Pyrethrin: what is it, characteristics and mechanisms of action

piretrina natural

One of the problems that can occur frequently in gardening and agriculture is the presence of pests. Most pests are made up of insects that end up damaging our crops and compromising our crops. In the fight for survival, many plants have created their own pest killer. Among some compounds in a natural way that can be obtained to eliminate pests we have the Pyrethrin.

In this article we are going to tell you everything you need to know about Pyrethrin, its functions and its effectiveness.

What is Pyrethrin



As we have mentioned before, there is a struggle for the survival of plants in which they have to create adaptation mechanisms against the invasion of insect pests. Some of the plants have been able to create their own pest killer. In this casewe’re talking about the chrysanthemum. It is a native plant of Dalmatia from which beautiful flowers sprout that are very similar in appearance to daisies. These flowers are capable of creating organic compounds that are found naturally and that are capable of retaining the insects that make up pests. These compounds are made up of pyrethrin.

It can be said that Pyrethrin is an insecticide of natural origin. It can be obtained from the stems and flowers of the chrysanthemum plant. The extract contains 6 active components called cinnerin I and II, jasmoline I and II and pyrethrin I and II. Generally 25% of the mixture is pyrethrin, with minor amounts of cinerin and jasmoline. These are the active components capable of retaining the pests that affect our crops. Generally, the pyrethrin mix is ​​made with smaller amounts of cinerin and jasmoline. In order to obtain the most effective extract, the plants must be harvested after flowering. Once the chrysanthemum flowers have been collected, they are dried and pulverized using different solvents to extract the oils.

Pyrethrin effectiveness

natural insecticide

natural insecticide

Pyrethrin is quite effective in controlling a wide range of insects. They are less persistent than synthetic insecticides, but are still quite effective. It must be borne in mind that, being a natural insecticide, it must fight insects in another way. The main reason Pyrethrin is less persistent is because it has photodegradable characteristics. This, in turn, is an advantage, since it is considered one of the safest insecticides that exist.

Thanks to the fact that it has a photodegradable effect, it naturally degrades over time and the action of sunlight. This is how we get a natural insecticide that has good efficiency and affects insect pests but does not contaminate water and soil by filtration.

Action mechanisms

chrysanthemum insecticide

chrysanthemum insecticide

We are going to see what are the main mechanisms of action that Pyrethrin uses to be effective against this type of pests mentioned above. They are classified along with other synthetic brothers of the family of insecticides as pyrethroids. It belongs to the group of Modulators of the sodium channel and exerts a direct action on the nervous system of insects. The insecticide molecule is responsible for inhibiting the closure of the sodium channel in the cell membrane. By inhibiting the closure of the sodium channel, we achieve a continuous transmission of the nerve impulse. In this way, we see that the insects begin to tremble continuously with the consequence of a death.

This type of insecticide can take effect both by contact and by ingestion. Many formulations of Pyrethrin piperonyl butoxide. The reason for this is that it has a synergistic action, since the action of both compounds together have more results than the action of each of them separately. It is highly recommended for a wide variety of flying insects. This insecticide has a high turning power and a high mortality rate from pests.

Despite having very good results, its use in intensive agriculture has decreased due to its low persistence. As we have mentioned before, they are natural insecticides that degrade by the action of the degradation of sunlight. For this reason, synthetic pyrethrins emerged. They were synthesized resembling the same molecule but seeking greater resistance. As we have mentioned before for intensive agriculture in which there are a greater number of crops, perhaps this is not the most recommended insecticide. On the other hand, if we have totally own crops on our plot, we can take advantage of the effect of this compound so as not to contaminate the waters and soils and obtain better crops.

With artificially synthesized Pyrethrin, it is possible to evolve from a totally natural and innocuous product to a highly toxic synthetic one for fauna and human beings. As a result, numerous cases of synthetic insecticide resistance have been reported. This is one of the reasons why it is important to promote alternatives for pest control that are safer and more environmentally friendly. Furthermore, it is important that the long-term functionality of these insecticides has been previously tested and studied.

Main uses

We know that the main use of Pyrethrin is to exterminate pests. This is due to its great flipping effect and a good mortality rate that it has. These compounds were called the pest killer. Some sources indicate that it was known in China for about 1000 years BC The use at that time it was mainly focused on controlling head lice in people.

Once the industrial era developed, the use of Pyrethrin decreased rapidly with the appearance of DDT and other synthetic products. However, in modern times its effectiveness has been proven on all kinds of insects. Some formulations can also be used to aid in pimple protection, flea and tick control in dogs, cats, and poultry.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about Pyrethrin and its characteristics.

Pyrethrin: what is it, characteristics and mechanisms of action

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