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Issue No. 16, Article 5/July 14, 2006

Comparison of Independent Online Pesticide Label Services

What's the best source of information when you are trying to decide which pesticides may be used in a particular situation? The answer is "the label that came with the pesticide you purchased." It's just that simple.

However, there are many valid reasons to turn to additional resources, such as traditional pest management ("spray") guides and online pesticide label services. Whether for agricultural, horticultural, or yard- and garden-use products, most pesticide registrants now have their product labels available online in some way. Some registrants utilize independent online label services, others have developed their own proprietary services, and many use a combination of the two.

This article compares the features of three independent online pesticide label services:

Table 2 summarizes the features offered by each service.


I have used these three services for a number of years and discovered that some pesticide registrants don't include all of their registered and available products and formulations in Greenbook and CDMS. It may be necessary to visit the registrant's own Web site to see its full product line; this is especially true for specialty and niche-market pesticides.

When searching by pest or by site, be aware that it is easy to overlook products because pest names are not always standardized and the wide variety of site names can be overwhelming. For example, when searching the KRS Network database for an insecticide labeled to control soybean aphid (Aphis glycines), you would need to search each of the following variations to find all of the labeled insecticides: aphids, aphids [adult], aphids [eggs], and aphids [nymphs]. It is interesting to note that "soybean aphid" is not listed in the long list of aphid species, while "aphids [larvae]" (something that does not exist) is listed. Similarly, when searching for a foliar pesticide to use on field corn, you would need to search each of the following sites and perhaps more to find all of the labeled pesticides in the database: corn, corn [foliar treatment], corn [field], and corn [field] [foliar treatment].

The Greenbook database uses a fairly standard list of pest names and the sites are logically lumped together, making the search process perhaps less precise but certainly less difficult.


  • If you simply want to visit one site to view or print labels, either Greenbook or CDMS will meet your needs. Supplemental labels (e.g., Sections 18, 24c, and 2ee) can generally be found on these sites as well, but you may need to visit the registrant's own Web site to find very recent additions.
  • If you need access to labels as well as robust and relatively intuitive search features, Greenbook will meet your needs.
  • If you need to search by EPA registration number or to verify precise site, crop, and pest registration details, KRS Network will meet your needs.
  • If you are searching for homeowner/yard- and garden-use products, they are listed on KRS Network, but you will need to visit the registrant's own Web site or a garden center to view labels.

If you need localized information regarding product efficacy, application timing, and pest identification, importance, and biology, there is no substitute for details you'll find in the various pest management handbooks available from University of Illinois Extension (for details, refer to the May 2005 issue of the Illinois Pesticide Review newsletter).--Bruce E. Paulsrud

Bruce Paulsrud

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