DTY Green Pest Management


Expert opinion


Features and Benefits of 25(b) Products for Techs in the Field

By Dr. Stuart Mitchell

In a growing global movement of environmental stewardship, environmentally friendly pest management strategies are becoming the expectation of your clients. Fortunately for PCOs, the number and quality of 25(b) professional products continues to grow as the industry adopts essential oils as a valuable component of an IPM based program.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 25(b) products are minimum risk pesticides or a special class of pesticides that are not subject to federal registration requirements. This is due to the fact that active and inert ingredients are demonstrably reduced risk for their intended uses.

Minimum risk pesticides are exempt under section 25(b) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). EPA does not review or register pesticides that satisfy the 25(b) criteria. Some states may require registration.

25(b)s are generally essential oils or other plant extracts, food grade ingredients, or other materials that are known to have insecticidal or repellent properties. See the table below for specific 25(b) active ingredients.

Castor oil (U.S.P. or equivalent)* Linseed oil
Cedar oil Malic acid
Cinnamon and cinnamon oil* Mint and mint oil
Citric acid* Peppermint and peppermint oil*
Citronella and Citronella oil 2-Phenethyl propionate (2-phenylethyl propionate)
Cloves and clove oil* Potassium sorbate*
Corn gluten meal* Putrescent whole egg solids
Cottonseed oil* Sesame (includes ground sesame plant) and sesame oil*
Dried Blood Sodium chloride (common salt) *
Eugenol Sodium lauryl sulfate
Garlic and garlic oil* Soybean oil
Geraniol* Thyme and thyme oil*
Geranium oil White pepper
Lauryl sulfatel Zinc metal strips (consisting solely of zinc metal and impurities)
Lemongrass oil Source: USEPA

Many essential oil insecticides work through disruption of an insect neurotransmitter (octopamine) that is not present in people, pets, or other vertebrates. Octopamine (OA) modulates almost every physiological process within invertebrates studied to date. Among the target sites are peripheral organs, sense organs, and processes within the central nervous system. OA in the central nervous system minimizes sensory inputs.

This mode of action provides both an immediate kill of pests and residual protection after application. Today, 25(b) professional products are available in several formulations including concentrates, aerosols, dusts, and granules for both indoor and outdoor applications. Many products, such as Essentria IC3, can provide control of a broad range of pests including ants, cockroaches, bed bugs, spiders, flies, and mosquitoes.

For example a contact and residual aerosol formulation professional product might contain a synergistic mix of essential oils such as 5.0% cinnamon oil, 3.0% rosemary oil, and 92% inerts. The product label would list all required information for the pest management professional.

  • Directions for use
  • Precautionary statements
  • Physical hazards
  • Storage and disposal
  • Limits of liability
  • Active and inert ingredients
  • Special notes

Due to reduced risk to both non-target organisms and the environment, essential oil professional products offer PCOs an environmentally friendly pest control option. Seeing is 25believing!


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