Marketing has long since taken over the pesticide industry. Popular brand names that were associated with one particular pesticide are now used for a variety of different formulations. For example, take a look at the products sold under the RoundUp brand name:
RoundUp Weed & Grass Killer
- Active ingredient: Glyphosate
- Notes: The chemical historically associated with RoundUp. Kills all weeds and grasses that it contacts.
RoundUp Max Control 356
- Active ingredient: Glyphosate, Imazapic and Diquat
- Notes: Contact herbicide that kills all weeds and grasses.
RoundUp Poison Ivy plus Tough Brush Killer
- Active ingredient: Glyphosate and Triclopyr
- Notes: Contact herbicide: Glyphosate kills weeds and grasses. Triclopyr kills woody plants.
RoundUp for Lawns:
- Active ingredient: MCPA, Quinclorac, Dicamba and Sulfentrazone.
- Notes: Contact herbicide for broadleaf weeds. Will not kill grasses.
RoundUp Landscape Weed Preventer
- Active ingredient: Pendimethalin
- Notes: Prevents weeds from germinating
RoundUp Bug Destroyer
- Active ingredient: Chlorantraniliprole and Bifenthrin
- Notes: Chlorantraniliprole controls grubs before they hibernate for the winter. Bifenthrin is a broad range insecticide that is highly toxic to honey bees.
So using the wrong RoundUp product could actually kill the plants you are trying to protect. Confusing things even further, all of the above come as ready-to-use products, concentrated solutions, and/or with different application methods.
Similarly, the Ortho Weed B Gon brand includes more than a dozen products for lawn weeds with different chemical formulations, concentrations, and delivery systems.
So read the label before purchasing any chemical to ensure that what you have in the shopping cart will solve your particular problem. If not you’ll be courting disaster with your plants and/or the environment.
Please note that mention of a particular brand name in this article in no way implies NC State Extension endorsement of any of these products.
Jim Janke is an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer in Haywood County. For more information visit haywood.ces.ncsu.edu, or call the Haywood County Extension Center at 828-456-3575. ©2020 NC State University.