Contact Insecticide

Definition - What does Contact Insecticide mean?

A contact insecticide is one that is harmful, damaging or lethal to the target insect when the chemical is absorbed through direct contact. They can be organic, inorganic, or natural insecticides which leave behind a toxic residue; these chemicals include most foggers and aerosols. Insecticides can be differentiated by chemistry, mode of penetration and toxicological action.

WineFrog explains Contact Insecticide

Contact insecticides are sprayed onto the plants that are being affected, spraying the target insects as well. The purpose of contact insecticides is to kill insects and protect the crop which usually produces higher yields than those crops that are not treated. The most widely used contact insecticides are organic, because they are the least dangerous to human contact and other warm blooded animals.

Organic insecticides penetrate the skin of the insect and include:

  • Organic phosphates
  • Carbamates
  • Parathion
  • Malathion
  • Diazinon
  • Methyl parathion

These are most effective against aphids and mites. Inorganic insecticides are those that are produced synthetically that include metals like arsenates, copper, sulfur and fluorine which are absorbed by the insect through all modes of contact. Naturally occurring insecticides include pyrethrum, nicotine, rotenone, and petroleum oils which can have their toxic agents synthesized. The modes of penetration can be contact through the skin, ingested into the stomach or inhaled through the mouth. The type of contact insecticide chosen is dependent on the type of insect, crop species, degree of infestation and length of treatment needed.

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