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Emulsifiable Concentrates 

One of the most powerful and potent type of pest control formulations you can find are emulsifiable concentrates, also known by their initials EC. Professionals swear by these formulations and use them often when hired to conduct treatments because these chemicals are effective and very versatile. They are also easy to use, since all you have to do is simply mix a small amount of concentrate to water and there you have a large arsenal of product to apply in and around your home to treat for pests.

At Solutions Pest & Lawn we carry a number of different high quality emulsifiable concentrates--from the biggest brands to the post-patent brands which proved the same efficacy, but typically at a lower cost. Best of all, you don’t have to be a certified pest control technician to use them. On this page, we will briefly teach you about emulsifiable concentrates, how they work and there numerous benefits. You can also shop our top recommended emulsifiable concentrates right here.

What is an Emulsifiable Concentrate formulation?

An emulsifiable concentrate (EC)  is a liquid formulation which contains technical material, one or more organic water-immiscible solvents and an emulsifier (such as a surfactant).

ECs are still one of the most common formulation types for pest control worldwide. When EC formulations are diluted with water in a spray tank they form a spontaneous emulsion, with emulsion droplets in the size range of 0.1 to 1.0μm. Often this dilution with water forms either a milky or opaque emulsion for application.

The spontaneous emulsion can be achieved by selecting one or more surfactants based upon their ability to emulsify the solvent system, including the active ingredient, into water. It is by means of balancing the water-soluble and oil-soluble surfactant components at the water/solvent interface that a physically stable emulsion is formed. When sprayed, the diluted emulsion gives a uniform and precise application of active ingredient on the target, which is essential for effective pest control.

Due to ECs being solvent-based, the physical properties can vary widely depending on the solvent system used. The solvent type can affect product qualities such as odor, viscosity, flammability and potential for phytotoxicity. Once the emulsifiable concentrate is diluted with water, the solvent or oil phase forms an emulsion in water that will eventually separate out. The formation of this emulsion is often referred to as creaming. 

The oil droplets come together, forming larger droplets, then eventually separate out (similar to an oil and-vinegar salad dressing). The time over which this occurs can vary depending on the product type and ingredients.


ec screenshotIdeal Conditions for Using Emulsifiable Concentrate Insecticides


Emulsifiable concentrates are used to treat pests in agricultural, ornamental and turf, forestry, structural (residential and commercial) food processing, livestock and public health settings. They are also adaptable to many types of application equipment--from small, portable sprayers to hydraulic sprayers, low-volume ground sprayers, mist blowers and low-volume aircraft sprayers.


There are several reasons you may choose a liquid insecticide which is an emulsifiable concentrate. We recommend using them for general pest control for insects found around your household. Emulsifiable concentrates work well for this because they make it easier to create an even barrier of insecticide all the way around your home.


Emulsifiable concentrate are not necessarily limited to just being insecticides. They are also used in formulations for insect growth regulators such as Gentrol. Some of the more popular herbicides such as RoundUp and others are also emulsifiable concentrates.


Some of the main forms of emulsifiable concentrates include:


Systemic insecticides. This is a type of chemical where the targeted plant absorbs the EC chemical so that it is capable of moving throughout the entire plant system down to the roots without harming the plant itself. Target pests like mites and scales which like to suck the sap from a plant will ingest the chemical along with plant’s tissues and succumb to its lethal effect.


Pyrethrin insecticides are another popular form of pest control chemical which may come as an emulsifiable concentrate. These are perfect for DIYers who would rather not use man-made chemicals on their plant life and in their yards. These types of concentrates are derived from extractions of the chrysanthemum plant and can be synthetic or natural and can control a wide variety of pests. 


Benefits of Using an Emulsifiable Concentrate Formulation

Emulsifiable concentrate formulations are simple to manufacture, transport and store. They are not abrasive nor will they clog up screens and nozzles. Unlike wettable powders, emulsifiable concentrates leave no visible residue on treated surfaces and require little agitation because they will not settle out or separate when equipment is being used.


Emulsifiable concentrates are easy to use--simply mix a small amount of the concentrate with water according to the label instructions and you’re set. EC’s usually dry quickly and clear and give a great residual effect which may last between 28 to 90 days.  Typically because of their high concentrations of active ingredient emulsifiable concentrate products are cheaper to use for treatments which require a large amount of spraying.  


Drawbacks of using Emulsifiable Concentrates? (When should it NOT be used)

Emulsifiable concentrations are high concentrations and it makes it easy to overdose or underdose through mixing or calibration errors. There is also more of a risk of damaging desirable plants (phytotoxicity).


Sometimes this is purely an effect of the solvent system used; other times the solvent may allow an active ingredient from another tank-mix partner to penetrate plant tissues too easily or quickly. This is especially problematic for active ingredients that are intended to remain on the leaf surface and not penetrate plant tissues.


Emulsifiable concentrate solvents may cause rubber or plastic hoses, gaskets and pump parts to deteriorate. EC’s also are flammable and should be stored in a cool dry area away from open flames.


ECs do not perform well on porous surfaces such as brick and concrete. They are typically absorbed into the material as opposed to staying on the surface meaning pests will not be exposed to the accurate dosage of active ingredient.


Finally emulsifiable concentrates can stain some surfaces such as vinyl siding or other plastic based materials. The oil in the product causes this.

Popular Emulsifiable Concentrate Products We Have In Stock


Flex 10-10 - Flex 10-10 is a multi use insecticide containing permethrin and PBO. This product will kill and control bed bugs and eliminate any bed bug infestation when applied with our bed bug kit. Flex 10-10 can be applied inside and outside with compressed air sprayers, ULV machines, or automatic mosquito misting machines. It is the best chemical for mosquito misting systems and comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. You can find Flex 10-10 in our 100% Guaranteed Bed Bug Kit.


Sylo Insecticide- Sylo Insecticide provides excellent control of subterranean termites and drywood termites. It can be applied to both soil and wood to treat termites. Sylo Insecticide is also a great exterior product for other pest such as ants,bees, cockroaches, chinch bugs, mole crickets and much more.


Tekko Pro - Tekko Pro IGR with provides effective long-term control of fleas, roaches, flies, mosquitoes, gnats, crickets, litter beetles, and ants. Tekko Pro is for use indooor and outdoor on furniture, carpets, kennels, poultry houses, and many other listed areas.

How To Use Emulsifiable Concentratesec screenshot

Emulsifiable concentrates are quite simple to use though it is best to check the label for the proper application. Most of our EC bottles come with two caps and a special straw patented technology to make it easy to measure.  


1. Wear chemical resistant gloves and long sleeves anytime you are handling and mixing EC product. 

2. Undo the cap and remove the seal. Squeeze the amount of product into the measuring chamber according to the labeled directions. Fill sprayer halfway with water and then pour concentrate in the correct amount into equipment and dilute it with water according to the label instructions. Finish filling with water and then agitate.

3. Apply your liquid EC around your home or in your yard to create a barrier. Work your way around the perimeter. Be careful when applying ECs to vegetation as the oil based products can cause foliar burn in hot temperatures.


Shop our selection of emulsifiable concentrate pesticide products on this page and if you ever need help selecting the best product for you, call us at (800) 479-6583 contact us at askapro@solutionsstores.com and our helpful representatives will point you in the right direction.

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