Spectracide vs Roundup – which is better ?

When comparing herbicides, it is always good to compare those that are listed within the product range. This means they have comparable properties based on the expected results and usage criteria. This is because herbicides do a variety of tasks. In this case, we are comparing the most potent Spectracide vs Roundup varieties.

1. Spectracide Weed and Grass2. Roundup


Spectracide vs roundup
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Both Spectracide and Roundup are popular weed killers used around the world. Spectracide is more of a challenger to the Roundup brand owned by Agrochemical giant Bayer, the most common brand globally. According to the EPA (PDF), Roundup (Glyphosate) is the most commonly used herbicide globally. It is widely used in large fields where weed control is necessary. Spectracide is more of a specialist lawn herbicide, although it is also used along the flower gardens’ driveway and edges. If you need a product that stops bugs around your garden, check our “Is Spectracide bug stop safe” guide.

Most users believe that comparing Spectracide with Roundup is misplaced because the two have different functions and capabilities. As you may realize from the comparison chart, Roundup will work well in certain conditions. The case with Spectracide is the same.

In that case, it is all about functionality and preference when it comes to the choice between the two brands. The type of weed you want to control, the weather patterns, and the surrounding plants will determine which brand you use.

If you want a total clean-up, Roundup is your safe bet. It is effective when you want to eliminate all vegetative herbs within a plot. It will eliminate the plants and the rooting system, leaving zero chance of the plant recovering. Even when it comes to stubborn perennials, this herbicide will perform excellently.

Most reviewers cite it as the most effective broad-spectrum weed killer. Its non-selective technology ensures that broad-leaved or vein network weeds all do not stand a chance. The company boasts of the effective killing of more than 365 plant varieties, making it useful in many areas around where the flora is extensive.

Some plants will be resistant to the herbicide even after using higher concentrations. However, very few weeds can withstand the protein deprivation caused by the systemic working mechanism of Glyphosate.

In case you want targeted results for specific weeds within the desired plant population, Roundup offers a targeted SureShot wand. This prevents the herbicide from touching nearby plants.

On the other hand, Spectracide is effective for targeted weeds within a larger plot. This makes it a number one weed killer in lawns and gardens. It uses a variety of ingredients, all using contact mode of operation. Therefore, it is effective for up to 200 weeds types common in most lawns around the world.

Notably, any plant that is not exposed to the herbicide will be unaffected. However, any part of the plant that encounters the herbicide solution will die within a short time. It is the first fast-acting herbicide, often showing results from a couple of hours to a day. This makes it useful for people who want to take advantage of the planting season and do not want to wait. For example, lawn owners who want to take advantage of the planting season cannot wait for a week to know if the weeds are indeed dead. However, they can spray Spectracide.

The level of concentration and the combining ingredients also determine how effective the herbicide will be for a specified plant population. You must choose the product that suits you best.

Direct comparison chart of Spectracide vs Roundup

 SpectracideRoundup
Active ingredientsDiquat Dibromide  2.30% Fluazifop-p-butyl 1.15% Dicamba & dimethylamine salt             0.77%Glyphosate with Diquat or Dicamba options
Application7 fl. Oz per gallon of water for comparable results of killing the plant and prevention of regrowth6 fl. Oz per a gallon of water for effective killing of plants and prevention of regrowth
Mode of operationIt is a non-selective herbicideIt kills weeds through contact with the part of the plantIt is a non-selective herbicideIt is a systemic weedkiller targeting protein formation in plants
Recommended useWear protective hear and use appropriate spraying equipment to aim at the targeted plat type and areaBuy premixed solution or ensure to use the recommended mix ratioSpray when there is no precipitation  Wear protective gear including an apron, gumboot, gloves, and face maskMix the recommended water to concentrate ratioSpray preferably in a sunny daySpray when the weather forecast shows precipitation is expected  
VarietiesComes in a variety of products, including lawn care, farm weed, and perennial type that kills even rootsIt uses fast-acting technology to ensure that the herbicide is effective within 15 minutes of applicationIt comes in a variety of products depending on the resistance level of the targeted weed. It offers fast-acting technologies that allow the herbicide to penetrate the plant within a short time. One brand name is Weathermax, which is effective within 30 minutes.
Expected ResultsThe package says the plats will be dead in a couple of hours.The results are visible after a couple of days.The contact area will die within 2-3 days, especially annual types.Tough weeds will take weeks to die, especially perennial weeds.  The package says it takes 1-3 days to show an effect on plants.Plants die after a couple of days or a week.Plants differ in resistance; hence effect could delay for resistant weeds for up to 2 weeks.The effect is swifter during sunny weather
Product AvailabilityThe product is available in most stores, including Amazon, Lowes, Homedepot, and WalmartYou can buy it from local retailers and major retailers such as Amazon and Homedepot

How each compares against each other

Even though both use different core active ingredients, mixed products within the brand use similar mixing technologies. Glyphosate is highly potent, killing many weed types on its own. Roundup has mixed products that include Dicamba and Diquat, too, for select markets. Spectracide exists exclusively as a mixture of potent herbicidal ingredients, including Diquat, Fluazifop-p-butyl, and Dicamba. It is moderately potent.

Application and directions of use: Both have similar application directions with the concentration level determining the overall performance levels. The concentration levels start from 3 fl. Oz per gallon up to 7 fl. Oz per gallon. In extraordinary situations when trying to control perennials such as types of grasses, the concentration can be increased for much effective performance.

Mode of operation: The main difference here is that Spectracide is effective on contact while Roundup goes beyond contact in systemic targeting of specific protein development. Contact pesticides are generally fast-acting because they inhibit photosynthesis causing the plants to die. On the other hand, systemic herbicide takes much longer because they travel within the plant’s transport mechanism. 

Recommended use: All herbicides have a similar recommended use model. Many scientific and epidemiological studies continue to link most herbicides such as Spectracide and Roundup to cancer in pets and humans. However, most of them are still not classified and carcinogens. Spectracide is not classified as a carcinogen. However, Glyphosate is classified as ‘unlikely’ to be carcinogenic to humans.

All the herbicides recommend that users comply with set-use standards to prevent the herbicide’s contact or consumption. This includes applying the recommended amount in the recommended way, including not directing it on the soil or a water source. Users are also advised to wear protective gear and limit interaction with a sprayed field or plants.

Expected results: Users are incredibly happy with Roundup’s performance in their reviews, with most of them suggesting that the product works, as stated in the description. Even though resistant weeds require other moderately potent herbicides, the Glyphosate chemical is effective in killing plants non-selectively.

Spectracide receives medium to high user ratings with a good number saying that it does not work exactly as advertised. The main concern for users is that it does not act as fast as the company suggests it does. Notably, working in hours is rarely reported among users. However, it is an effective weed killer—perhaps taking 1-2 days for the results to be visible.

Closing remarks

Both Spectracide and Roundup are potent herbicide for the control of the problematic weed. For complete destruction, Roundup is your best bet. For controlled weeds within a garden, Spectracide will give you optimal results.

Herbicides are incredibly divisive products, with most people considering them harmful to plant diversity. Recently, herbicides have also come under pressure regarding their possibly carcinogenic ingredients. For example, recently, Bayer (the owner of Roundup brand) settled a class-action lawsuit for nearly $10 billion. The case is about non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancer.

It is, therefore, important that users know the hazards related to using herbicides. They also need to fully comprehend the recommended use protocol to minimize their effects on humans and pets. Notably, Roundup suggests that the product should only come into contact with the plant that one wants to kill. It should not come close to food items and plants intended for use by animals that may end up on the menu. Spectracide manufacturers extend the same appeal. They say that you should keep all the sprayed areas out of reach for children, pets, and animals.