Now that it is clear that reducing
pesticide risk goes beyond the selection of the product,
it is time to discuss the actual list of pesticides and
categories of pesticides deemed "low impact" under
LIST OF LOW IMPACT PESTICIDES
Low impact pesticides as defined
in the School IPM Law can be classified in two categories.
The first category is pesticides or substances that the
Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided
are not necessary to regulate, generally because of the
minimal risk they represent. The second is a group of other
pesticide ingredients or formulation types that the School
IPM Law considered to be of lesser risk because of the nature
of the product formulation, the ingredient, or how it is
used. Become familiar with the products described or listed
here. If your IPM decision-making leads you to the conclusion
that pesticide use is needed, consult with the pest control
professional for your school to determine if any of these
pesticides will adequately solve the problem. Questions
about whether a product qualifies as low impact should be
directed to the Pesticide Control Program at (609) 984-6568.
1. EPA Exempt Pesticides
The following pesticides have
been determined by EPA to not require regulation, and are
listed in the federal regulations (for exact text of this
federal regulation, please visit the following text excerpted
from the Code of
Federal Regulations: 40 CFR § 152.25).
a. Treated articles or substances
- for instance, wood treated to repel insects. Although
the wood has been treated with a pesticide, the wood itself
is not considered a pesticide.
b. Pheromones or pheromone
traps - substances produced by insects that can be used
to lure or trap insect pests of the same species.
c. Preservatives for biological
specimens, such as embalming fluids, when used for that
d. Food - food products used
to attract pests.
e. Cedar wood - blocks, shavings,
chips, etc., used to repel insects.
f. "Minimum risk"
pesticides. The following lists "active" ingredients
(the ingredient with the pesticide value) that are exempt
from EPA regulation assuming the product meets certain conditions.
If these ingredients are in a product that is properly labeled
with all ingredients (both active and "inert"),
does not claim to control disease-carrying pests, and does
not make false or misleading claims, they are considered
"minimum risk" and thus able to be used as a low
impact pesticide under the law.
Castor oil (U.S.P. or equivalent)
Cinnamon and cinnamon oil
Citronella and citronella oil
Cloves and clove oil
Corn gluten meal
Garlic and garlic oil
Mint and mint oil
Peppermint and peppermint oil
2-Phenethyl propionate (2-phenylethyl propionate)
Putrescent whole egg solids
Rosemary and rosemary oil
Sesame (includes ground sesame plant) and sesame oil
Sodium chloride (common salt)
Sodium lauryl sulfate
Thyme and thyme oil
Zinc metal strips (consisting solely of zinc metal and impurities)
These active ingredients listed
above may be combined with any of a number of "inert"
ingredients from a list published by EPA. This list of minimum
risk inert ingredients is known as List "4A".
4A list can be obtained from EPA's website.
2. Other Pesticides the
School IPM Law Considers "Low Impact"
The following ingredients or
types of pesticides are also considered low impact.
a. Formulation Types - gels,
pastes, or baits. Ant traps and insecticide gels are good
examples of this class of low impact pesticides. Rodent
baits also fit into this designation, although rodent baits
should be rare in an effective school IPM program.
b. Antimicrobial products
- pesticides used to kill microorganisms such as bacteria
and fungus. Disinfectants, cleaners, mold and mildew removers
all fall into this classification. The full definition of
these products from state pesticide regulations at N.J.A.C.
7:30-1.2 is as follows:
1. Disinfectants intended to destroy or irreversibly inactivate
infectious or other undesirable bacteria, pathogenic fungi,
or viruses on surfaces or inanimate objects;
2. Sanitizers intended to reduce the number of living bacteria
or viable virus particles on inanimate surfaces, in water,
or in air;
3. Bacteriostats intended to inhibit the growth of bacteria
in the presence of moisture;
4. Sterilizers intended to destroy viruses and all living
bacteria, fungi, and their spores, on inanimate surfaces;
5. Fungicides and fungistats intended to inhibit the growth
of, or destroy fungi (including yeasts) pathogenic to man
or other animals on inanimate surfaces;
6. Commodity preservatives and protectants intended to inhibit
the growth of, or destroy bacteria in or on raw materials
(such as adhesives or plastics) used in manufacturing, or
manufactured products (such as fuel, textiles, lubricants,
and paints); or
7. General use algicides labeled for use in:
i. Swimming pools, hot tubs, whirlpools, spas, ornamental
ponds, fountains, fish tanks, and waterbeds;
ii. Water, wastewater and sewerage treatment plants, but
only where there is a controlled inlet and outlet; and
iii. Industrial, commercial, and manufacturing processes.
c. Specific Active Ingredients
- Specific pesticide ingredients the School IPM Law has
added to the low impact designation are:
1. boric acid
2. disodium octoborate tetrahydrate
3. silica gel
4. diatomaceous earth
d. Microbe based insecticides
- the most common example of this would be bacillus thuringiensis
or "Bt", a widely used microbe that is the ingredient
in many home and garden products, mosquito larvicides, and
gypsy moth control products.
e. Botanical insecticides (not
synthetic) - a common example of this would be pyrethrins,
extracted from the chrysanthemum plant, or neem oil that
is extracted from kernels of the neem plant. Synthetic versions
of botanicals or those that contain chemical synergists
to enhance the potency do not qualify as low impact.
f. Biological, living control
agents - a common example of this would be a pesticide that
uses parasitic nematodes (a small worm-like organism) as
its active ingredient. These nematodes are used to control
a wide variety of insects. Beneficial insects would be another
type of control agent that would fit into this category.
For more information, see the New Jersey Department of Agriculture's website about beneficial
When pesticide use is needed,
careful product selection and consideration of low impact
pesticides, good communication with the school's pest control
professional (if this service is contracted for), and a
realization that risk reduction is more than just product
selection are the keys to remember.