If you are looking for a general-purpose insecticide to control a variety of pests in your yard, then Cutter Backyard Bug Control could be just the product you’re after.
You should also be aware of the potential dangers and environmental effects of the active ingredient. This is a product you need to use specifically as the label instructs.
This article covers everything you need to know: from how to use the product, to why it works, to important safety precautions you should take when using it!
What is Cutter Backyard Bug Control?
Cutter Backyard Bug Control is a spray product with a convenient hose attachment. The product utilized the insecticide lambda-cyhalothrin, a synthetic insecticide that is part of the pyrethroid family.
The 32 ounce bottle covers about 5,000 square feet, or 1/8th of an acre.
This particular formula is specific to lawns, general outdoor pests (like ants and crickets), and ornamental outdoor plants.
Pyrethroid insecticides are man-made versions of natural pyrethrins – chemicals produced by the chrysanthemum flower that is very toxic to insects. Unlike their natural counterparts, synthetic pyrethroids last longer in the environment and break down slower. This makes them more effective as insecticides, but also means they can cause unintended environmental consequences if you apply them haphazardly.
Cutter Backyard Bug Control attaches right to your hose and mixes with the water while it’s being sprayed. The bottle also comes with a switch that controls the flow of the insecticide (off or on).
Does Cutter Backyard Bug Control Work?
Cutter Backyard Bug Control utilizes lambda-cyhalothrin, which is one of the most widely used consumer pesticide products. In fact, pyrethroid compounds make up nearly 50% of the total consumer insecticide market.
Pyrethroids are extremely effective at controlling a wide variety of insects because the chemicals destabilize nerves, leading to seizures and death.
Generally speaking, pyrethroid insecticides like Cutter Backyard Bug Control are mostly safe for use around family and pets because mammals have enzymes that rapidly break down the compound. That being said, see the section below on safety concerns for a full discussion of the safety of this product.
Lambda-cyhalothrin, found at only 0.16% in Cutter Backyard Bug Control, is extremely effective even at these low levels. It is used widely in agriculture on crops ranging from cotton to vegetables. Lambda-cyhalothrin is also used safely in some indoor applications, though that is not what this particular product is formulated for.
This product is certainly effective against a number of pest species, though studies have shown that even sublethal doses begin to cause neurological effects in rats.
Though you are not likely to be exposed to significant doses, be sure to follow the specific label instructions for Cutter Backyard Bug Control before you use it. Be careful not to spray on anything you’ll ingest.
Cutter Backyard does in fact work for reducing pests in your lawn, however it is general practice to avoid broad-spraying insecticides across lawns when properly timed and placed spot treatments can work just as well.
Alternatives to Cutter Backyard
In addition, there are cheaper options out there if you are serious about taking pest control into your own hands. For example, you can purchase an 8oz bottle of Demand CS – a professional insecticide with the same active ingredient lambda-Cyhalothrin (but a more concentrated version of 9.7%) – and mix it at the recommended dilution rate for lawns of 3.5ml/1,000 Sq Ft. This will result in over 500 gallons of insecticide to use! At a cost of $42.56 (at the time of this writeup), that equates to $0.63 per 1,000 Sq Ft for Demand CS versus $1.60 per 1,000 Sq Ft for Cutter Backyard. Of course, you will most likely need to purchase a gallon sprayer as well. If you choose to go with the mix-it-yourself method, I highly recommend this Chapin Premier sprayer.
How to Use Cutter Backyard Bug Control
Cutter Backyard Bug Control comes in a plastic spray bottle that attaches to any typical garden hose. The bottle is designed to mix in the proper amount of product as you spray. Simply turn on the hose and spray down any plant or area you don’t want insects on – sounds simple enough.
The downside of using a product like this that attaches to your hose is you’re doing a very wide broadcast so you need to be careful about overapplying or spraying where you don’t mean to spray.
When spraying, start at the furthest point and work your way back so you don’t come into contact with any of the wet spray.
Wait till the product dries, then you and your pets can enjoy your lawn as normal – without the insects.
Don’t apply near vegetables or fruit unless it’s early in the growing season, as the pesticide takes some time to breakdown. Be sure to wash your homegrown produce before eating, too.
The bottle will cover up to 5,000 square feet of lawn and will control insect populations for up to 12 weeks if applied properly in early spring. Due to its high toxicity to aquatic organisms, this product should not be applied in the rain, near ponds and streams, or near storm sewers that lead to natural bodies of water.
One treatment should last all summer, and you can reapply the next year if you need it. For reasons outlined in the safety section, it is not advisable to use this product more often than that. Don’t forget to remove the added safety pin on the nozzle before you begin.
What Pests Does This Product Control?
This product, specifically, is intended for a large number of residential lawn applications. It kills insect populations in lawns, on the outside of the home, and on ornamental plants.
Below are some of the most common insects that people use Cutter Backyard Bug Control for:
- Boxelder Bugs
- Spider Mites
- And about every other outdoor, non-garden pest insect.
If you have a bad bug problem, this product will essentially work on all of them. Due to this specific formula, it is not recommended for mosquitos spraying.
Before you go blasting it around your yard, be sure to check out the following safety considerations!
Is Cutter Backyard Bug Control Safe?
If not used properly, this product can be harmful to your family, as can most any pesticide. Though the label has a lot of application-specific safety precautions, one of the most important tips is to let the product dry before your kids or pets enjoy the lawn.
Carefully read the directions on the label to determine the safety of the product and how much you should apply. This product is only intended for lawns, pests outside the home like ants and cockroaches, and ornamental plants.
It is not recommended for use on vegetables, and can be harmful in it comes in contact with the skin or is swallowed. In some instances, it takes more than a month for the product to degrade into other compounds in the environment, though the label says it is safe for contact after it dries.
The warning label also states that in “New York State, this product may not be applied to lawns within 100 ft of a coastal marsh, or stream that drains directly into a coastal marsh.” This is due to its lethal effects on many aquatic and non-target organisms.
Studies have shown that the active ingredient affects fish, tadpoles, and a number of aquatic invertebrates that keep a lake or river ecosystem healthy. So, it is wise not to use this product near natural bodies of water or streams.
It is also not wise to use Cutter Backyard Bug Control in areas with high levels of natural pollinators. The chemical is highly toxic to honeybees and many other natural pollinators.
One good tip is to apply the product at dusk, away from where pollinators may roosting for the night or any beehive sites. Other studies have connected lambda-cyhalothrin to the loss of some sub-terrestrial beneficial species, though some earthworms are relatively tolerant.
While the product is approved for the very specific uses on the label, you may want to consider a more natural insecticide.