Ortho Home Defense vs. Wondercide: A Comparative Analysis of Pest Control Products

Dermacentor variabilis (American dog tick)

Fleas and ticks are common pests that can cause discomfort, health issues, and infestations in our homes and yards. To help you choose the right products for effective flea and tick control, we compare two pest control products: Ortho Home Defense and Wondercide. These two products offer a range of options to suit different needs and preferences, from traditional a pesticide to natural and eco-friendly solutions. Let’s explore these products and find the best fit your needs.

Ortho Home Defense contains synthetic pesticides from the pyrethroid family: bifenthrin and zeta-cypermethrin. These pyrethroid insecticides are very effective against virtually all pest insects. They can protect up to 12 months indoors and three outdoors​(1​,​2​​,3​).

Purchase Ortho Home Defense on Amazon:

On the other hand, Wondercide utilizes several essential oils as natural insecticides and pest repellents, with most of their products relying on heavy concentrations of cedar oil. It is as toxic to nymph ticks as permethrin and had the same repellency effects as DEET in one study. A similar cedar oil product caused an 80-100% knockdown rate in bedbugs, which was as effective as synthetic pyrethrins. However, it’s important to note that essential oils are highly volatile and thus evaporate quickly, so repeated applications may be necessary for lasting control​ (4​​,5​​,6​).

Purchase Wondercide on Amazon:

Regarding safety, both products are generally considered safe for use around family and pets when used properly, but it’s always important to observe safety precautions. Mammalian enzymes rapidly break down pyrethroid insecticides like those in Ortho Home Defense, but they are still toxic. Wondercide claims that its products are not harmful to off-target animals. Still, the scientific evidence backing this claim isn’t clear, and specific studies have shown that essential oils can also be toxic to non-target organisms like bees​(7,​​8)​.

[Read our review on Thermacell Tick Tubes]

[Read my picks for PPE to use when handling pesticides]

So, both Ortho Home Defense and Wondercide have their benefits and limitations, and you might need to consider these factors along with your specific needs and preferences when deciding which product to use.

If Wondercide is a product you prefer and you tend to lean toward eco-friendly products, we recommend browsing the electric power tool options from Greenworks Tools & Lawn Vehicles.

[Read More: Household items that kill bed bugs]

Note: This post contains affiliate links.


  1. Ortho Home Defense Indoor & Perimeter Spray. Ortho.
  2. Ortho Home Defense Outdoor Perimeter Insect Killer. Ortho.
  3. Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer for Lawns Granules. Ortho.
  4. Carleton J, et al. Comparative efficacy of commercially available natural and synthetic insecticides against larvae of the lone star tick (Acari: Ixodidae). J Med Entomol. 2016 Nov;53(6):1318-1324.
  5. Terrestrial Toxicity and Risk Assessment of Selected Homeowner-Use Pesticides. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  6. Potter MF, et al. Cedarwood Oil as Repellent and Acaricide for the Management of the Common Bed Bug (Hemiptera: Cimicidae). J Econ Entomol. 2015 Aug;108(4):1578-1583.
  7. Pesticide Product Label – Ortho Home Defense Indoor & Perimeter Insect Killer. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  8. Repellents. Environmental Protection Agency.
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