Permethrin insecticide and pyrethrum insecticide are quite similar, they both kill unwanted insects and mosquitos. Both of these insecticides even sound similar and have similar qualities, as they are poisonous to insects, however, when explored closer, permethrin and pyrethrum are very different in their structure, chemical composition and even manner of acquisition is very different for both of these. Therefore let’s explore the topic of permethrin insecticide versus pyrethrum spray, what makes them so different from each other and which one is better for your intended usage.
Permethrin is a chemical used in insecticides to fight mosquitoes and other insects. It is also used in pharmacy, as a medication to fight scabies and lice and also on animals to fight lice and parasites which have inhabited their fur or even worse, live inside animals. Permethrin insecticides come in a form of cream, lotion or spray. Although this pesticide is used in pharmacy and is meant to be applied to your skin, it is chemical, therefore, can cause rash, hypersensitivity, and irritation to your skin. However, even if it might cause some skin irritations, altogether it is not dangerous and unsafe for adults nor children over the age of two months. Permethrin insecticide should be used only when necessary and in right amounts, as all medication should be. And if permethrin is used according to the safety instructions then side effects are most likely not going to appear.
Permethrin is utilized also in agriculture, where it is used to fight pests on different crops. But because it is wide spectrum chemical, intended to kill various kinds of pesticides and insects, it also harms and kills beneficial insects, such as honeybees and can be harmful to aquatic life. It is also used to fight insects and ticks on animals by treating mice or rat populations which rodent these insects. In addition, permethrin is used in tropical areas as a mosquito prevention measure, because of deadly illnesses as malaria. By lining our bedding and clothing with this chemical we can scare away mosquitos and other insects that transmit different illnesses and infections. Although permethrin is widely used all around the world for different purposes, its main area is fighting pests and insects on crops, such as cotton.
Pyrethrum is a natural pesticide found in a gene of flowers called chrysanthemums. As it is naturally accessible, pyrethrum insecticide has been used as a pesticide for centuries. Moreover, because pyrethrum spray is obtained in nature, pyrethrum insecticide is non-synthetic and also organic. Flowers are turned into powder form, active components, called pyrethrum, which work as pesticides, are extracted and pesticide is acquired. Nowadays pyrethrum spray is manufactured from pyrethrum and is being combined with other chemicals and widely used in households. Although pyrethrum spray is natural, pyrethrum insecticide is still dangerous to many mammals, therefore, it should still be handled with the same caution as synthetic pesticides because toxic effects of Pyrethrum are quite similar to synthetic pesticides. Moreover, people who are overly exposed to pyrethrum can experience side effects such as itching of skin, redness, runny nose and even asthma symptoms. People who are sensitive and have allergies should be extra careful around chrysanthemums and pesticide manufactured from them as it can cause health issues.
As pyrethrum spray is still toxic, even though being natural and organic, pyrethrin and pyrethroid has been introduced and is used as an insecticide. Pyrethrin spray and pyrethroid insecticides are less harmful, modified form of pyrethrum insecticide. Pyrethrum is the raw and natural form of this insecticide, but pyrethrin insecticide and pyrethroid insecticides are introduced to substitute this strong natural insecticide, still being natural, but less harmful to mammals and aquatic world. Even though pyrethrin insecticides have been modified to be less harmful and toxic, pyrethrin and pyrethroid spray in very small amounts can still be deadly to bees. Therefore it is advised to use it during night, or as far from bees as possible.
Difference between permethrin insecticides and pyrethrum sprays
The main difference between these two insecticides is that permethrin is synthetic, a man-made chemical in laboratories, but pyrethrum is completely natural acquired from a certain species of flowers called chrysanthemum.
Although the effects of both pesticides are quite similar, as permethrin is synthetic and created in a laboratory, it is more stable and effective when exposed to sunlight. Because of this reason synthetic permethrin is more often used in agriculture then pyrethrum for protecting crops from undesirable insects. Because farmers need more stable pesticides, which can overstand exposure to sunlight for sunny and hot summer days.
Pyrethrum insecticide in comparison to permethrin is environmentally friendlier and safer, as it is a natural product. For small household needs, if you do not have a major problem, then opting for pyrethrum is a less toxic idea as it will be less harmful to your health and to the health of your pets. Because even though permethrin has relatively low toxicity, it can be extremely harmful to cats and some other mammals.
Altogether, the main difference between permethrin and pyrethrum is the way they are produced. One comes from flowers and is biological, the other one is synthetically manufactured in laboratories. As the permethrin is manufactured in laboratories, it is much stronger and effects are better and last longer. But since pyrethrum is more eco and human-friendly, we could say that it is less toxic. Permethrin is more appropriate for large farmlands, crops, but pyrethrum would be more appropriate for household needs. So here you have it, permethrin insecticide versus pyrethrum spray, how they differ and which to use when.