Pyrethrum is a natural plant product that is produced by the pyrethrum daisy. The flowers contain pyrethrins, which are natural properties capable of protecting people, crops and animals against insect damage.
How Does It Work?
Pyrethrum is a rapid action, contact insecticide that attacks the nervous system of insects immediately. In the lowest concentration, this affects insect behaviour, producing a so called avoidance reaction, which results in insects fleeing the source of the chemicals. Importantly, pyrethrum induces abnormal behaviour in female mosquitoes, making them unable to exhibit their normal biting behaviour of seeking blood meals. At slightly greater concentration, pyrethrins make insects lose normal behavioural patterns. This means they abandon their hiding places and are flushed out into the open, coming into contact with larger quantities of pyrethrins which soon destroy them. Pyrethrum has a low mammalian toxicity with proven safety towards humans and other warm blooded animals. It is an effective insect repellant and is by far the most widely used natural insecticide today
When pyrethrum is processed, a refined concentrate known as pyrethrum pale is extracted. This is then used in the manufacture of pesticides and insecticides. Compared to many other synthesized pesticides – such as synthetic pyrethroids – pyrethrins have a favourable profile. While all pesticides can be toxic to aquatic and other organisms, pyrethrins are ten to over hundred times less toxic than some of the synthetic pyrethroids. Pyrethrins are rapidly eliminated from the environment. Their breakdown products are essentially non-toxic and pose no risk. The primary route of elimination in the environment is through UV light. Trace elimination also occurs rapidly both in water and soils, with dissipation of less than 24 hours.
There are a few major world producers of pyrethrum. Among them, Rwanda is the second largest producer of pyrethrum after Australia. In the Northern Province where it is grown, the volcanic soils, high altitudes and good distribution of rainfall give our pyrethrum a superior quality worldwide.