Wondercide sprays are made with cedar oil as the main insecticidal ingredient, which has been shown in studies to be effective at killing insects on contact. Plus, these natural plant products are much less toxic to the environment and some off-target species than broad-spectrum insecticides.
In this article, we fully review Wondercide pesticide sprays, how it works, how to use the most popular products, and fully review the safety and efficacy of cedar oil (and other essential oils) on many different pest species. Check it out!
What is Wondercide?
Wondercide is a line of products that utilizes a number of essential oils as natural insecticides and pest repellents. In all, the Wondercide line includes spray concentrates, shampoos, skin oils, flea and tick wipes, and insect repellant products that utilize a number of different essential oils (mainly cedar oil) in an attempt to create natural products that actually work.
The majority of their products rely on heavy concentrations of cedar oil. Some of their family and personal use products mix in other essential oils to create a pleasant aroma.
With many different combinations of essential oils, it’s possible to find a natural product that not only works – but one that does not affect your skin (or your pet’s skin), smells good, and is completely safe to use.
Does Wondercide Work?
If you look on the Wondercide website, you will find a list of 6 different ways that cedar oil kills pests. However, none of these claims are linked to any scientific journal articles that provide evidence of these propositions.
That’s ok though – we’ll do our own digging for evidence!
It turns out that the exact insecticidal mechanism of cedar oil on pest insects is not well researched. It is clear that cedar oil (and many other essential oils) are powerful insecticides.
In a study evaluating the product’s efficacy on ticks, Wondercide was as toxic to nymph ticks as permethrin and had the same repellency effects as DEET!
A similar cedar oil product (CedarCide) causes an 80-100% knockdown rate in bedbugs, and it can be as effective as synthetic pyrethrins. This rate of effectiveness is more than enough to successfully eliminate a population of biting insects with successive treatments.
Interestingly, essential oils can have wildly different reactions and toxicities to different insects. While cedar oil is effective on many insects, it is not as effective as Eucalyptus, lemongrass, nutmeg, orange, palmarosa, pine, or tulsi oils when it comes to killing mosquito larvae. However, all of these oils show a very high level of insecticidal activity – and Wondercide products contain enough cedar oil to get the job done.
All things considered, you will likely need to apply essential oil products like Wondercide yard sprays more than once to see the results you’re after. Essential oils work, but they are highly volatile – meaning they quickly evaporate.
Essential oils alone only provide a significant repellent/insecticide activity for 60-180 mins. Some fixatives can increase this time, though it is still much less than synthetic chemicals that may last for a month or more on surfaces.
For this reason, some researchers do not recommend essential oils by themselves in situations where public health may be at risk if the insect population is not culled quickly.
For use around the home, you much prefer the Wondercide approach of no long-lasting chemicals hanging out in your yard.
How to Use Wondercide
Wondercide products each come with their own uses – from yard sprays to flea and tick wipes. Since Wondercide uses essential oils, it can be extremely volatile and will quickly evaporate off of surfaces it attaches to. Here are some quick instructions on how to use their most popular products:
Ready-to-Use Outdoor Mosquito Spray
This product comes in a bottle that you attach directly to your garden hose. Simply attach the hose, turn on the water, and spray the product on your lawn, landscaping, and around the foundation of your house.
Reapply every 30-45 days for the best population control. A ready-to-use bottle will cover 5,000 square feet, though the company also offers a concentrate. A gallon of concentrate will cover an entire acre when diluted properly and can be used in any type of pesticide sprayer.
Rain will almost certainly wash this product away and make it less effective, so it is best to apply when it is dry and not expected to rain soon.
Ready-to-Use Flea & Tick Spray for Yard + Garden
This product, though it is the exact same formula as the Mosquito Spray, has slightly different application instructions. To ensure that all fleas and ticks are eliminated from your yard, the Flea & Tick spray directs you to apply it twice to your yard within 2 days. You can also spray the flea and tick treatment around your house to prevent any escapees from finding their way back to your pet or children.
Dog and Cat Flea & Tick Sprays / Wipes
With a slightly lower concentration of cedar oil, these products are safe for most pets – including dogs and cats! Simply spray (or wipe) the product onto your animal’s coat, making sure to push the hair against the grain so the product reaches the skin. Here, it will directly kill any fleas and ticks efficiently. This product can be applied every 2-3 days in areas with high flea and tick populations.
Wondercide offers many other products, ranging from shampoos to personal insect repellents. Most of these can be used frequently, liberally, and without worry. These products are crafted with as little cedar oil as possible to create an effective product that will not harm the skin, hair, or any interior surfaces they are applied to. You can also use many of their products on humans and within the household. This cannot be said for most synthetic insecticides!
In addition to their mosquito, flea, and tick treatments, Wondercide also offers ant, roach, and spider repellents for the home. The company also offers insect repellents and skincare products like an essential-oil soap bar the whole family can use.
If you aren’t sure what products are right for you, check out Wondercide’s “Minis & Trial Boxes” pages in each product category, where you can find much smaller samples of almost every Wondercide product.
What Pests Does Wondercide Control?
According to Wondercide’s third-party research, Wondercide products are nearly 100% effective at controlling fleas, ticks, mosquitos, and the eggs and larvae of these pests. In all, Wondercide says that its products are effective on:
- And many other pest insects
Interestingly, Wondercide claims that their products are not toxic to butterflies, bees, or other pollinators because these insects do not use the same neurological receptors as biting insects. Though research has shown that essential oils affect the octopaminergic system within insect brains, there is little evidence that bees and butterflies do not rely on these systems.
In fact, certain studies have shown that while it may take a slightly higher dose, essential oils are also toxic to bees and other non-target organisms. So, you should definitely take care not to spray any hives or pollinator-attracting plants directly with the Wondercide products.
That being said, these products do not stick around for long and are intended to kill on contact. Your yard should be safe for pollinators if you do not spray them directly or spray the flowering plants they will be visiting. It is also extremely unlikely that a bee would carry enough essential oil back to the colony to severely affect other workers.
Is Wondercide Safe?
Wondercide claims that their products are not harmful to any off-target animals, though this claim is not linked to any clear scientific evidence. Cedar oil and other essential oils are used in a wide variety of consumer products, from shampoos to furniture treatments and are Generally Recognized as Safe by the EPA.
That being said, cedar products are known to cause respiratory issues in small rodents and reptiles if used as a housing substrate – so care should be taken around any small pets.
At the concentrations available in Wondercide products, it is unlikely that any animals or people will be harmed by these essential oils. Though there are limited reports of contact dermatitis (a rash) caused by certain essential oils, these appear to be extremely rare. Thus, Wondercide claims you can “spray and play” in this product with no worries!