Natural Pyrethrin


pyrethrin_harvestNatural pyrethrin is a natural organic compound extracted from the seed case of the chrysanthemum plant.  This extract is often used as a very effective pesticide for various insects.  Natural pyrethrin is a non-persistent substance in the environment meaning that it is biodegradable and eco friendly.  The chemical structure of natural pyrethrin has been used as the base model for a variety of synthetic or man made insecticides called pyrethroids.  Common pyrethroids are bifenthrin, permethrin, and cypermethrin.  These synthetic pyrethroids offer an extended active lifetime, meaning that they have longer residual activity for killing insects.  However, the residual properties of these pyrethroids lend themselves to insects developing resistance to there effects. The majority of the worlds supply (up to 70%) comes from chrysanthemum plants grown in Kenya.  The high mountainous plains in Kenya offer an ideal habitat to grow the plant.  Recent political troubles in Kenya have resulted in a national shortage of natural pyrethrin and have made it more expensive and harder to obtain worldwide. 

Pyrethrin as an Insecticide

As an insecticide, Natural pyrethrin is extremely effective.  It is often used as a fogging insecticide for flying insects.  Natural pyrethrin is almost always mixed with cessco_7coil or water to reduce the concentration for spraying.  It only takes .5% or less of natural pyrethrin to create a very effective insecticide.  Due to its non-persistent properties natural pyrethrin does not develop resistance almost entirely.  This makes it very valuable for spraying in locations where resistance to man-made pyrethroids has been developed. 


Natural pyrethrin is one of the safest insecticides available on the market today.  The United States Department of Agriculture has stated that pyrethrin is one of the safest of all insecticides for use in food plants and food preparation areas.  This is the case because natural pyrethrin is easily broken down by stomach acids in humans and all mammals.  Pyrethrin also breaks down quickly in the presence of sunlight and oxygen making it very environmentally friendly.  Pyrethrin is toxic to fish, but for normal application rates toxicity is not usually a problem.  If you are fogging inside with a fish tank present place a cover over it just to be safe.  As with the application of any insecticide it always recommended to wear clothes that cover the skin, gloves, and a mask. 

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Pyrethrin I Pyrethrin II



Due to the extreme effectiveness of natural pyrethrin as an insecticide it makes for a great tool when trying to control pest.  Bulk natural pyrethirn can be obtained in 2.5 gallon sized jugs or 55 gallon drums.  It is commonly marketed as ULD BP-100 for the 1% concentration and ULD BP-500 for the 5% concentration.  For household pyrethrin products Cessco 7C is ideal for controlling flying insects such as house flies, flies, gnats, mosquitoes, wasp, and many other common pest.  Cessco 7C is highly effective because it contains .7% natural pyrethrin and PBO a synergist that makes it work better and faster where other lesser products often contain only .5% natural pyrethrin.  Other pyrethrin products that work great include Riptide, Pyrocide, Pro Control Total Relese Aerosol, and Clean Air Purge III.


Applying natural pyrethrin is crucial in maximizing its effectiveness.  Since natural pyrethrin is often expensive it is important that it is used as carefully and accurately as possible.  Most applications of natural pyrethrin are done with a mist spray.  The particle size of this spray impacts how well it will drift and contact any insect.  Using a backpack blower with a ULV or ultra low volume nozzle will generate the proper particle size for maximum effectiveness.  These ULV nozzles come with a higher initial cost but will quickly repay for themselves with both quantity of spray used and the effectiveness of the smaller spray particles at clinging to and killing pest.  The base of the pyrethrin spray is also an important determining factor in how well the spray will form an effective mist.  Oil based products such as ULD-BP100 and Cessco 7C will offer better drift that water based sprays.  However, water based pyrethrin products are also quite effective and usually cost a little less.

Many household pyrethrin products come in an aerosol can with a preattached mist nozzle.  Many of these such as Cessco 7C offer very effective control in a very portable package.  Products such as the Clean Air Purge III are designed to be used with a metered automatic dispenser that releases a small amount of pyrethrin mist on a set time interval.

More information on the proper application of pyrethirn products

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