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WHAT IS IN THE PESTICIDE BOTTLE?

GARDEN TIPS – DECEMBER 5, 2014 –
written by Marianne C. Ophardt
WSU Extension Faculty
for the Tri-City Herald, Kennewick, WA

Have you checked the labels of your favorite home and garden pesticide products lately? Do you know what is in the bottle? Over the years I have noticed that marketers of major brand home garden pesticides sometimes change the active ingredients in a particular product but keep the product name the same.

Why do they do this? In some cases an ingredient was pulled off the market and another chemical was substituted for it. In other cases, a more effective ingredient is exchanged for the original or combined with the original for a better working product. In yet other cases, an additional ingredient is included to provide added value, creating a product that does more. Whatever the reason for the change, manufacturers often keep the product name the same because of their customers= familiarity with it.

For example, most gardeners are familiar with glyphosate marketed by Monsanto and sold under the trade name of Roundup Weed & Grass Killer. Once Monsanto=s patent for glyphosate expired, other home garden pesticide marketers were able to offer similar glyphosate products. To Astay in the game@ Monsanto needed to create an Aadded value@ product or one that performed better.

Roundup Weed & Grass Killer Concentrate Plus contains glyphosate and diquat as the Aplus.@ Diquat is not new. It is a contact herbicide that acts very quickly, killing weeds down to the roots within one to three days. Its quick action is very satisfying for the user, but it does not kill weed roots. Glyphosate is still a needed for killing the roots. However, an application of glyphosate alone can be less gratifying because it takes longer (three days to a week or more ) before weeds start to die.

Another Monsanto glyphosate product for home gardeners is Roundup Max Control 365. It contains glyphosate and diquat along with an additional ingredient, imazapic. Imazapic works as a pre-emergent (preventer) and post-emergent herbicide in controlling some broadleaf weeds and grasses. Imazapic provides long-term control of germinating weeds because it stays effective for several months or more.

With the added imazapic, Roundup Max Control 365 promises a full year of control. It is only for use on driveways, patios, sidewalks and gravel areas. It is not for use in landscape beds, lawns, flower or vegetable gardens, or anywhere in the root zone of desirable trees and shrubs.

Home gardeners may also find Roundup Ready-to-Use on store shelves. It is a basic home garden glyphosate product that contains pelargonic acid that acts similarly to diquat. In addition, there are Roundup Brushkiller products that contain the herbicide triclopyr along with glyphosate.

It can certainly get confusing. That is why it is important to read the label of any a pesticide (insecticide, herbicide, or fungicide) product, even if you have used it before. The ingredients and the directions may have changed. To protect your family, yourself, and plants, be sure to read and follow the label directions.

Published: 12/5/2014 11:55 AM

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