Pyrethrum-Pyrethrins, Pyrethroid-Permethrin: Let's Call the Whole Thing Natural?

By Mike Catangui, Ph. D

Through the course of civilization, perhaps through keen observation and happenstance, humans have figured out that extracts from certain chrysanthemum flowers (Scientific Name: Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium; Common Names: pyrethrum plant, Dalmatian chrysanthemum, insect flowers) have insecticidal properties. Legend has it that a person picked certain chrysanthemum flowers as beautiful adornment—and then noticed dead insects around the flowers once they had dried and withered several days later. It is possible that pyrethrum extracts have been used for hundreds of years as insecticides in the Middle East. Persian pellitory, Persian powder and Zacherlin were names used by early Europeans to refer to preparations from pyrethrum extracts originating from the Middle East and the Balkans.

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About the Author

Mike Catangui, Ph. D

Entomologist, Parasitologist
MWI Animal Health
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