Bug Killers and Insect Control Guide By State

We have some great information for you on insect control in your state.  Just find your state in the column on the right and review some of the more common insects in your area. Learn how to control spiders, ants, hornets and wasps, beetles, aphids, crickets, cockroaches and other pests.
Below are some common terms and our helpful guide on the different types of insect and pest control available at Lowes. Defending against pests can be an ongoing battle, but there are a many options to help you in the fight. There are many products to combat pests around the home and lawn. Choose the right pesticide and deal with your problem safely and effectively.

What is a Pesticide or Insecticide anyway? Pesticides are designed to be toxic to the pests they target—whether they are insects, cause plant disease, or are weeds or other unwanted home and garden invaders. When used properly, pesticides can protect your plants or home from damage. However, when the label instructions are not followed correctly, plant injury may occur, pests may not be controlled, health may be impaired, and pesticides may contribute to soil, air, or water pollution.  A common misconception about pesticides is that they are simply bug killers. While partly true, insect control is only one use for pesticides. The definition of a pesticide from the Environmental Protection Agency is: “Any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest.” All pesticides must be tested by the EPA.

Despite agricultural and farmings regular use of pesticides, homeowners are still the number one users. Pesticides include:

  • Insecticides – insect attractants, repellents, flea collars
  • Herbicides – plant defoliants, weed killers
  • Rodenticides – rat and mouse killers
  • Germicides – bathroom disinfectants, ammonia, bleach
  • Algaecides – pool and pond chemicals
  • Mildewcides – used in paint and cleaning products to control mold
  • Fungicides, miticides, larvicides, ovicides, and more.

Pest and Insect Control Reference Guide

 Type    Benefits and Uses   Considerations
Aerosol Spray
  • Used for small areas indoors or out
  • Easy to store
  • Have a long shelf life
  • Relatively more expensive than other forms
Baits and Traps
  • Ideal for cabinets, pantries and under sinks
  • May be poison free
  • Use in conjunction with sprays and powders for best protection
  • Used inside the home
  • Penetrate cracks and crevices where pests nest
  • Usually require you to vacate premises during use
  • Easy to apply
  • Ideal for large areas
  • Kill soil-dwelling insects
  • Require a spreader to ensure uniform distribution
Liquid Concentrates
  • Offer quick results
  • Ideal for large areas
  • Require mixing and measuring
  • Require a sprayer
  • Ideal for indoor use under sinks, dishwashers and stoves
  • Waterproof
  • Provide long-lasting protection
Ready-to-Spray Concentrates
  • Offer quick results
  • Ideal for large areas
  • Premixed
  • Most feature a hose-end sprayer for convenience
Ready-to-Use Sprays
  • Best for smaller areas
  • Offer quick results
  • Premixed
  • Most feature a trigger sprayer  for convenience

A pesticide is effective only if you follow the application instructions carefully. In addition to directions on the amount to use, you’ll see information on when, where and how to apply.  In addition, the label states how soon you can pick and eat fruits and vegetables after application.


Before using any pesticide, be sure you need it. Verify that the pest you seek to control is really causing lasting damage, and research alternative management methods. Keep in mind that most pests cannot be entirely eliminated—even with pesticides.  If a pesticide is needed, select one that is effective against your pest and also poses the least risks to human health and the environment.

Finally, when choosing pesticides, remember that most pesticides, even the more toxic ones, only control certain stages of the pest. Many insecticides kill only the larval stage, not the eggs or pupae. Other insecticides target only adults. Many fungicides are preventive treatments and will not eliminate infections that have already started, although they may slow their spread.  And don’t forget to look at natural and organic alternatives.

By Victoria Stone