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Essentria IC3 Insecticide Review [Worth Buying?]

The Verdict
Essentria IC3 is the gold standard in natural pest control concentrates. Though it's more expensive than chemical pesticides, you gain a lot in terms of safety around the home.
Ease of Use
The Good
Proven pesticide with natural ingredients
Can be used around water without harming aquatic life
Easy to store and apply as needed
The Bad
A bit more expensive than chemical options
Residual killing effect exists, but isn't as long lasting as chemical pesticides
Bug Lord Rating

When it comes to pest control, harsh chemicals like permethrin have long been the norm. However, many people are concerned about the potentially harmful effects of using these chemicals on their lawn or in their home.

We’re here to point out an alternative – Essentria IC-3, a pesticide formulation whose active ingredients are all derived from essential oils, making it much safer and more environmentally friendly than traditional pest control solutions.

Essentria IC3 Insecticide Concentrate
Active Ingredient: Rosemary Oil 10%, Geraniol 600 5%, Peppermint Oil 2%

Essentria IC3 is a flexible, broad-spectrum EPA FIFRA 25(b) exempt all natural product. This means it is a very safe insecticide for use around your family and pets, but still very effective.

Why DoMyOwn? offers professional-grade insecticides to DIYers while ensuring proper storage of chemicals. Couple that with their impressive customer service and knowledgeable staff, it’s the #1 choice.

What is Essentria IC3?

Unlike other insecticides, Essentria IC3 is formulated from a special cocktail of essential oils: rosemary oil, geraniol, and peppermint oil, each of which has insecticidal properties.

Essentria IC3 is sold as a dense concentrate and must be diluted with water to be used in a sprayer, fogger, or misting system. If this is your first time applying a concentrated pesticide, you’ll probably want to pick up a hand-pump sprayer in order to apply it properly.

Zoecon Company Background

Zoecon is the manufacturer of Essentria IC3. The company has been making pest control products since 1968 and recently made a push into more natural products when they purchased the company “Envincio”, the original creator of Essentria IC3.

How Does Essentria IC3 work?

The active ingredients in Essentria IC-3 are effective by interferring with octopamine, a neurotransmitter that mediate nerve impulses in insects and arachnids. When this chemical is disrupted, so is the nervous system.

This causes paralysis in the insects that eventually kills them. This disruption of the nervous system is the same effect caused by permethrin, one of the most widely-used conventional pesticide on the market today. However, permethrin, along with other chemical pesticides, is toxic to mammals as well as insects.

The brains of larger animals, such as humans and pets, don’t even have octopamine receptors, so the active essential oils of Essentria IC-3 are all but harmless to us while being very toxic to the pests. Essentria IC-3 doesn’t pose any major hazards to pets or pregnant women either.

However, essential oils in general are not meant to be ingested, so make sure to store all food when treating indoors and clean any food preparation surfaces and tools afterwards.

Does Essentria IC3 Really Work?

Yes. Though Essentria IC-3 is less well-studied than some older pesticides like permethrin, it has been shown in scientific studies to be effective, particularly against ticks.

One such study focused on the lone star tick, which transmits diseases such as STARI, heartland virus, and ehrlichiosis. They found that Essentria IC-3 works better on nymphs than adults, working as well or better than permethrin at concentrations as low as 3.13%.

Another study focused on deer ticks, finding that out of a group of 10 natural common minimal-risk pesticides, it was one of four that had a significant knockdown effect on the ticks.

This means that Essentria IC3 was one of the only products in the study to effectively kill tick populations. However, they found that the product had limited residual effects, necessitating more frequent applications to keep pests at bay.

Other studies have focused on individual components of Essentria IC3. For example, one study found that rosemary oil, particularly when used in conjunction with piperonyl butoxide, works well at killing larval mosquitoes.

Where Should I Use Essentria IC3?

Because Essentria IC-3 is less toxic than other pesticides, there are less concerns about where to use it in and around your home. The product is labeled for both indoor and outdoor use, but one thing to keep in mind when using Essentria IC-3 indoors is that the product can leave a residue because it is oil-based.

The best places to focus with IC-3 are hard-to-reach areas like baseboards, dark corners, drains, and other cracks and crevices in your home. For any visible area, particularly sensitive surfaces like carpet or fabric, spray a small test area before treating, as the product could cause discoloration in the long term.

Unlike many other pesticides, you do not need to leave the house to use Essentria IC3. However, it does have a strong herbal smell which may be unpleasant to some. If the smell doesn’t bother you, it’s perfectly safe to remain indoors.

Since it’s nontoxic to animals other than insects, Essentria IC3 can be used pretty much anywhere, including near water and in and around boats. It works well in a sprayer around the perimeter of your home, and in the vegetation.

The label advises against spraying fruit-bearing trees or in any place where human or animal food will be exposed to the pesticide. The product may be less toxic than other pesticides, but it is still definitely not healthy to ingest.

Essentria IC3 can be used in a fogger or a mister as well as a sprayer. This may change the concentration you need or where to apply it – for example, a fogger application outdoors can help with mosquitoes. You should refer to the product label for your specific application. In all applications, let the product dry on its own and don’t wipe it up unless you’ve applied too much and any surfaces are dripping.

How to Mix Essentria IC3

Because Essentria IC-3 is sold as a dense concentrate, you will have to mix it in water to dilute it for use in a sprayer, fogger, or misting system. Exactly how much concentrate versus water to use depends on the application method and the target pest.


For example, compressed air sprayers for perimeter treatments call for anywhere from one to eight fluid ounces of concentrate per gallon of water depending on the severity of the problem and the guidelines for the sprayer used.

However, other applications call for a maximum of two to four ounces per gallon. Always check the label before any application, and make sure to mix only as much as you plan to use, as the manufacturer advise against storing mixed dilutions, even overnight.

How Often to Apply EssentriaIC3

The good news about a minimally toxic product like Essentria IC3 is that there is no real maximum amount you can apply, as long as you aren’t making a huge mess of oily pesticide for yourself to clean up. The label specifies no maximum amount to use. Rather, it just states to apply “as needed.”

In fact, more frequent applications of this product are better in many cases, since Essentria does not have as strong a residual killing effect as some chemical pesticides. So feel free to apply again if you still see pests throughout your home or if heavy rain has come immediately after an application.

For indoor applications, I would recommend only applying as-needed. For example, if you saw a big reduction in pests after spraying IC3 and then a month or two later you’re seeing them reappear, it’s time to apply again.

Essentria IC3 Insecticide Concentrate
Active Ingredient: Rosemary Oil 10%, Geraniol 600 5%, Peppermint Oil 2%

Essentria IC3 is a flexible, broad-spectrum EPA FIFRA 25(b) exempt all natural product. This means it is a very safe insecticide for use around your family and pets, but still very effective.

Why DoMyOwn? offers professional-grade insecticides to DIYers while ensuring proper storage of chemicals. Couple that with their impressive customer service and knowledgeable staff, it’s the #1 choice.

What Insects does Essentria IC-3 Kill?

Does IC3 Work on Bed Bugs?

While the product is not specifically labeled for bed bugs by the manufacturer, the pesticide will work on bed bugs and their nymphs if you can get it into the cracks and the crevices in and around your bedroom where these bugs live.

A sprayer application can get you the precision you need to treat bed bugs. And since bed bugs are such a tricky pest to get rid of, we don’t advise using Essentria IC-3 as your only pest control strategy against bed bugs.

Does IC3 Work on Mosquitoes?

Yes. Essentria IC3 works well in a misting system, which regularly sprays certain areas of your property to keep adult mosquitoes at bay. However, the label advises against spraying at any point where food or animal feed is directly exposed to pesticides.

Does IC3 Work on Ants?

Yes. IC3 can be used to treat the perimeter of your home and any cracks and crevices in the kitchen where ants may be hiding. It can also be used in larger volumes to drench the large anthills made by fire ants and other mounding ants.

Does IC3 Work on Flies?

Yes. For bothersome flies outdoors, a misting system is a great way to treat various areas of your yard for flies. For indoor flies, fogging may work. But because of the risk of discoloration when applying IC-3 to sensitive surfaces like wood or vinyl, you may be better off using another method to treat flies, such as eliminating food sources and using fly traps.

Does IC3 Kill Bees?

Yes. As most pesticides are generalist rather than specific to certain pests, Essentria IC3 can kill beneficial insects, including bees. The best way to avoid this is to avoid spraying flowering plants where bees are likely to visit.

If you are dealing with a troublesome bee or wasp nest, we do not advise using Essentria IC-3 as your primary mode of attack, as it can be dangerous to take down one of these nests. In these cases, you may want to contact a pest control professional for advice.

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Written by Miles Martin

Miles is a professional science writer with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Rhode Island and a Masters of Science in Science Communication and Public Engagement from the University of Edinburgh.

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