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What is Pyrethrin? Is it Safe?
Choosing effective pest control products to use in your organic garden can be quite an undertaking. You must consider not only how well a product works at controlling and eliminating pests, but also whether or not it is acceptable to use in organic gardening. Thankfully, there are insecticide solutions available for use in organic gardening which contain an ingredient called pyrethrin.
What Is Pyrethrin?
Pyrethrin, also known as pyrethrum, is a compound extracted from the chrysanthemum flower — a plant native to northeastern Europe, Asia and Eastern Africa, though it is grown throughout the world. In fact, many North Americans know this plant as a mum, a decorative autumn flower. These plants contain pyrethrin, which is used by the plant as a natural defense mechanism to protect against insects and other pest animals.
Pyrethrin affects an insect’s nervous system through a deadly toxic effect. Almost immediately upon contact with this compound, the insect dies from a form of paralysis. This effect is what makes pyrethrin a highly effective insecticide.
How Is Pyrethrin Produced?
In order to harness the power of pyrethrin as a natural pest control product, the compound is extracted from the chrysanthemum plant. Once extracted, the manufacturer processes it into an insecticide for use in gardening and pest control. Typically, the chrysanthemum flowers are dried and then crushed into a fine powder. The powder can be used as-is or further be processed into a liquid form to use as a spray.
In its liquid form, pyrethrin remains the active ingredient in the insecticide while combining it with other ingredients to create the spray.
Benefits of Using Pyrethrin in Organic Gardening
Pyrethrin is an insecticide that kills a wide range of insect pests including ants, mosquitoes, moths, flies and fleas. Pyrethrin kills off insects almost instantly upon contact. Only apply Pyrethrin in smaller, spot sprays. You do not need to use a lot.
However, be careful not to overuse this insecticide product – take care avoid using on beneficial insects such as ladybugs and honey bees. Therefore, only use pyrethrin in situations where it will not affect these types of insects.
Additionally, pyrethrin breaks down rapidly, so it does not persist in the environment. This means pyrethrin-based sprays are often considered compliant for organic production, unlike many synthetic pesticides.
Choosing Pyrethrin Pest Control Products for Your Organic Garden
While protecting your plants from pests is an important part of maintaining a healthy garden, it’s equally as important not to sacrifice it for synthetic solutions. Pyrethrin is an excellent choice for pest control in gardening. Safer® Brand’s EndALL® pest control product contains a combination of pyrethrin, potassium salts of fatty acids and neem oil and is compliant for use in organic gardening.
For more great tips and information on making your organic garden the healthiest it can be, like Safer® Brand on Facebook and sign up for our e-newsletter. If you have question about pyrethrin and using it as an insecticide in organic gardening, please comment below and we’ll be happy to answer.