What are the Most Common Ingredients in Pesticides?

You must have wondered what ingredients are present in pesticides. Some of the ingredients differ from brand to brand, but some ingredients are commonly used in pesticides. This article will talk about the active and inert ingredients used in pesticides.

Pesticides is a substance which helps in preventing, destroying, and repelling any pest. Generally, it is treated as insecticides. However, pesticides include herbicides, fungicides, and some other substances, which are also used for controlling pests. Plant regulators are also pesticides.

To know more about pesticides, continue reading this article.

What’s in a pesticide product

For most people, a pesticide is something that you buy when you have pests in your house. But there is a lot more to that. The pesticide formulation which you purchase from the shop contains different materials. The materials include active and inert ingredients. It also contains contaminants and impurities.

On top of that, when pesticides are exposed to certain environmental conditions, they break down to other materials called metabolites. Sometimes, these metabolites are more toxic than their parent material.

Contaminants and Impurities

Contaminants and impurities are mostly mentioned on the pesticides label, which is the only formulation written on the pesticides’ label. For a target pest, contaminants and impurities are chemically and biologically active. According to the definition, these chemicals kill living things.

The Contaminants and impurities frequently found in pesticide products are the ones responsible for the product’s hazards. Dioxin and DDT have been detected as contaminants that were not included on purpose but are a result of the manufacturing process.


When the pesticide gets broken down, they make metabolites. They are formed when the pesticide gets used in the environment and mixes with water, air, and soil. Most of the time, the metabolite is more dangerous than the parent pesticide.

Inert Ingredients

When you visit your local hardware store and come across the label of an ant or a roach killer, then you might have read things like “5% Permethrin, 95% inert ingredient“. You might be thinking, what are these inert ingredients?

The manufacturers don’t necessarily have to tell about these inert ingredients. Under the current law, the manufacturers have to mention the active ingredients only. In this way, the consumers are left with curiosity about what toxic chemical is present in the inert ingredients of the pesticide products they are going to purchase.

The thing is that the inert ingredients are the secret ingredients of the manufacturers. They don’t want to reveal it because if they do, some other competitors will start making the same product with the same element. Most of the time, the inert ingredients make up 95% of the pesticide products.


As we have seen, over 95% of the pesticide product is made up of inert ingredients. These inert ingredients are the ones that the consumers don’t know about. The rest of the 5% of the product is the Active ingredient mentioned on the product. These active ingredients are mostly the contaminants and impurities.

Also Read: How To Keep Your Pets Safe During Pest Control?

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