Pesticides: Ultra-Low Volume

Pesticides: Ultra-Low Volume

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Pesticides: Ultra-Low Volume

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.

Ultra-low-volume concentrates have almost 100% active ingredient. They are designed to be used “as is” or diluted with only small quantities of specified solvents. These special purpose formulations are most suitable for outdoor applications, such as in agricultural, forestry, ornamental, and mosquito control programs. ULV products are applied as very fine droplets at very low rates per unit area (or volume).



  • Relatively easy to handle, transport, and store.
  • Little or no agitation required.
  • Not abrasive to equipment.
  • Do not plug screens and nozzles.
  • Leave little visible residue on treated surfaces.


  • High drift hazard due to small droplet size.
  • Specialized equipment required.
  • Easily absorbed through skin of humans or animals; high dermal and inhalation exposure risk (concentrated product applied as fine droplets).
  • Products and/or solvents may cause rubber or plastic hoses, gaskets, and pump parts and other surfaces to deteriorate.
  • Calibration and application must be performed with special care because ULV products are applied in concentrated form.
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