Pesticides formulations: Solutions (S)

Pesticides formulations: Solutions (S)

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Pesticides formulations: Solutions (S)

A pesticide formulation is a combination of active and inert ingredients that forms an end-use pesticide product. Pesticides are formulated to make them safer or easier to use. This is because many pesticide active ingredients, in “pure” (technical grade) form, are not suitable for application. In their concentrated form, some are extremely toxic, many do not mix well with water, some are unstable, and some are difficult (or unsafe) to handle, transport, or store. To address these problems, manufacturers add inert ingredients to end-use pesticide products. Inert ingredients have no pesticidal activity, and some simply serve as diluents or carriers.

A solution is made by dissolving a substance in a liquid. A true solution is a mixture, but it cannot be separated by filtration or other mechanical means. Once made, a true solution will not “settle out” and does not need shaking or stirring (agitation) to keep the mixed components in solution. Solutions are transparent: they will allow light to pass through them. (However, this may not be obvious if one or more components of the mixture are dark in color and the solution is very concentrated.) Sweetened iced tea and saltwater are examples of solutions.

Solutions (S)

Some pesticide active ingredients dissolve readily in a liquid solvent, such as water or a petroleum-based diluent. When mixed, they form a solution that does not settle out or separate. Formulations of these pesticides usually contain the active ingredient, solvent (carrier or diluent), and one or more other ingredients. Solutions are suitable for any type of sprayer, indoors or outdoors. Consequently, they are registered for many sites, including structural, institutional, public health, and household pest control; livestock and poultry pest management; space sprays in barns and warehouses; and treatment of food and fiber crops, turf, and ornamental plants.

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Ready-to-Use (RTU) Low-Concentrate Solutions

Ready-to-use formulations require no further dilution before application. They consist of a small amount of active ingredient (often 1% or less per unit volume). Some ready-to-use products contain petroleum-based solvents; others are water-based. Many RTU products are produced for pest management professionals (who treat structural and institutional pests) and for nonoccupational users.

Advantages

  • Convenient; neither measuring nor mixing is required.
  • Some are packaged and sold in— or with—an application device. If this is the case, no loading is required.
  • Less personal exposure risk due to reduced toxicity and handling.

Disadvantages

  • Limited availability.
  • High cost per unit of active ingredient.

The time saved and convenience of using RTU products may outweigh the product cost.

Concentrate Solutions (C, LC, or WSC/WSL)

Other solutions are available as concentrates that require dilution with a liquid solvent before you apply them. Often the solvent is water, but it may also be a refined oil or petroleum-based solvent. When diluted with the label specified carrier, these formulations form true solutions.

Advantages

  • Relatively easy to handle, transport, and store; easy to pour and measure.
  • No agitation necessary.
  • Not abrasive; do not cause excessive equipment wear.
  • Do not plug screens or nozzles.
  • Do not usually leave visible residues on treated surfaces.

Disadvantages

  • Limited availability, especially water-based solutions.
  • Spills and splashes may be difficult to clean up and/or decontaminate.
  • Some are easily absorbed through skin of humans or animals.

The other benefits and drawbacks of concentrated solutions vary. They depend on the concentration of active ingredient, solvent or diluent used, application site, and application equipment.

Liquid Baits

Some insecticides and rodenticides are now formulated as liquid baits. Most liquid insecticides are concentrated sugar solutions. They are packaged in ready-to-use bait stations to kill ants and cockroaches. As a rule, liquid rodenticide baits are mixed with water and placed in specially designed bait stations. They are useful in sites where sanitation is poor because traditional food-based baits “compete” with other food sources. As is the case with solid baits, you must place bait stations in safe, strategic locations while following label directions and taking care to protect children and non-target organisms.

Advantages

  • Liquid ant baits are very useful in controlling sugar-feeding ants.
  • Ants that will feed on liquid baits carry this material to the colony.
  • Liquid rodenticide baits will often control rodents in areas where food is abundant, but water is scarce or lacking altogether.

Disadvantages

  • Not all ants, cockroaches, and rodents will feed on liquid baits.
  • You must refill or replace liquid-containing bait stations frequently.
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