Permethrin is a agricultural chemical pesticide. Similarly to Bifenthrin, it comes from the pyrethroid family. This is a man-made chemical compound that mimics extracts produced by chrysanthemums.

It kills adult insects, eggs, and larvae. Using Permethrin lasts up to 12 weeks after application. It fights a number of crop pests, keeping produce healthy and thriving.

The EPA has certain restrictions on Permethrin. Check your local laws with your state’s department of agriculture, as some areas have restrictions on permethrin use.

How Does It Work?

Permethrin works by attacking a pest’s nervous system, killing pests once ingested. Permethrin is an agricultural pesticide used on cotton, wheat, corn, grain, and alfalfa crops. It kills and can even repel:

Rodents specifically take cotton and other treated crops back to a nest. The colony is then overexposed to the permethrin, working quickly to irradicate the whole infestation. 

In insects, permethrin kills adults, eggs, and larvae for up to 12 weeks after application. Controversially, it may increase any mite problems, as it targets mite predators like rodents.

Although it’s generally used in agricultural or industrial settings, over 70% of permethrin is used in non-agricultural settings. Of that fraction, 55% is used by professional exterminators and 41% is used by homeowners.

Permethrin applied to plants can stay on leaves for up to 3 weeks. Trace amounts of permethrin can be found on plants and crops up to 4 months after planting. It’s important to notes that less than 1% of tested samples had detectable levels of permethrin.

Is It Safe For Humans?

People can become overexposed to permethrin by directly ingesting it, or getting it on the skin and eyes.

Always read and follow the label of any product you’re using, use caution when first applying, and wash hands before and after using. Keep away from children and pets, as they are more susceptible to the adverse effects of permethrin. Permethrin is not a carcinogen, meaning it won’t cause cancer.

People who have become overexposed to permethrin have experienced:

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Irritation
  • Muscle weakness
  • Excessive drooling
  • Trouble breathing
  • Seizures

If you begin to experience any of these symptoms after being exposed to permethrin, wash hands immediately, and call a healthcare professional. 

If you’re consuming fruits and vegetables that have been treated with permethrin, make sure you wash them thoroughly in apple cider vinegar, natural liquid soap, and water.

Small traces of permethrin can still be left on fresh produce. As long as all fruits and vegetables are washed thoroughly, there should be no harmful traces of permethrin on your food. 

Is It Safe For Animals and Other Wildlife?

Lots of retail pest-control products use permethrin as an active ingredient in their formula. More specifically, flea and tick products for pets use permethrin. Use caution when first applying and look out for adverse reactions such as:

  • Tremors
  • Twitching
  • Seizures
  • Excessive drooling
  • Incoordination
  • Fever
  • Dilated pupils

Cats are generally more susceptible to allergic reactions to permethrin. Always read and follow the label of any product you’re using on your pet, and do not expose your pet to products not formulated specifically for pets. If your cat experiences any adverse reactions to permethrin, call your vet immediately.

Permethrin is a more controversial pesticide. It’s incredibly harmful to beneficial and essential pollinators like bees. There are lots of natural remedies to ward off pests in your garden if you need a pest solution for your garden.

Permethrin does not mix well with water and sticks to garden soil. This makes it hard to contaminate groundwater. It is still toxic to aquatic life and needs to be disposed of properly, according to the product’s label.

If you have any questions on safe disposal, or use of permethrin, call your local exterminator at (833) 431-0401 to see what other solutions they recommend.

Also Try: How To Use Diatomaceous Earth Guide

Products that Contain Permethrin

There are restrictions on permethrin concentration in store-bought pest control products. They generally have a lower concentration and must have a warning on the label. Different states have different regulations on what’s sold in stores. 

Retail permethrin products can be bought in various forms:

  • Liquids
  • Powders
  • Dust
  • Aerosols
  • Sprays
  • Creams
  • Lotions
  • Treated clothing 

Permethrin is a common ingredient in flea collars and ear tags. Permethrin lice products sold in retail stores. Not all are lice products are FDA approved. Check to make sure any topical product is FDA approved, as you can be easily overexposed to these types of products.

Permethrin vs. Other Products

There are lots of products out there to help you ward off pests. Let’s look at some other products that compare to permethrin.

Permethrin vs. Bifenthrin

Bifenthrin works by attacking the nervous system just like permethrin and comes from the same chemical compound family as permethrin. There also limitations on what concentrations can be sold in retail stores. Commonly, bifenthrin is also used as a crop pesticide. 

Also Read: How To Use Bifenthrin Guide

Permethrin vs. Fipronil

This chemical works similarly to permethrin by targeting the insect’s nervous system. It’s commonly used against fleas as well as several other types of pests that can annoy your pet. Fipronil is an active ingredient in most flea collars, making it safer for pets and wildlife.

If you have an issue with fleas on your pet, a fipronil product may be a better solution.

Also Read: How To Use Fipronil For Pest Control Guide

If you’re unsure if permethrin products are the right solution to protect against pests, try checking out some natural products that can help repel and even kill pests, or call a local exterminator at (833) 431-0401 to see what other solutions they recommend.