Capitalism is a marvelous thing. Sometimes, however, market forces give rise to some truly peculiar products. Kyle and I encountered the following two Raid pesticide products at our local grocery store this past week. I can’t help but wonder what twisted mutation focus group studies led to the conclusion that these were a good idea.

Example No. 1: Raid Ant & Roach killer…in a Country Fresh scent. Keep in mind this is a product that has God’s own toxicity label on it and includes a caution not to inhale or have prolonged exposure to the fumes. Usually this isn’t an issue because pesticide spray smells, well, nasty. Considering the large numbers of people on the planet who have proven to be absent the day God handed out brains, putting a pleasant scent in this product is probably not a good idea.

Example No. 2: Raid Earth Options Ant & Roach killer…in a natural clove scent. The label also includes the banner, “Kills With Plant-Based Active Ingredients”.

Now this is taking the whole tree-hugging, earth-friendly thing too far. We’re still talking about insect murdering, but it’s plant-based insect murder. With a natural clove scent! It’s natural so it must be good! Oh wait, it still has that “Danger: Poison” warning on it. But it’s plant-based and has a natural clove scent!

What *&%$! whackjob decided that it would be easier to sell ant and roach poison to the hippie crowd if they made it clove-scented and slapped the words “earth”, “plant” and “natural” on it?

A genius whackjob, probably, because I bet it will work.

6 Responses to “Strange Capitalism: Raid”
  1. Holly says:

    I’d like to comment about “natural” and “Earth Options”. Dudes…it’s in an aerosol can. I thought that was “out” in tree-hugger land.

  2. Al says:

    As a chemical engineer, I’d like to tell you this is nearly omnipresent in the prepackaged food industry too.

    “We need a little folic acid to make this crisper(or whatever)”
    PR Guy: “Ok, um, that’s like a chemical right?”
    “If its ant extract we can stick it under ‘Natural Flavors'”
    -> Profit.

    IOW They ignored the possibility of synthesizing a pure chemical additive to use a more expensive (energy, time _and_ $$$) and less pure substitute. But this avoids the FDA’s ‘drug’ restrictions and putting one of those nasty chemicals on the ingredient lists.

  3. triticale says:

    The plant-based insect killing chemicals are the pyrethrins. Near as I can tell thru the blur, they are the lead active ingredient in the first can also.

  4. Chris says:

    This should definitely be reported to Homeland Security. I think it’s an Al-Qaeda plot to poison unsuspecting Americans. Or is it that other terrorist group Al-Chemica?

    (PS, do you mind if I borrow your photos for my blog? Thanks!)

  5. Chris says:

    By the way, you may want to review this insane product at

    Thanks again,
    Chris (

  6. Footnotefetish says:

    What’s both saddening and amusing is that the name implies that the Earth is something optional.

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