spectrum spray insecticide 

Key ingredient(s): Clove Oil – .05% Cottonseed Oil – .05% 

Also good for: Spiders, ants, aphids, beetles, box elder bugs, caterpillars, cockroaches, earwigs, fleas, flies, hornets, mites, mosquitoes, clothes moths, silverfish, ticks, stink bugs, yellow jackets, silver leaf white flies and others.

If you want a safe, eco-friendly insecticide that offers no known health risks to people, pets, or the environment, Nature-Cide All Purpose insecticide is the perfect choice.

Suitable for indoor and outdoor use, this product is safe to apply in gardens, on patio furniture, into or near pet sleeping areas, on your vegetables or produce, and directly into pest harborage areas, depending on what kind of insects you’re dealing with.

Since this product is pre-mixed, it’s ready to use right out of the container, which makes it a great choice for contact treatments. 

Our Experience: After using this product in the field, we found that it doesn’t leave any sticky or oily residue after application, which is rare for botanical insecticides. That said, it also wears away quickly and requires frequent reapplication – especially if you’re using it outdoors. 

How to use: Shake the bottle well before application, Apply the spray liberally to pest harborage areas and habitats, including corners of rooms, the space around door and window frames, on garden and landscaping plants, and into pest harborage areas. Whenever possible, spray the product directly onto pests. Reapply as needed.

Effectiveness:
3.5
Safety:
5.0
Ease of Use:
5.0
Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Safe and non-toxic
  • No dangerous pesticide residue
  • Non-staining
Cons:
  • Must be reapplied more frequently than conventional pesticides
  • Plastic spray nozzle may crack and malfunction
  • Most effective when sprayed directly onto insects
  • Strong smell

Buyers Guide

When selecting a broad-spectrum insecticide, consider the following factors:

1. Effectiveness Against a Variety of Pests

Different insecticides have varying levels of effectiveness against specific pests.

Broad-spectrum insecticides are designed to control a wider variety of pests, but you should still check the product label to ensure it targets the insects causing problems in your home.

2. Safety for Pets and Children

We all want to protect our homes from pests, but not at the risk of harming our loved ones.

If you have pets or children, choose an insecticide that’s safe for them. Look for products labeled as pet-friendly or child-safe, and always follow the safety instructions on the label.

3. Environmental Impact

Some products can be harmful to non-target organisms and may pollute water sources. Where possible, opt for eco-friendly or organic options that minimize harm to the environment.

4. Ease of Application

Some insecticides come ready to use, while others require dilution or special equipment for application.

Consider your comfort level with applying insecticides and choose a product that suits your abilities and the tools you have available.

5. Cost-effectiveness

While cost shouldn’t be the only factor, it’s still an important consideration.

Broad-spectrum insecticides can range in price, so determine a budget that balances both effectiveness and affordability.

6. Be prepared for more intensive treatment

If you have a severe pest infestation, you may need professional help to control populations.

While your DIY efforts can be a great starting point, they’re not always adequate to get rid of large pest populations.

How We Tested the Insecticides

Our list of the top insecticides encompasses a wide range of options, from contact sprays to granular baits. 

To create this compilation, we handpicked the top products used by pest control professionals in the field and in our homes. 

Next, we evaluated each treatment and product based on its effectiveness in eliminating pests, safety, performance, and affordability. 

The result is a comprehensive selection of targeted insecticide treatments that are effective and fast-acting for treating and preventing pest infestations.

Bottom Line

When it comes to managing pests in your vicinity, it can be tough to choose the right insecticide.

While it’s important to consider factors like affordability, ease of application, and environmental impact, we strongly recommend Alpine WSG as the top choice for all your broad-spectrum pest control needs.

As a “reduced risk” insecticide, this one is safer to apply than other, more toxic options without being any less powerful.

Why Trust Pest Dude?

When you consider a product recommendation, trust is essential. You want balanced information based on real-world experience. Here at the Pest Dude, we’re committed to giving you both. Our teams research and test every product. We compare results with other licensed pest control professionals, and we double-check our findings.

Zachary Smith, our company founder, has over 20 years of field experience. He runs his own company, Smith’s Pest Management, serving home and business owners throughout the Bay Area. Zachary has the final say over featured products. The goal is to give you the knowledge you need to solve pest problems like a pro. It’s our pleasure to put our expertise at your service.

zachary smith crop

Author Bio: Zachary Smith

Zachary Smith is the founder of PestDude.com. Zachary is a licensed pest control professional with 20+ years of hands on experience eradicating pests from homes and businesses. Zachary earned his Bachelor of Science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2002. He specializes in rodent and insect infestation management of structures and landscapes. His passion is to share his extensive knowledge with the world.

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