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.
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