University of Illinois

No. 2/April 3, 1998

Insecticide Guarantees: Who Benefits the Most by Marketing Ploys?

It's that time of the year for the proliferation of interesting guarantees offered by some companies for certain insecticides in their line of products.

As consumers of these products, producers should be wary of so-called "guarantees" of product performance. In some instances, guarantees are made for insects that in many cases may never infest a majority of fields. If economic infestations do develop, some companies simply offer "free" rescue treatments of another compound in their arsenal.

Pure and simple--it's a numbers game, an effective marketing strategy for certain insecticides. Who benefits by this approach most often? I believe the answer to that question is straightforward. Who stands to lose themost? A much broader segment of the agricultural and nonagricultural sectors stands to lose the most. Unless the responsible use of insecticides is recognized as the norm, popular support for agricultural pest management will erode.
Mike Gray (, Extension Entomology, (217)333-6652