Merit Insecticide Review | Systemic Insecticide and Granules | FAQs

Merit Insecticide Reviews and FAQs

merit insecticide reviews
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Merit Insecticide Reviews

Your lawn suffers from large brown patches of dead or dying grass. No matter how often the neighbor’s dog goes on your lawn, it’s probably not the dog’s fault. 

The bad news is that grubs are underground killing your lawn by munching on the roots. The good news is that grubs can be controlled with the help of Merit pesticide. It comes in granule and liquid forms, both of which we’ll examine in this Merit pesticide review and FAQs.

Merit 2F Systemic Insecticide One Gallon

This is a popular Merit product, available widely – even at Amazon. There are many reasons for its popularity. It comes in plastic jugs which are easy to store and will not leak when in storage. This is best recommended for very large areas like golf courses or playgrounds since a little goes a long way. Here’s an unbiased Merit insecticide review:

Pros

  • Easy to buy over the counter
  • Large enough for very large lawns, golf courses or small agricultural businesses.
  • Contains 21.4 percent imidacloprid.
  • Used by professional groundskeepers.
  • This is a concentrated form, so you need to add plenty of water to use if effectively and safely.

Cons

  • Since this is so strong, some states have banned over the counter and Internet sales, including New York, Connecticut, Arkansas, Hawaii, Maryland, and South Carolina.
  • There is no sprayer attached.
  • Is not recommended for commercial greenhouses or greenhouses in general since it's an enclosed space.
  • You do have to mix is with water before use. Figuring out how much water to use can be difficult since you need to know how large your lawn is.

Merit Granules Insecticide 30 Pound Bag

This type of Merit insecticide is best for the average homeowner or a business with a small lawn to maintain. It’s best for pests that live underground, like grubs or mole crickets. It’s not only easier to use but easier to purchase – unless you live in New York state. It works by getting into a grub’s nervous system.

Pros

  • No mixing required
  • No measuring of lawn required
  • Easier to use for homeowners
  • Has been around for decades
  • More easily available across America than the liquid form.

Cons

  • Bags are easier to tear and spill their potentially toxic contents than tubs or jugs.
  • This does not come with an applicator. You need to provide a spreader. Use a drop-type or a rotary-type. It needs spreading evenly and not just in strips.
  • Not available for sale in stores or online in the state of New York.
  • Is not recommended for use on commercial sod farms.
  • It's best to water after spreading so it gets into the soil where the grubs are. If you can time the spreading just before the rain, it works much better.

Answers to frequently asked questions:

What is the Active Ingredient in Merit Insecticides?

The active ingredient is called imidacloprid. It can be found in other brands of insecticides like Mallet and Grubs Away. Merit, however, is made by the agricultural arm of the pharmaceutical giant Bayer. Yes – the same Bayer that makes the aspirin. The insecticide is made in separate factories from the aspirin, though. Imidacloprid was actively approved for use to kill bugs by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) years ago.

What is Imidacloprid?

Imidacloprid is a wide-spectrum bug killer. If the name “imidacloprid” looks familiar, then you’ve probably seen it as the active ingredient in bed bug sprays and flea killers for pets. However, you cannot use Merit insecticide like you would those other products. They have far different strengths. Always use Merit outside of the home, do not touch it and keep children and pets away from it.

Living on Long Island or the European Union?

Because Merit insecticide products contain imidacloprid, they can only legally be used by professional exterminators in Long Island, New York. Homeowners can buy it but need to hire a professional to use it.

Because of the known effects of killing bees, imidacloprid was banned in the European Union. There are other grub-killing insecticides available for homeowners, from other pesticides to non-chemical means such as adding grub-eating nematodes (tiny worms) to your lawn.

When Should You Use Merit Grub Control?

Unlike the usual can of bug-spray, you may be familiar with, you cannot use Merit pesticides any time you want to. According to Cornell University, it’s best to use Merit in August through October, depending on how hot it is and how long your summer lasts where you live.

Late summer weather is the time when grubs are most vulnerable to imidacloprid. They are small and weak. If you wait until November it is far too late for the Merit to do any good. There are other alternatives, but not Merit pesticides.

Will a Grub Damaged Lawn Grow Back?

A grub-damaged lawn will eventually grow back, although not as quick as you may like. Getting the lawn to look great just one month after treating for grubs is wishful thinking. Having it look great next year is not. According to Cornell University, you need to water as often as your local laws permit (yet not leave puddles), reseed and use fertilizer. The seeds will replace the eaten and damaged grasses.

You can check the progress of your lawn by cutting up a one square foot section of sod and counting how many grubs you find. If you find less than five grubs, your lawn is fine and will recover. If there are more than five but less than eleven, then your lawn’s chances of recovery are about 50/50. If there are more than eleven, then your lawn needs more help.

What Other Pests Can Merit Pesticide Kill?

Although best known for knocking off most species of common lawn grubs, Merit pesticide also works on other critters that damage lawns, trees, shrubs, and bushes, including:

  • Billbugs
  • Mole crickets
  • Chinch bugs
  • Aphids
  • Stink bugs

Unfortunately, Merit also kills bees. If you raise bees, need bees to pollinate plants or food crops or are worried about the worldwide fast disappearance of most bee species, then do not use any Merit, Mallet, Grubs Away and many other brands of insecticide products. All these use imidacloprid. Always check to see what the active ingredient is in a bug killer before use to prevent problems.

Who Should Not Use Merit Pesticide?

If you are not willing to put on protective equipment or read all of the directions, then skip using Merit. The EPA also notes that Merit should not be used:

  • If there’s any chance of run-off getting into fish ponds or tanks since Merit has been known to kill fish
  • Beekeepers
  • If you do not have a place to store toxic chemicals that pets or kids will not get into
  • If you cannot guarantee that your kids or pets will keep incurious hands and mouths away from it until the insecticide dries
  • Ground that’s near water sources or in places where the groundwater is near the surface. If you do not know, then it’s best not to use. Contact a university agricultural extension office to find out if you live in an area safe to use Merit.
spray merit using protective clothing

Apply Merit While Wearing Protective Clothing

Both Bayer and the EPA highly recommend that you make sure to wear protective clothing before using Merit. These include:

  • Waterproof gloves
  • Closed-toe shoes AND socks
  • Coveralls
  • Eye protection (especially if using the liquid form).

If it gets on your clothing, you need to change clothes as soon as possible. Wash the clothes (and shoes, if possible) through the laundry and wash your skin. You can get sick from absorbing Merit through your skin. It’s always a good idea to thoroughly wash your hands after carrying Merit around or using it.

What are the Merit Insecticide Dangers?

Always treat insecticides and pesticides with respect. Merit can get you very sick in one of three ways:

  • Absorbing through your skin, even indirectly through clothing
  • Swallowing
  • If it gets in your eyes.

If any of the above happens, treat as an emergency, even if you feel just fine and dandy. Monitor how you feel for 24 hours. Don’t hesitate to call your doctor or go to the emergency room if you suddenly take sick.

The bad news is that there is no antidote to Merit poisoning. The good news is that the poisoning is treatable if caught early enough. Here are some first aid tips:

  • If it gets on the skin, wash the skin with running water for at least 15 minutes
  • If in your eyes, remove contact lenses and then rinse the eye gently in running water for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • If swallowed, drink some water and get to an emergency room PRONTO. Call 911 or get someone to drive you because the chances of you suddenly passing out are pretty high.
  • Only try to induce vomiting if a doctor, poison control center or 911 tells you to do so.

In Summary

Merit is one of the most commonly used ways to kill lawn grubs, mole crickets and more. It’s sold in granules and a concentrate. However, its use by the average person is restricted. If you live in New York or the European Union, you cannot use Merit and need to pursue other options. Because this is strong stuff, you need to do research such as checking out Merit pesticide customer reviews to see if this is right for your lawn.

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