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September 21, 2023

What are Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs) and how do they work?

Insect growth regulators (IGRs) are products that affect insects’ ability to grow and mature normally, by disrupting life processes unique to insects. For example, for an insect to grow, it must molt, shedding its external skeleton (or shell) and produce a new, larger one. Some IGRs keep the newly molted insect from making this new protective shell, leading to its death.

flea_life_cycleMany insects undergo a dramatic metamorphosis (change in form) during their life. For instance, a caterpillar spins a cocoon (chrysalis) and changes into a pupa, which then becomes a butterfly or moth – a remarkable transformation! Some IGRs disrupt this transformation, keeping the pupa from becoming an adult insect – breaking the life cycle.


By preventing immature insects from becoming adults, IGR’s will eventually cause the population to die out.

Since IGRs disrupt processes unique to insects, which do not occur in animals such as mammals (including humans, dogs and cats), birds and fish, they have a good margin of safety. IGRs are also non-repellant and have good residual activity, so you don’t have to apply them very often.


Martin’s I. G. Regulator controls many different insects, such as fleas, cockroaches, flies, mosquitoes, gnats, crickets, and ants indoors or outside[1]. It prevents immature stages of these insects from becoming adults.

Indoors, I.G. Regulator inhibits cockroach and flea reinfestations for up to 6 and flea reinfestations 7 months!

[1] See the products’ labels for a complete list of application sites.

[1] See the products’ labels for a complete list of application sites.

Doug Ross

Technical Services Manager Martin's Brand

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