Pyrethrum vs. Permethrin: Know Which Insecticides Are Safe

Pyrethrum vs. Permethrin: Know Which Insecticides Are Safe

Pyrethrum is a genus class of plants in the Chrysanthemum family, which includes the herbal plant feverfew. Pyrethrum also refers to the natural insecticide that comes from this plant species. When looking for flea treatments for your pet, don't be fooled by pyrethrum's man-made chemical replacement, permethrin. Permethrin is the synthetic version of pyrethrum that is chemically man-made to use as an insect repellent, most commonly for fleas found on dogs.

Pyrethrum is a genus class of plants in the Chrysanthemum family, which includes the herbal plant feverfew. Pyrethrum also refers to the natural insecticide that comes from this plant species. When looking for flea treatments for your pet, don't be fooled by pyrethrum's man-made chemical replacement, permethrin. Permethrin is the synthetic version of pyrethrum that is chemically man-made to use as an insect repellent, most commonly for fleas found on dogs.

Where Are Permethrins Found?

Permethrin is a chemical toxin that was first registered in the United States in 1976. It is typically found in liquids, powders, dusts, sprays, and treated clothing. Permethrin is used for mosquito control programs, insect control inside buildings, foggers and flea bombs, topical flea collars, livestock ear tags, scabies, flea shampoos, and flea spot treatment for dogs. Even some organically certified pet products still contain this harmful chemical.

What Does Permethrin Affect?

Permethrin affects the nervous system on insects causing muscle spasms, paralysis, and eventually death. According to the National Pesticide Information Center, insects can’t break down this synthetic toxin as fast as dogs and people. Permethrin is also hazardous for cats because the breakdown time in the body is exceptionally long in cats, making it toxic to them.

What Are the Symptoms of Permethrin Exposure?

While permethrin doesn't have as drastic an effect on people as it does on insects, it can still be dangerous. When people are exposed to permethrin, especially on their skin, they can show symptoms such as skin irritation, tingling, burning, or itching. If it is ingested or inhaled, it can cause a sore throat, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. According to researchers, long-term exposure causes further health ailments. They found that when dogs and mice were fed permethrin for two years, it increased the weight of their livers, they had more tremors, and it affected their bodies' hormone systems. Permethrin can also cause symptoms in cats and dogs that result in paw flicking, ear, skin or tail twitching, drooling, lip-smacking, or rolling on the ground. When cats are exposed dermally they can experience convulsions, hyper excitability, depression, ataxia, vomiting, anorexia or tremors, which can show up immediately or several days after exposure. Humans have many of the same symptoms as pets when exposed over a long period of time. Permethrin also effects our environment. It can get into the soil when used on crops and then into water sources. Once it is in lakes and rivers, it sticks to the sediment where it can remain for more than one year.

Fight Your Pet's Fleas with Pyrethrum

Hopefully the above details helped you see the dangers of using permethrin or products with permethrin in it. Instead of turning to this chemical to fight your pet's fleas, try growing pyrethrum in your garden instead. The plant feverfew is great to grow in your garden if you have dogs. It is a proliferate plant that will spread to fill any area and will also act as a natural insect repellent. You can even use the aerial parts of the plant to make an infusion to apply to your pet topically to help repel pesky fleas. An infusion will help bring out the natural pyrethrum from the plant, making it non-toxic and safe for your pet when used topically on their coat.

Avoiding the topical flea chemicals is the first step to making your pets healthier! For those pet owners who are concerned about fleas, you can work on preventing infestations by boosting your pet's immune system with Echinacea, Earth Animal’s Internal Flea Powder, and Garlic capsules from Nature’s Sunshine. When you have a healthy pet and good immune system, pests are less likely to bother your pet. Also, think about the insecticides you use in your yard and whether you and your pets are being exposed to dangerous chemicals from them. You should also be informed if your city has any mosquito control programs that involve spraying. If your city does, you and your pet should stay indoors or even petition your municipality to use a less harmful protocol.

It is easy for humans to describe their ailments or how they feel if they are exposed to permethrin. But you have to keep in mind that our animals don’t have a voice. These chemicals can do serious harm to them, with the end result of death as a possibility. You should consider natural options before chemicals for better health and longevity.

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