As I mentioned in my previous post the folks at EcoSMART sent me four of their insect products to me for testing. Generally I am loathe to apply chemicals in any form on the garden but since EcoSMART products do not leave toxic residues and use natural chemicals and oils I figured it would be worth trying. Please keep in mind that whenever I review a product or book I am sharing my open and honest opinions and experiences. Now on to the review!
The first product I tried and the most effective was the Garden Insect Killer. The active ingredients include several different plant oils like rosemary, peppermint and thyme along with many others. Recently I noticed some fall webworms working their way through one of our birch trees and thought they would be a good test of the EcoSMART products. I adjusted the nozzle to the stream setting and doused the webworms with the Garden Insect Killer. A couple days later I came back with a bamboo garden stake and pulled the web out to examine.
Only one caterpillar was left alive which of course received the traditional insect squishing treatment. Since the removal of the web there hasn't been a return of the webworms on the birch tree which may be attributed to the natural oil scent the product leaves behind. I would rate that experiment as a success but I haven't tested it other insects yet.
The next product was the Organic Insect Repellent. It was the only product labeled with "organic" and it doesn't contain DEET. My brother and his family were in town a little over a week ago and I figured I could use them as guinea pigs. Everyone was treated with the repellent except for myself. Generally I'm very resistant to mosquitoes and other insect bites but I received three mosquito bites that day so they were out and biting. My brother who applied the insect repellent received four and my daughters each received a couple bites. My daughters were swimming that day which may have washed the repellent off. We'll try this repellent again but I suspect its effectiveness varies.
My experience with the Flying Insect Killer was mixed. I found a giant wasp was flying around our patio which I suspect was a cicada killer (which normally don't attack people but can cause a very nasty sting and since I have two small children I really don't want that thing flying near the sandbox). I brought out the flying insect killer spray can and aimed it at the wasp then sprayed and prepared to run. I was as close to it as I was comfortable (which was about 5 feet away) and made pretty good contact with the spray. The wasp turned and flew off in obvious distress. Unfortunately I can't verify the wasp's fate but it hasn't been back. It's failure to return could signal its death or just that it doesn't like our patio anymore, I'm OK with it either way! The spray smelled somewhat minty which was a surprise since most sprays smell awful.
The Home Pest Control product is the only one I haven't found a use for yet. According to the label it will kill and repel insects like ants, beetles, centipedes, cockroaches, crickets, earwigs, fleas, millipedes, pillbugs, spiders, ticks and several others. We've had a couple roach sightings lately and as the temperatures cool this fall quite a few bugs will be trying to enter the house so testing will continue.
EcoSMART also manufactures weed and grass herbicides which I'm curious about but haven't tested.