EcoSMART Insect Products Part 1

I don't think there is any question that parents want safe products to use in their yards, gardens, and around the home. That's why when the people at EcoSMART contacted me about testing their ecologically safe and family friendly products I was more than happy to give them a try. For this post I interviewed Vijay Das the director of EcoSmart to get some insight into their products and their goals.

Q. What was the motivating factor for developing the EcoSMART line of eco-friendly products?

A. Our founder Steve Bessette struggled with the need to keep his children safe from harmful chemicals even as he wanted to rid his home and lawn of pests.  It’s a motivation that has led him to start this company 15 years ago.  EcoSMART has been a pioneer in this field and we continue to lead.

Q. What types of products do you offer for the homeowner?  

A. We offer a full line of 100% safe consumer insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides for household, lawn, and garden.

Q. What is different about your products and standard chemical products?  

A. We differ in three ways.  First, is the way our products very specifically act only on insects. We have nearly 100 patents for this mode of action.  That’s why people and other animals are safe.  Standard chemical products are broad poisons.  Second, our products do not leave a lasting toxic residue.  That’s why, even for insects in the larger environment, there is not long term danger. And that means that ground water is safe.  And the impact to beneficial insects like bees is minimal. Most standard chemical products are designed to stay broadly toxic for as long as possible.  Third, our products are based on 100% natural essential oils.  We do not synthesize these chemicals but merely mix them in special formulations without altering the chemical structures of these oils.  Most standard chemical products are based on synthetic chemicals and further altered in the lab.  We don’t know what impact this has but if the example of synthetic pyrethroids in California are any indication, this is an area of concern for certain.

Q. Are the EcoSMART products considered organic?  

A. There is some confusion about applying the term “organic” to products that are not meant to be food so we try to avoid that term.  Our products are 100% natural.  If the idea in labeling something as organic is with respect to safety: our products are 100% safe and all of the ingredients we use are considered “food grade” by the FDA and are on their “Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS)” list.

Q. Are the grass and weed herbicides selective or non-selective?  

A. These products are non-selective and so require selective spraying.  Another thing to note is that our herbicides do not kill roots but instead “burn-off” the weed itself.  We will get rid of the weeds but it may take repeated applications.  It’s an example of the very real trade-offs customers must make in using safe products.

Q. Can EcoSMART products be found in retail stores? If so where?  

A. We are in many of the major chain retailers around the country today.  We will also be making some announcements this year about some very large retail agreements in 2010.  Check our website for more.
Q. Where is the best place for people to learn more about your products?  

A. Visit our online store at

Q. What kind of safe products are being planned for the future? 

A. We are always exploring products that have special formulations most effective on certain species and also may have special containers needs.  For example, we already have a wasp and hornet spray but we are planning a “spider blaster” as well.  Other areas we are exploring are a sunscreen/repellent combination product and a bed bug travel product.

Q. If you could tell consumers one reason why they should use EcoSMART products over conventional pesticides and herbicides what would it be?  

A. We all want to rid our living spaces of pests but we also want to be aware of the dangers of any chemical used for that purpose.  I’d ask folks to consider the question that founded this company:  “How can I get the job done in a way that is safe for my family, my pets, and my world?”.  EcoSMART products fill the bill.

My next post will contain a review of the four products they sent me to test which include two insect sprays (one for the garden and one for indoor use), a flying insect killer, and an insect repellent.

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