Marketing is important if you want to sell something, but I have always been amazed at the different names that chemical companies have come up with for pesticides. Way back when, in the early 1900s and late 1800s insecticides were given soft, gentile names. Paris Green, London Purple, Bordeaux mix – really beautiful names that hint of worldly knowledge (for the most part they just indicate where the product was originally produced). In the mid-1900s names were more matter of fact: DDT, 2,4 D, 2,4,5 T — These names were indicative of the chemistry of the product being sold. Then professional marketers got a hold of pesticides and the fun started. If you’ve never farmed then you may never have seen some of these names, but to a farmer who uses commercial pesticides many of these names will sound familiar. My favorite name for a pesticide is Scythe. I don’t know why, it just strikes me as amusing that a chemical is being compared to a hand tool. Maybe Shovel, Rake, or Tweezers is next.
Here are a few names for various insecticides which include the same active ingredient, cypermethrin – a relatively dangerous insecticide — along with some of the emotions which you may feel while considering what insecticide to buy – in other words, feelings that marketers may use to drive you to select one product rather than another:
If you feel like attacking the insects: Ammo
If you’re feeling like the insects are closing in on you: Barricade
If you’re feeling like insects are closing in on you AND you’re a Civil War buff: Stockade
If you’re feeling like bailing out of the farming business altogether: Ripcord
If you want a pesticide that sounds safer than it is: Super
If you feel tough because you just watched the governor of California in an ‘80s sci fi flick: Cymperator
If you’re feeling mad as hell at those nasty insects: Demon
Okay – all of these products aren’t used for the same things, but dang….how many names can you have for one active ingredient?