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Permethrin and Pyrethin - Questions and Answers

Permethrin

Pyrethin

Permethrin is a synthetic, man-made form of Pyrethrin, a natural insecticide derived from the Chrysanthemum plant. Consequently, it is more readily available than Pyrethrin and it is more effective.

It is an insecticide that affects the nervous system of insects - it permeates the shell or skin of the insect and causes paralysis, which then leads to death.

Yes - it is lethal to all insects - although higher doses may be required to kill larger insects.

Permethrin is toxic to insects but it's said to have low mammalian toxicity - it's poorly absorbed through the skin and and rapidly inactivated by the body. However, there is one exception - cats are particularly sensitive to Permethrin for reasons that aren't fully understood, so it should never be used on cats or applied when cats are around. Permethrin is also highly toxic to fish and other aquatic life so it should never be disposed of in waterways or down the drain.

Generally, manufacturers are wary about recommending anything for use by pregnant women and children under the age of 2 and the same is true of Permethrin. There doesn't appear to be much evidence to suggest there might be a problem - but if in any doubt at all consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

The active ingredient is Permethrin in the Lifesystems EX4 Clothing Treatment.

Pyrethin

Pyrethrin is the name given to an extract derived from the Pyrethrum plant, which is better known as the Chrysanthemum. Pyrethrin is a natural product and it is not the same as Permethrin - a synthetic, man-made form of Pyrethrin.

Pyrethrin is an insecticide that affects the nervous system of insects - it permeates the shell or skin of the insect and causes paralysis, which then leads to death.

Yes - it is lethal to all insects - although higher doses may be required to kill larger insects.

Pyrethrin is toxic to insects but with regard to mammals and birds it is one of the least toxic insecticides available with one notable exception - cats. Cats are particularly sensitive to Pyrethrin for reasons that aren't fully understood so it should never be used on cats or applied when cats are around. It is also highly toxic to fish and other aquatic life so it should never be desposed of in waterways or down the drain.

Generally, manufacturers are wary about recommending anything for use by pregnant women and children under the age of 2 and the same is true of Pyrethrin. There doesn't appear to be much evidence to suggest that it might be a problem - but if in any doubt at all consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

The active ingredient is Pyrethrin in the Pyramid EcoGuard Fabric Spray.