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Contact Organics FAQ

Contact OrganicsContact Organics introduces an innovative Weed Terminator to control unwanted vegetation - a bioherbicide made from Acetic Acid! By combining cutting-edge technology, in-depth scientific research combined with organic chemistry, we present a breakthrough in environmentally-friendly weed control. Contact Organics' product foundations are based on our commitment to providing ecological & non-toxic weed terminators and the result is a range of revolutionary bioherbicides. Contact Organics offers an effective alternative to synthetic chemical weed killers. We understand that you have a lot of questions about weed killers in general and this natural weed killer in particular. We have compiled this FAQ page to answer all of the questions we can. If you have more, please let us know at [email protected] You can also use the chatbot on this page. We will get them answered as quickly as we can and if it's a new one, we will post it on this page. Thank you! 

Question: What is in this weed killer?

Answer: Contact Organics Weed Terminator is 20% acetic acid which is used with Boost. Boost is a mixture of natural oils, wetting agents, and emulsifiers (ethoxylated alcohols). It's IMPORTANT to handle the Weed Terminator with respect and wear the proper protective personal equipment. Watch this video for more information on how to use this product.

Question: Why was this weed killer developed?

Answer: The need for a safe and effective vegetation control product is long overdue.

Question: Can my kids and pets walk on it and if so how soon?

Answer: 24 hours is the official time on the SDS. This is very cautious. 1-2 hours after the product has been applied, dried, and absorbed into the plants is reasonable. Common Sense is always important.

Contact Organics is non-toxic and biodegradable in a relatively short period of time and leaves no residue. The product will be absorbed very quickly into the sprayed plants.

Children and pets can enter the area safely when the spray has dried off or after a day's time or sooner if it rains.

Question: How does it work?

Answer: Desiccation by dehydration https://www.contactorganics.com/scientific-evidence/

Question: What is the side-by-side cost comparison - does it cost more or less than Roundup?

Answer: The cost is based on the cost of the spray solution per gallon. What is the true cost of the world’s most widely used “cheap” herbicide?

When comparing an environmentally friendly bioherbicide to the world’s most widely used cheap herbicide what are some factors to consider?

Let’s not consider the damage from glyphosate to the environment or the damage to the soil that has been firmly documented in the scientific literature.

Let’s not consider the damaging effects to the livestock that are consuming grain and feedstuffs that contain glyphosate residue (a broad spectrum chelator and potent anti-microbial agent).

Let’s not consider the damaging effects to the crops which have been verified by independent science that documents the need for a dramatic increase in fungicide and insecticide and nematicide use due to the damaging effects of glyphosate.

Let’s not consider the damaging effects to humans including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, endocrine-disrupting capabilities including reduced viability of sperm and conception rates

Let’s not consider the reduced nutrient availability of foods consumed that contain this broad-spectrum chelator that is significantly contributing to obesity rates in our country. Let’s strictly focus on issues related to digestive health due to the ubiquitous presence of glyphosate in the food and water supply

Let’s only consider the amount of damage caused and the dollars spent annually in our country to treat/deal with Crohn’s Disease, Diverticular Disease(s), Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, Leaky Gut, Ulcerative Colitis, IBS Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Gluten Intolerance which all can be hypothesized to be connected to glyphosate-based on the volume of animal studies

What is the true cost of this cheap herbicide?

Question: If it costs more why is it worth it?

Answer: It is BENEFICIAL to the microbiology of the soil. It is the BEST performing non-toxic contact herbicide in the market and the most competitively priced in the nontoxic contact herbicide space.

Question: Why isn't it available in CA, WA, and OR?

Answer: The rules there are VERY complex. We have not submitted for approval there as of yet because of dollars and sense. We have another formulation in the regulatory approval process and once this clears the EPA we will move forward in CA, OR & WA. With the time and expense requirements in those 3 states, it would be counter-productive for us to register the current formulation there as it would be registered at the approximate time when we have the next formulation approved so we would duplicate the registration cost and not gain anything on time. We made the decision based on a smart business approach with all of the variables laid out.

Question: How does Contact Organics compare to other non-toxic weed killers?

Answer: We have conducted side-by-side comparisons on almost every product in the non-toxic contact herbicide space. We have demonstrated better efficacy and price advantage.

Question: Where can I buy the Contact Organics Weed Terminator and Contact Organics Boost combination? 

Answer: The Contact Organics Weed Terminator and Contact Organics Boost combination can be purchased online and through a number of resellers and national distributors throughout the USA. If you would like to purchase Weed Terminator but need help locating a reseller close by, please let us know and we will work with you to get the product to your door. If you are buying for your garden, you can buy here.

Question: How does the combination of Contact Organics Weed Terminator and Contact Organics Boost kill weeds? 

Answer: The Contact Organics Weed Terminator used with Contact Organics Boost kills weeds in a similar way to a heavy frost or extreme heatwave. Acetic Acid, the active ingredient, quickly breaks down the cells of the plant by degrading the protective film of sprayed plant areas to cause complete dehydration. The formulation is a highly effective desiccant, not a systemic poison, so plants are unable to build resistance.

Question: How does Contact Organics work? 

Answer: The Contact Organics Weed Terminator is a powerful bioherbicide when it is used with Contact Organics Boost. The combination is designed for agriculture, landscape, government municipalities, the education sector, revegetation programs, national parks as well as small and large homes. The active ingredient in Contact Organics Weed Terminator is acetic acid.

When used with Contact Organics Boost, the combination spray mixture penetrates the plant by breaking down the waxy layer that protects the weed’s leaf. Contact Organics proprietary delivery technology strongly aides this process. The acetic acid enters the plant’s cells and destroys its membranes. This causes the weed’s moisture to escape. As this process continues, the Weed Terminator dehydrates the weed to termination. With no residues remaining in the soil, weeds are unable to build resistance.

Made from ingredients that occur in nature means there are no toxins or poisons that can pass into the food chain or the human body.

Question: Which weeds do Contact Organics control? 

Answer: The Contact Organics Weed Terminator and Contact Organics Boost combination make up a high-performance, broad-spectrum, contact bio-herbicide made from ingredients found in nature. Our proprietary delivery system significantly enhances the effectiveness of acetic acid, the active ingredient. The Contact Organics Weed Terminator and Contact Organics Boost combination kill weeds by desiccation.

When you spray weeds with the Contact Organics Weed Terminator used with Contact Organics Boost, this combination spray mixture will provide results typically in a couple of hours. Depending on the type of weed, climate, or temperature at the time of application as well as the dilution will affect the time required for desiccation. It can take up to one week.

Contact Organics Weed Terminator is a contact herbicide when combined with Contact Organics Boost, it is recommended to spray the weeds to provide complete coverage to the point of runoff. The green parts of the weeds should be covered with the spray mixture. Weed Terminator will kill and control annual broadleaf weeds:

  • Black medic, Chickweed, Black Nightshade, Cinquefoil (rough), Common groundsel, Hairy nightshade, Lambsquarters, Mustard spp., Oxalis spp.,
  • Pigweed spp., Ragweed spp., Shepherdspurse
  • Smartweed (Ladysthumb), Velvetleaf
  • Perennial Broad Leaves: Amaranth, spp.,
  • Cinquefoil (silvery), Dandelion, Ground ivy,
  • Plantain spp., Toadflax, Tufted vetch,
  • Wild carrot, Moss
  • Annual Grasses: Crabgrass, Foxtail spp.,
  • Italian Ryegrass, Poa annual, Wooly Cup Grass
  • Perennial Grasses: Requiring Sequential Applications for Control: Bluegrass, Quackgrass, Witchgrass, Brome Grass, Cogon Grass

Some woody or perennial type grasses/weeds and those with deeper roots will require sequential applications. For example, Bermuda grass with its large root system and runners will require a couple of resprays to achieve control. It is recommended to respray after 2-3 weeks when the plant is in the process of recovering and putting all its energy into this process.

As a broad-spectrum, non-selective bio-herbicide the Contact Organics Weed Terminator in combination with Contact Organics Boost provides a spray mixture that does affect all plants it comes in contact with. The target weeds/vegetation should only be sprayed, however, it does not impact larger plants, trees, and bushes when spray drifts onto them. For example, a limited spray drift on grapevines will barely be noticeable – most likely just resulting in only a couple of brown spots on the leaves.

Take care when spraying near seedlings or flower beds of actively growing plants so that the desiccation nature of Weed Terminator does not harm the desired plants.

Control of tougher weeds is possible by increasing the concentration of the Weed Terminator in the spray mixture and increasing application rates. Please refer to the label for instructions.

Woody species like Wild Blackberry, French, or Scotch Broom may require sequential applications and a fall application (when the plant is taking in nutrients for the winter) has proven to be quite effective.

Once weeds are controlled, utilize the mix for the juvenile weeds for maintenance levels.

Question: Nothing within the SDS says that it is safe for farm animals and bees etc. What happens if animals digest Contact Organics? 

Answer: On the products page, you can download the relevant SDS sheet.

Under Toxicity Data it states that if they consumed greater than 5,000 mg/kg, it would kill 50% of rats. Translated - a rat would have to consume 5 gallons of the spray mixture per kg, or part thereof, of its own weight to kill it. Therefore, a farm animal would have to consume hundreds of gallons of the spray mixture to reach and exceed this toxicity limit. In a normal spot spraying operation, one sprays approximately 1 oz. per square foot of treated area which is way below the toxicity limit of the product. Contact Organics does recommend that people, pets, and farm animals stay out of the area being sprayed, at least until the product has been absorbed into the plants and dried off.

The Contact Organics Weed Terminator and Contact Organics Boost combination spray mixture are not detrimental to bees if bees come in contact with the product in the case of spray drift or wetted plants after spraying. Acetic acid, the active ingredient, is used in higher concentrations by beekeepers to fumigate beehives to treat Nosema infections or to disinfect bee-keeping equipment.

Question: If I spray within 4 feet of a creek will the acidity affect the fish or creek life? 

Answer: Despite its overall low eco-toxicity and low absolute volume, you should not spray the Contact Organics Weed Terminator and Contact Organics Boost combination spray mixture over water. Spot spraying weeds in the vicinity of a creek is fine as the spray mixture will enter the weeds and will be used up during the desiccation process. Spray mixture sprayed over the ground is typically absorbed into the soil and neutralized. As the residual product is biodegradable and derived from nature, it will biodegrade within a short period of time, resulting in a spray site with no harmful residues remaining.

Question: Is Contact Organics organically certified herbicide?

Answer: Contact Organics Weed Terminator used in combination with Contact Organics Boost has not been certified for use in organic production. The key reason is that the Contact Organics Boost has not been certified.

While we hold patents on organically certifiable herbicides, the initial focus of our business is offering the market a non-toxic, non-residue, high-performance, and cost-effective bio-herbicide. Contact Organics Weed Terminator used with Contact Organics Boost has been formulated by deriving products from nature and is non-toxic when it is being applied in a weed spray application.

Question: Is Contact Organics effective on aggressive woody weeds like wild blackberry? 

Answer: Best way we have found to control woody species is to spray young shoots & sprouts with the strong mix of the Contact Organics Weed Terminator plus adding the Contact Organics Boost per label directions.

You must saturate all leaves with the spray material for it to be effective. Spraying small plants also makes the process more economical for you. If the growth of woody species or other unwanted vegetation is massive in size it is recommended that the mature plants be shredded and then sprayed when new growth is emerging.

Question: Does Contact Organics work on all species?

Answer: Contact Organics Weed Terminator used with Contact Organics Boost is a non-selective bioherbicide. It has proven successful on numerous species of unwanted vegetation including many glyphosate-resistant species. But there are a few plants for which it may not work.

Question: What kind of uses is Contact Organics non-glyphosate weedkiller approved for, and in which countries?

Answer: Contact Organics has developed a non-toxic Contact Organics Weed Terminator to be used with Contact Organics Boost. The combination of products has been derived from nature using appropriate amounts of ingredients for key market segments: homes and gardens, public lands, municipalities, schools, parks, playgrounds and medians, horticulture, wineries, specialty food crops, and pastures.

In addition to the USA, our products have been approved for use in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Regulatory submissions for Europe will be happening in the near future.

Question: Contact Organics weedkiller is based on acetic acid. Isn’t that vinegar? Why don’t people just go out and spray vinegar instead?

Answer: For many years, environmentally conscious gardeners have used vinegar as a basic herbicide. There are many recipes published on the internet that are based on a combination of vinegar, salt, and dishwashing liquid. If you prepare such a product and spray weeds with it, the initial result looks promising, but if the weather is not ideal, weeds regrow quickly and hardier weeds may not be affected at all.

Our product development started with a delivery system technology that enables full penetration of the organic acid. Contact Organics’ history is in health science and dietary supplement development. We are specialists in making active ingredients bio-available through cutting-edge technology and delivery systems.

We have applied our delivery technology to acetic acid and created bioherbicides that are non-toxic, fast-acting, and high-performing.

Much of the concern over the health and environmental effects of glyphosate-based weedkillers focuses not on the effects of glyphosate alone but on the effects of the adjuvants, both alone, and in combination with glyphosate.

How do you know that your adjuvants are safe, both individually and in combination with the active ingredient?

Contact Organics products are based on acetic acid and adjuvants that are all well-known and are derived from nature and are on the USA EPA Inert Products List.

Europe’s TSG Consulting and Chemwatch have conducted independent reviews of the Contact Organics raw materials and product compositions and issued their toxicity and eco-toxicity reports, and Safety Data Sheets. These reviews confirm that our products are non-toxic and non-hazardous to the environment at the dilution levels used.

The US EPA also conducted a thorough review of Contact Organics Weed Terminator product and composition. They confirmed our product as a bioherbicide and we are currently progressing further with the regulatory approval processes.

Has your product had to go through the usual animal toxicity testing that the usual pesticide-active ingredients have to go through?

Contact Organics Weed Terminator and Contact Organics Boost combination contains acetic acid as its active constituent.  The main health hazards of the product arise from acidity of the product.  The product is of low acute toxicity.

Acetic acid is well understood as an active constituent and there is an abundance of data documenting its toxicity and eco-toxicity. Please refer to the 2015 report by European Food Safety Authority


Based on a large amount of information available, Contact Organics has not been required to conduct animal studies.

All of our other ingredients are on the USA EPA Inert Product List and are naturally occurring materials. They are well understood and categorized as non-toxic or as materials of low toxicity.

Question: Spraying acetic acid on plants is likely not only to kill weeds but also to harm various sorts of wildlife, such as beneficial soil organisms, toads, and insects. So, in what way are Contact Organics products safer than glyphosate-based weedkillers?

Answer: The main benefit of using the Contact Organics Weed Terminator and Contact Organics Boost combination is the low environmental impact of this product. The active ingredient, acetic acid, is generally regarded as safe, readily biodegradable, and leaves no toxic residue. This product provides a safer alternative to toxic synthetic pesticide-based herbicides.

A leading research institute in the USA has completed a 2-year comparative study of the impact of Contact Organics Weed Terminator and Contact Organics Boost combination and Roundup (Glyphosate) on soil microbiology.
The research confirmed that Contact Organics Weed Terminator used with Contact Organics Boost does not adversely affect the soil microbiology. The effects of Weed Terminator did not differ from non-herbicide treatments (“weedy” and “weed-free”) on biological parameters.

Compared with Roundup (glyphosate), significant decreases in soybean root colonization by potential pathogenic Fusarium spp. were noted for Weed Terminator treatment; and the numbers of beneficial root bacteria (fluorescent pseudomonads) also increased. Enhancement of this group of bacteria generally suggests an increased suppression of fungal antagonists in the rhizosphere and potentially reduced root infection.

The numbers of Mn-oxidizing bacteria on roots were generally reduced with Weed Terminator. More importantly, Weed Terminator was associated with favorable proportions (high ratio) of Mn-reducing to Mn-oxidizing bacteria, which was maintained on soybean roots compared with RR soybean+Roundup. Weed Terminator did not change or improve total soil microbial biomass and specific microbial components thereby maintaining soil microbial diversity and functionality, compared with suppressive effects of glyphosate on some microbial components and on microbial biomass. The summary results of the full study can be viewed here.

Question: While spraying weeds at the base of trees, can the odor affect plant health, and if there is drift onto the trunk/bark of the young tree, will that affect plant health?

Answer: Contact Organics Weed Terminator used with Contact Organics Boost is formulated as a contact bioherbicide mixture with acetic acid as the active ingredient. Acetic acid is (in the form of vinegar) is derived from nature. The vinegar smell is detectable when freshly sprayed, but will dissipate over a short period of time.

Contact Organics Weed Terminator used with Contact Organics Boost at a dilution rate of 1:1:20 will kill weeds and grasses that have been directly sprayed. The trunk and bark of young trees will not be affected as they are much hardier. If tree leaves are sprayed on, there might be a small amount of phytotoxicity (browning) noticeable, but the tree health will not be affected by the Weed Terminator spray mixture. Acetic acid will biodegrade in a relatively short period of time and will not leave any residue in the area.

Question: Are there hazards associated with handling the materials? 

Answer: Please read the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) before spraying. The Contact Organics Weed Terminator used with Contact Organics Boost spray mixture is a non-hazardous product. It contains acetic acid as its active ingredient, at 50% of the level of a normal pickling vinegar. However, as it has a low pH, it can cause eye and skin irritations if directly sprayed, or through spray drift. Please wear recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) and wash your hands after use. Details are included in the SDS.

Question: What will happen if it rains after I sprayed? 

Answer: The Contact Organics Weed Terminator and Contact Organics Boost spray mixture is rainproof 1 hour after application, but we advise not to spray if rain is expected within 2 hours. The product works by penetrating the weed through its green tissue, which needs to be covered by the spray mixture. If rain washes the mixture off too soon after application you may not see the full potential of our product and need to reapply. However, depending on the time of day, weather conditions (how warm it is) prior to rain, rain amount, and weeds targeted, you may still see optimal results even if rain occurs soon after application.

Question: Will the product mix harm aquatic life? 

Answer: The Contact Organics Weed Terminator and Contact Organics Boost combination contains acetic acid and therefore has a low pH. Contact Organics advises not to spray the product directly on waterways. However, if it is being used for weed control adjacent to bodies of water, the active ingredient, acetic acid, will biodegrade in a relatively short period of time. There would not be a large amount of the product in the system or soil that might have any impact on aquatic life.

Question: Can the product mix burn surface roots of young plants?

Answer: Contact Organics Weed Terminator used with Contact Organics Boost is formulated as a contact bioherbicide mixture with acetic acid as the active ingredient. Acetic acid is (in the form of vinegar) is derived from nature. The vinegar smell is detectable when freshly sprayed, but will dissipate over a short period of time.

The potency of the Contact Organics Weed Terminator and Contact Organics Boost combination product depends on its dilution level. The Contact Organics Weed Terminator and Contact Organics Boost combination in fully concentrated form would burn surface roots of young plants, however, at a 1:1:20 dilution level, it will not harm surface roots of young plants when sprayed on weeds in the surrounding area.

For more information, visit the manufacturer's page here.

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  • Todd Honeycutt
    published this page 2021-08-23 19:41:04 -0400

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