Are Pyrethrin Based Bed Bug Killers Actually Safe?

where do bed bugs hideWhat are Pyrethrins?

Pesticides and other insecticides are sometimes chosen as a matter of last resort generally when pests strike and efforts to grow a healthy plant fail.

Pyrethrins are one such category of natural insecticides which are produced by some species of the chrysanthemum plant.

Shortly after blooming, the flowers of the chrysanthemum plant are harvested and are either powdered or the oils present inside the flowers are extracted with the help of specific solvents.

The pyrethrins (also known as Persian Powder) are contact poisons. They quickly penetrate into the nervous system of the insects and make them numb so that the insects cannot fly or move away. This hyper-excitation leads to the death of the insects due to paralysis and loss of motor coordination. Although Pyrethrin is a potential insecticide, at lower concentrations, it functions as an insect repellent.

They are widely used in the garden and in-home pest sprays and in schools. In order to guarantee long-term effects, the pyrethroid or the pyrethrins might be mixed with a setting agent (which acts as a fixative) to make it stay on soil and plants for a longer period. Other chemicals, such as piperonyl butoxide are also included in the mix to prevent the insects from detoxifying. One of the major issues is that the manufacturers do not list the passive components, even though they may themselves cause allergic reactions to the exposed person or be highly toxic in nature.

Why pyrethrins and natural bed bug pesticides may not be as safe as you think?

It is generally accepted that the Pyrethrin bed bug killers and some other natural pesticides are safe to use because they are natural plant extracts. And this might be a point played by the companies using these extracts in their products. But, in reality, lots of plants are toxic, whether in large or in small quantities. Just because the Pyrethrin and other natural insecticides come from something ornamental and lush does not mean it cannot be lethal to humans. There are many examples like mistletoe, azalea, and oleander which are among the highly toxic plants with which we live.

bed bug infestation on an airplane

Side effects of Pyrethrin-based bed bug killers and natural pesticides

Both the synthetic pyrethroid compounds and the natural pyrethrins have high toxicity. Following are some of the side effects associated with them.

* Inhaling high levels of pyrethrum might lead to nasal stuffiness, asthmatic breathing, headache, nausea, sneezing, shortness of breath, and might cause an itching sensation.
* The most severe cases of poisonings have been testified in the case of infants as may not be able to break down pyrethrum efficiently.
* Contact with the skin might lead to blisters, rashes or itching.
* Long-term effects might include the disruption of the endocrine system by mimicking estrogen (the female hormone) which leads to the increase in estrogen levels in females.
* Some of the neurotoxic effects include the increase in body temperature, tremors, disruption of learning and increase in aggressive behavior.
* Some studies have confirmed the carcinogenic effects of the pyrethrins and some other natural pesticides. It is said to effect the thyroid gland.

What’s the alternative chemical bed bug sprays?

Through the conscious usage of non-chemical based insect repellants and pesticides, we can still successfully safeguard our homes, gardens, schools and communities from insects and pests while refining the surroundings for forthcoming generations. Some of the natural bug repellent alternatives like the oil of lemon eucalyptus, which is a recommended alternative and seems to work really well. It might also be effective against ticks.

Another natural bed bug repellent is Defensive End! (DE), is a white talc-like dust/powder that is the calcified remains of aquatic phytoplankton. When the diatomaceous earth powder is spread on a bug that has an exoskeleton, the microscopic particles stick between the insect’s exoskeleton joints and while the insect tries to move, it gets disabled. The other point of view is that the diatomaceous earth compromises waxy coating of the insects which then allows moisture within the insect to move out thus killing it. It has been stated to be the most effective while fighting pests like ants, bed bugs, and fleas.

The most important thing is that the Diatomaceous Earth is considered to be of food grade, like what’s used in Defensive End! the end to all bed bugs One more added advantage is that, unlike other natural pesticides, the diatomaceous earth powder is a mechanical killer, which implies that it never loses efficiency the way that toxins and chemicals do.