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Summary: Pyrethrin is a natural organic compound that is contained in the seed cases of African Chrysanthemums. Pyrethrum is grown commercially to produce Pyrethrin for use in insecticides.

Pyrethrin is a great pesticide because it is one of the safest for humans to use and can even be used indoors and around food. However, you should still use caution to not ingest it or get it in your eyes or on your skin because it can cause skin rashes and some respiratory problems in humans. Read warning labels on any product containing pyrethrin or any other insecticide.

Pyrethrin products available for purchase include Pyganic Pro, a liquid product, PCO Fogger, an aerosol product, Tri-Die, an aerosol dust, 565 Plus XLO, another aerosol mixture and Drione, a dust material.

Pyrethrin is a natural organic compound that is contained in the seed cases of an African Chrysanthemum called Pyrethrum. Pyrethrum is grown commercially to produce Pyrethrin for use in insecticides. A viscous liquid, it is one of the


least poisonous insecticides for mammals and birds, but it is dangerous to fish. Although testing has not been done on humans, tests on animals do not show significant signs of pyrethrins causing cancer or birth defects. As in all pesticides, there are web sites that will disagree with these findings.

Pyrethrin works by inhibiting the nervous system of insects. It does not affect nervous systems in the same way as the more toxic organophosphates or carbonate insecticides. Piperonyl butoxide, a synergist, is often used in combination with Pyrethrin, making the mixture more effective by not allowing the insect's system to detoxify the Pyrethrin.

Pyrethrin is quickly broken down in the bodies of mammals. It also breaks down when exposed to sunlight or water. When Pyrethrin is applied to the soil for treatment against ants or termites for example, it sticks to the soil and does not spread. That is good for the environment because it won't translocate to streams and lakes where it could contaminate a water supply. When applied to the soil the top layer breaks down quickly, but has a soil half life of 12 days. When applied in non-lethal doses to insects it acts as a repellent, but is not necessarily a killing agent.

Pyrethrin can be found in aerosol foggers, human head lice treatments and pet flea sprays. It is commonly found in brand name products you can purchase off your grocery store shelves like Raid, Hot Shot and Cutter. It is effective in killing all kinds of insects like fleas, bees, wasps, ants, cockroaches, and beetles and is a good extermination tool to fight bedbugs, ticks, mosquitoes and other bloodsuckers.

As with all chemicals and insecticides, carefully follow the directions for use on the label. It is, after all, a killing agent not an after-shower body spray.

For more information about Pyrethrin, click here.

Ask Rick A Question


02 Apr 2010, 23:38
Every spring we get ants..Will Pyrethrin keep them at bay all summer?
25 Aug 2010, 19:32
Why do you use Pyrethrin?
Ask the Exterminator
25 Aug 2010, 22:29
All the reasons are stated in the article.
30 Oct 2010, 10:03
When using Pyrethrin around the perimeter of my home to treat various bees nest, should I consider the weather before having it applied?
Ask the Exterminator
30 Oct 2010, 17:09
Well, you don't apply the product in the rain and wasps nests die in cold weather. So, I supposed you should consider the weather.
28 Feb 2011, 15:45
I'm in Central Pennsylvania and like everyone else, have recently been swarmed with brown marmorated stink bugs. I've been finding these bugs in my house all winter and it is now late February and I'm still seeing them. I've read about how Pyrethrin is safe for indoors and I plan to use it as such. I believe they entered my exhaust ducts (bath, kitchen, etc...) and have hidden in the ducts all winter. I plan on turning on the exhaust fans and misting Pyrethin into the ducts. What do you think?

Thanks for your time.
Ask the Exterminator
28 Feb 2011, 17:05
I think you'll kill some stink bugs if the mist contacts them directly. It is highly likely, however, the stink bugs are hiding in more places than the exhaust ducts. Remember, they want to be in locations where there is little moving air. An exhaust ducts certainly has moving air.
14 Apr 2011, 10:56
I recently found out that there are bedbugs in my home. Only a few have been seen, so I was told the problem most likely has been detected early. Just in case there are more from eggs that haven't hatched yet,will Pyrethrin kill off all remaining bugs and their eggs? If we want to use Pyrethrin should it be used?
Ask the Exterminator
15 Apr 2011, 11:22
Any of the pesticides listed in this article will kill bed bugs on direct contact. That means you need to locate the bed bugs and spray them. You cannot apply any of these products and expect bed bugs to walk over the residual and die. Direct contact is required.
09 May 2011, 12:32
I read your article and thank you for the information provided. Just to dig a little deeper, I want to know if "Hot Shot Fogger," will kill carpenter ants?
Ask the Exterminator
09 May 2011, 14:06
Take a look at this link to an article about carpenter ant control. It recommends a couple of very good products.
Dave H
05 Aug 2011, 09:54

I was reading your article. I have a bed bug issue and have been fighting for 6 mos. now! I had an exterminator in and he did 2 full treatments and then quit on me. With each treatment I just got Mauled that night, as if it just displaced them but not crippling or killing them. Since then I have bought Cycmic, Tempo, Temprid, Alpine, Phantom, Drione dust.. Nothing stops them! It's upsetting.. Do you know what can be purchase that will work? I have bought all the chemicals you can find in a general hardware store also.. I really need something that has mega residual as I have looked but then are well hidden. I've resorted to just vacumming and 91% alcohol bommings but obviously no residual with that..

Please advise.


Ask the Exterminator
16 Aug 2011, 11:29
Save your money. There are no pesticides that provide effective residual control of bed bugs. If you want to kill a bed bug with pesticides you must locate it and spray it directly. In your case, if you are not identifying all the stages of the bed bug, it is probable that you are failing to treat all the bugs that are present. You need to study up on what all the stages look like and renew your efforts.
15 Oct 2011, 12:36
I have a 2 y/o iguana and 1 y/o bearded dragon and just wanted to know if Pyrethrin was safe to use around reptiles. I dont want to use baits, traps, or poisins, because I also have a cat and dog who both like to get into things they are not supposed to.
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