Pyrethrum is a botanical insecticide produced primarily in the flowers of Tanacetum cinerariaefolium, a species of the chrysanthemum plant family. Pyrethrum is an ancient insecticide that has been used effectively to control insects for decades and is non-persistent, decomposing rapidly in the environment. This rapid degradation of pyrethrum has resulted in little known cases of insect resistance, making it an excellent choice for the control of agricultural pests.

The insecticidal properties of the flowers were documented in the early 1800's but it is suspected that the flowers were used to kill insects a considerable time earlier. The first commercially available products were powders made from ground flowers and later crude oil extractions became popular.

Today the refining of crude pyrethrum extract to remove the plant material, waxes, etc. is a highly complex process resulting in a very high grade product. In East Africa the mature phrethrum flowers are picked by hand, sun dried to remove moisture and sent to a processing plant for extraction of the active ingredient-pyrethrins, a misture of six closely related esters. The flowers are sun dried and processed to extract the insecticide grade pyrethrum.

Pyrethrum is non-toxic to humans and other mammals and is considered biodegradable as well as water soluble. It is sought for sensitive applications like the post-harvest treatment of fruits and vegetables. Pyrethrum is so safe that the U.S. Government approves its use on such insect-prone foods as tomatoes, even while they are on their way to the supermarket or processing plant.

Knockdown Effects
Pyrethrum affects and inhibits the nervous system of insects by causing multiple action potential in the nerve cells by delaying the closing of an ion channel. Nerve cell membranes have a specific electrical charge. Altering the amount of ions (charged atoms) passing through ion channels causes the membranes to depolarize which, in turn, causes a neurotransmitter to be released. Neurotransmitters help nerve cells communicate. Electrical messages sent between nerve cells allow them to generate a response, like a movement in an animal or insect.

Pyrethrum acts as a contact poison, affecting the insect's nervous system. Pyrethrum, when combined with a synergist that works by restrictng an enzyme insects use to detoxify it, then becomes one of the fastest acting insecticides known. Even before it kills, it knocks down and paralyzes insects almost immediately.

Jamming & Resistance
Apparently small amounts of pyrethrum can jam the "black box" of the insect's food searching mechanism. The insects forget to eat, as it were. After decades of use, no insect population has ever developed significant pyrethrum resistance.

Low Cost Refills
We use and recommend the product RIPTIDEtm produced by the firm McLoughlin, Gormley, King and containing pyrethrum in concentrate which is mixed in solution with water to fill the 55 gallon reservoir of the system, thereby providing a thorougly effective misting element to completely rid your yard of the infesting insect element.


Priced at $200.00 per refill if we come to your home and do it.

Priced at $140.00 per refill on a Do-It-Yourself basis shipped directly to you.


With RIPTIDEtm, you are always assured of using only the most user-safe, finest quality insect killing substance in your system.

Please click here for the RIPTIDEtm Material Safety Data Sheet.

The data sheet is in PDF format. If you do not have Acrobat Reader, get a free copy by clicking on the icon .

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