Botanical insecticide formulas are rated ‘minimum risk’ by the EPA, meaning they pose little to no risk to human health or the environment. The ingredients found in botanical pesticides, both active and inert, are included on the EPA’s pre-approved list; this means they are not required to be registered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), classifying botanical products as 25(b) Exempt. Some botanicals are also approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Botanical Pesticides at Work
The various active ingredients in botanical insecticides effectively wage their fight against insects in various ways:
Peppermint Oil: It kills and repels mosquitoes, spiders, moths, caterpillars, fire ants, aphids, flies, stinging insects, fleas, and more. This oil’s effects are also larvicidal, preventing young insects from developing into adults.
Rosemary Oil: Repels flies, fleas, mites, and mosquitoes.
Geraniol: Naturally derived from geranium, rose, and lemon plants, geraniol repels mosquitoes, flies, cockroaches, fire ants, fleas, and ticks.