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Ortho Home Defense Review [How To Use Safely]

Our rating of Ortho Home Defense
The Verdict
Ortho Home Defense works great as a basic preventative pest control plan including perimeter spraying around your home foundation; however, there is a large cost markup for convenience. If you want to DIY pest control long term, we strongly encourage you to purchase a concentrate (see "alternatives" in this review).
Efficacy
10
Ease of Use
9
Safety
6
Value
3
The Good
Convenient spray applicator wand.
No mixing required.
Effective pesticide.
The Bad
Very high cost when compared to concentrated versions.
The convenience of the bottle can make many people not think of proper PPE (personal protective equipment)
7
Bug Lord Rating

If you are looking for a general-purpose insecticide to control a variety of pests in your yard, then you might turn to a product like Otho Home Defense.

When picking a pest control product, it is important to be aware of all the pros and cons of the products you’re considering. You should also be aware of the potential risks and environmental impact of the active ingredient.

This post covers everything you need to know about Ortho Home Defense, from how to use it, how it works, and what precautions you need to take when using it.

Ortho Home Defense MAX Insect Killer Indoor & Perimeter with Comfort Wand
Active Ingredient: Bifenthrin – .05% Zeta-Cypermethrin – .0125%

Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer for Indoor and Perimeter RTU is an excellent defense against various types of insect pests. Contains two active ingredients that are effective in controlling insects and bugs.

Why DoMyOwn?DoMyOwn.com 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 Ortho Home Defense?

Ortho Home Defense is a general-purpose insecticide that comes with a convenient spray applicator. . It can protect for up to 12 months indoors and 3 months outdoors.

Ortho Home Defense contains two synthetic pesticides from the pyrethroid family called bifenthrin and zeta-cypermethrin.

Pyrethroid insecticides are man-made versions of natural compounds found in chrysanthemums. Synthetic insecticides are highly toxic, which makes them very effective against virtually all pest insects. Pyrethroids make up about half of all commercial insecticides.

Does Ortho Home Defense Work?

Pyrethroids are extremely effective at controlling a wide variety of insects because the chemicals destabilize nerves, leading to seizures and death.

Most products that contain pyrethroids are very effective against insect pests, and Ortho Home Defense is no exception. The pesticides it contains are long-lasting, so the product can be applied once every three months outdoors, or as little as once per year indoors.

Generally speaking, pyrethroid insecticides like those in Ortho Home Defense are safe for use around family and pets because mammals have enzymes that rapidly break them down. That said, these are considered toxic chemicals, and it is always best to observe the safety precautions we’ve outlined below.

Alternatives to Ortho Home Defense

Ortho Home Defense works, and it’s a tempting option for people who are new to pest control because it is an all-in-one product. However, if you want to protect your home and save money in the long run, it’s worth your while to invest in some pest control equipment and professional insecticide.

For example, you can spend $34.11 for a 16oz bottle of Talstar P Professional Insecticide, which contains bifenthrin, the same active ingredient as Ortho Home Defense. The professional version is 158 times more concentrated than Ortho Home defense, meaning that one six-ounce bottle will last you for years when used properly, and it will control for all the same pests.

Talstar P Professional Insecticide 3/4 Gallon
Active Ingredient: Bifenthrin 7.9%

Talstar P (also known as Talstar, Talstar One or Talstar Professional) Multi-Insecticide with bifenthrin is one of the most trusted and widely-used insecticides by pest control professionals today, and now available to you for DIY pest control.

Why DoMyOwn?DoMyOwn.com 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.

To take advantage of this, you’ll need to buy a sprayer. We have a guide with some recommendations if you need help, as well as some advice on how to use a sprayer safely and effectively. A professional sprayer is sure to be more reliable over time than the disposable sprayer included in the

How to Use Ortho Home Defense

Ortho Home Defense is a very easy product to use. The included applicator has a hose that attaches to the bottle. You’ll also need to pull the plastic tab on the applicator to activate the batteries. Make sure to shake the bottle before applying as well.

When spraying indoors, create a four-inch band along the perimeter of areas where insects frequently come back, such as the kitchen. You can also spray around windows and doors. Hold the sprayer about twelve inches away from the surface. Reapply every twelve months or as needed.

For outdoors, apply a twelve-inch band around the outside perimeter of your home. And you may need to reapply more frequently outdoors – the label recommends every three months, but you may be able to do it less frequently than this during winter months depending on your climate.

Avoid applying too close to vegetable or fruit plants unless it’s early in the growing season, and always wash your homegrown produce to avoid exposure to pesticides.

Ortho Home Defense is highly toxic to aquatic organisms, so you should not use it near water, sewers, or in the rain. We talk more about safety below, but you should also always check the product label for additional safety tips.

What Pests Does This Product Control?

Pyrethroids are highly toxic to virtually all animals, so any pest insect that comes in contact with the pesticide won’t stand a chance.

Specifically, the product label indicates it protects against over 130 pests, including:

  • Cockroaches
  • Ants
  • Spiders
  • Stink bugs
  • Beetles
  • Earwigs
  • Fleas
  • House centipedes
  • Millipedes
  • Scorpions
  • Silverfish
  • Ticks

Though Ortho Home Defense is toxic to all insects, some are unlikely to encounter it. For example, we don’t recommend a spray product like this to help prevent mosquitoes, as flying insects are less likely to land on surfaces treated with the pesticide.

Is Ortho Home Defense Safe?

Ortho Home Defense is generally considered safe, but it can be harmful to you, your family, or pets I not used properly. However, this is true for all pesticides. The label will have specific safety guidelines, and you should always review them before using a new product.

That said, some general advice from us is to always let the product dry thoroughly before letting your kids and pets enjoy the lawn or garden. The same goes for indoor applications, especially around food.

The biggest safety risks of using this product are for the environment. Studies have shown that bifenthrin, the active ingredient in Ortho Home Defense, is the primary contributor to insecticide toxicity in water because it is especially toxic to aquatic life, even when compared to other similar chemicals. So avoid any lakes, streams, ponds, or even drainage ditches.

For these reasons, we advise using Ortho Home Defense carefully and in targeted perimeter applications (around home foundation) and not broadcast spraying your lawn.

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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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