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Pyrethrum or natural pyrethrins, a plant insecticide



Pyrethre and Pyrethrins

chrysanthemum flower - Tanacetum cinerariifolium

Pyrethrum is a plant insecticide extracted from dried chrysanthemum flowers. This insecticide is also called Dalmatian pyrethrum (Tanacetum cinerariifolium). Kenya is the largest producer of pyrethrum, followed by Tanzania.

The term "pyrethrum" refers to the powder extracted from the dried flowers of the chrysanthemum while the term "pyrethrins" refers to the six active compounds contained in this powder.

The 6 active esters contained in the term pyrethrins are:

Pyrethrins I and II, Cinerins I and II and Jasmolines I and II. They result from the combination of 2 acids (chrysanthemic acid and pyrethric acid) and 3 alcohols (pyrethrolone, cinerolone and jasmolone).


N.B.: Please note that pyrethrins should not be confused with PYRETHROIDES which are synthetic products (permethrin, phenothrin, depallethrin, esdepallethrin).

What to know about pyrethrum

  • The pyrethrins contained in pyrethrum are very unstable compounds: they are quickly decomposed by light, air and heat. They are therefore easily biodegradable materials.
    - Half-life in soil: 12 days
    - Photodegradation (half-life): about 10 to 12 minutes in direct sunlight
    - Half-life in air: 1.5 days
    - Product not detected after 14 days
    Note : The persistence of action is increased in the absence of light (UV), which favors the use of pyrethrins in the premises.

  • Pyrethrum attacks the nervous system of all insects. It inhibits female mosquitoes by preventing them from biting and also has a repellent effect. It is a contact and ingestion insecticide with a very broad spectrum of activity. It is also a neurotoxin (modulator of the voltage-dependent sodium channel).

  • If it is considered not very "toxic" on warm-blooded animals, it is active on fish and other aquatic organisms. It can, in concentrated form and in some people, create irritation or allergic reactions on contact.
    Toxicity - Ecotoxicity of pure pyrethrum concentrated at 25%
    - CL50 (4 h) acute inhalation : 3.4 mg/l of air
    - Dermal irritation : non-irritant
    - Eye irritation : non-irritant
    - Dermal sensitization : non-sensitizing
    - CL50 (96 h) : 5.2 µg/l
    - CL50 (48 h) : 12 µg/l

  • Pyrethrum is an insecticide authorized in organic farming.

  • In outdoor use, it is preferable to use it in the evening to avoid its degradation by the sun.

  • Its effectiveness, depending on the temperature and the light, can vary from 12 to 48 hours. Being quickly diluted by water, you will have to retreat after a rain.

  • The effect of pyrethrum is immediate but depending on its concentration and the resistance of the insect, pyrethrum may only create a shock effect on the affected insect, i.e. the insect is only "paralyzed". but not dead.

  • In order to reinforce the action of pyrethrum, certain products can be added to the preparation. The most common is PBO (or Piperonyl Butoxide). Although authorized, this component is however suspected of being mutagenic and of affecting certain liver cells in mammals. You can also use "soap" or oil (rapeseed, mineral). These act as "wetting agents", thus making it possible to greatly increase the action of pyrethrum while remaining non-hazardous to health.

  • You will find in the special file "Mosquitoes", an AFSSET report concerning the use of pyrethrum on a large scale against mosquitoes (chikungunya). This report shows the effectiveness of this insecticide but also all the toxicological and ecotoxicological properties.

Our plant pyrethrum-based insecticides

Given the very high price of pyrethrum (several hundred euros per kilo), it is always sold diluted and in concentrations that rarely exceed 1%. For conservation problems (pyrethrum degrades very quickly in light), it is often only found in stores in the form of an aerosol can. We have selected two aerosol cans based on vegetable pyrethrum. Each of them having different properties, their use is therefore complementary. The 3rd product is not an aerosol but is applied using a sprayer, it is our flagship pyrethrum-based product : 4J.

1. Insecticide All insects ECODOO and Flying insecticide flies and mosquitoes ARIES
Air-propelled, these insecticides use alcohol as a solvent, which makes them very light and non-wetting. They will therefore be intended as a priority to treat volumes such as cupboards, cupboards, etc. and of course, by closing doors and windows, the ambient air of the rooms. After drying, the products leave no visible trace.


2. Pistal Aries All Insects Killer
Propelled in the air, this insecticide uses paraffin as a solvent, which makes it rather heavy but particularly effective on eggs, larvae and nits, which neurotoxins such as pyrethrum cannot do. It will therefore be intended primarily to treat "large" insects such as hornet, surfaces or cracks with a direct jet, but not the ambient air. After drying, the product leaves no visible traces.

All Insects Natural Insecticide Aerosol -...

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Pistal insecticide with PBO-free plant pyrethrum extract is a fast-acting universal natural insecticide. This formula kills all...
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3. 4J insecticide
Penn'Ty Bio cannot mention a pyrethrum-based insecticide without mentioning its 4J insecticide. Flagship product for many years, this insecticide is effective against a large number of crawling and flying insects in our homes. This natural insecticide consists of plant extracts and potassium, it does not contain any salts of heavy metals, chlorinated compounds, organo-phosphorus compounds, phenols, which are dangerous for humans and warm-blooded animals. It is obviously free of pyrethroids or any synthetic pesticides.

4J Insecticide concentrate with plant...

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4J insecticide concentrate to be diluted. Effective against a large number of crawling and flying insects in our homes. Available in...
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4J insecticide diluted to 1.5% ready to use. Ideal against small insects and mites in our homes. Available in 500 ml spray bottle or...
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Insecticide 4J diluted 5% - All insects -...

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Ready-to-use  4J insecticide diluted to 5% . With this concentration, you will destroy  most flying and crawling insects  very quickly....
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4J insecticide diluted 10% - Resistant...

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Insecticide 4J diluted to 10% ready to use. With this concentration, you will destroy very quickly all the insects some are their sizes...
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