Pyrethrum is a source of natural insecticides that are widely used in agriculture and for domestic purposes; the active constituents are recovered from dried chrysanthemum flowers.
For over 160 years, pyrethrum has been safely and effectively used as a pesticide the world over. Unique in their ability to eliminate most insect pests while posing virtually no threat to the environment
Pyrethrum is the most widely used botanical insecticide in the World. The active ingredient, permethrin, is extracted from the chrysanthemum plant, Dendranthemum (Chrysanthemum) cinerariaefolium.
Most insects are highly susceptible to pyrethrum at low concentrations. The compound acts rapidly on insects, causing immediate “knockdown.” Flying insects drop almost immediately upon exposure. Pyrethrums also are highly irritating to insects, so they may be used as a “flushing agent” or irritant to make them come out of hiding.
Fast knockdown and actual insect death don’t always go hand in hand, as many insects recover after the initial knockdown. For this reason, pyrethrums are mixed with a synergist such as piperonyl butoxide (PBO) to increase insect mortality. Pyrethrums are primarily effective as a contact poison. They affect the central nervous system of insects.
Pyrethrum is nontoxic to most mammals, making it among the safest insecticides in use. In fact, it has more approved EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) uses than any other insecticide.