Pyrethrum, from the use of natural insecticide to the cultivation of the pyrethrum plant. Where to buy, how to use it and useful tips to make the most of its effectiveness.
Before being anatural insecticide, thepyrethrumis a plant of the Asteraceae family. On this page we will give you all the advice on use, both for the care of the vegetable garden and for the garden, for example to eliminate mosquitoes or green bugs. Let's see all the details together.
Thepyrethrumit's a natural insecticide which is obtained from particular flowersplants of chrysanthemum, the Tanacetum cinerariifolium of the Asteraceae family.
Therepyrethrum plant, Tanacetum cinerariifolium, is not difficult to grow in the garden and starting from the flowers it is possible to prepare macerates that act as a natural remedy. The pyrethrum-based preparations that we find on the market, however, are highly concentrated and therefore the effectiveness of home-made macerates is far lower than the powder or spray products that we find on the market. The reason? The percentage of pyrethrin they contain. To make the most of the properties of thepyrethrum plantit is better to use dried and pulverized flower.
The pyrethrum plant, 40 - 60 cm tall, is a perennial herb, bushy and has flowers similar to daisies, with a diameter of about 4 cm.
The flowers, harvested as soon as they have opened, must be dried in the shade and then ground. With the yellowish powder obtained, they can be preparednatural insecticides do it yourselfbased on pyrethrins. For all the information on where to find the plant and its cultivation, I invite you to visit the guide: how to grow pyrethrum.
Pyrethrum, natural insecticide
As stated, it is an excellent ally for bothgrow vegetables,both for domestic use where it is effective against flies and mosquitoes, in the Middle East it is used for the disinfestation of lice.
Thepyrethrumis one of the fewinsecticides allowed in biological agriculture, it is true that it is natural and it is also true that it has a low environmental impact (and low toxicity) but it must not be used superficially because it could also damage the insects that are allied to the garden. In fact, its action is broad-spectrum.
Thepyrethrumis effectiveagainst many parasitesboth in the adult and larval stages.
In blogs we generally talk about pyrethrin but, in reality, the active ingredients of pyrethrum are very numerous. The term pyrethrins refers to a family of chemical compounds that act at the level of the nervous system of parasitic insects in the garden, causing their death. Among the pyrethrins we point out tetramethrin and cypermethrin. Both compounds are used in insecticides you find on the market to kill flies and mosquitoes.
Pyrethrum, how it is used
Natural insecticides do not have the same aggressiveness as the synthetic pesticides we find on the market. For this reason, it is important to take some precautions before use for the active ingredients to take effect.
Pyrethrins have low light stability. For example, tetramethrin, when exposed to the sun, can be completely deactivated and harmless to insects.
For this reason, theuse of pyrethrum, a natural insecticide, must be performed in the late afternoon, at sunset.
If used in broad daylight, pyrethrum may lose its effectiveness. If you buy anatural insecticide based on pyrethrumalready diluted, remember to shake the product well before use and store it in a place away from direct sunlight.
Pyrethrum spray, advice on use
Thepyrethrumit is a contact insecticide, therefore it is not always effective on those parasites and insects that tend to colonize areas that are difficult to reach. Some insects thrive in the areas in contact between two leaves (just imagine the vegetative development of garlic, leek, onion ...), in the flowers of plants and in other areas that are impossible to reach. In these areas it is necessary to use the spray carefully.
Thepyrethrum sprayit should be sprayed on the entire plant to be treated and is effective for almost all infestations, except against the cucurbit aphid and against the juvenile states of the greenhouse whitefly.
Unfortunately, many people ignore these precautions for use and "stamp" the pyrethrum as ineffective, however pyrethrum works and how! You just need to know it well and not expect the same aggressiveness of products harmful to human health and the environment as the old DDT, a real environmental nightmare!
Pyrethrum against bedbugs
Pyrethrum is also ineffective against Colorado potato beetle adults and needs to be used with care against the green bug because the product hardly penetrates through its "shell" (integument). This means that if you want to use thepyrethrum against the green bug, you will have to perform repeated treatments and make sure that before or after the natural insecticide comes into contact with the insect.
Pyrethrum and good garden insects
The pyrethrumunfortunately, it can also damage pollinating insects such as the precious bees. To make the best use of pyrethrum, it is advisable to perform localized treatments directly on outbreaks and not to use it as a preventive measure, but only to contain a parasitic attack.
Pyrethrum, where to buy it
On the market it is easy to find thepyrethrum in the form of dilution, in a spray pack ready to be sprayed on the plants to be treated, or in powder or granules; powder and granules are more difficult to handle than the spray solution.
As stated, there are several on the market natural pyrethrum-based insecticides, can be purchased in the form of powder, concentrated liquid (for greater yield) or a practical ready-to-use spray.
Where to buy it? The pyrethrum-based insecticide is easily found in specialized garden centers, agricultural consortia, nurseries or can be purchased using online sales.
On Amazon, for example, there is no lack of a large number of cheap products.
L'natural insecticide pyrethrum-based can be purchased at specialized garden centers or can be purchased online: a package of Solabiol Piretro Actigreen Bio is offered on Amazon at a price of € 19.90 with free shipping. For all the info, I refer you to the official Amazon product page: Actigreen Bio Liquid solution. 14-25 ml of product are enough to be diluted in 10 liters of water.
Please note: in other circumstances I would recommend that you read the reviews before buying a product but as stated, unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation and people buy pyrethrum thinking they are buying any pesticide; ignoring the methods of use and underestimating the concept of "natural pesticide".
Remember that pyrethrum is effective in eliminating plant lice, caterpillars, ants and other garden parasites but that it must be sprayed on the outbreak of infestations. It can be valuable in the early stages of infestations but is useless for preventive treatments.
Tanacetum cinerariifolium: the pyrethrum plant
Thepyrethrumwas used for the first time in Dalmatia, as early as 1860, despite the European discovery, the Old Continent was never the first world producer ofpyrethrum. In 1998, Kenya produced 90% ofpyrethrumused worldwide (over 6,000 tons) while today the major producers ofpyrethrumthey are Tanzania, Ecuador and Tasmania.
Of the Tanacetum cinerariifolium (or Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium) the flowers are the source ofnatural insecticide. The flowers are rich in a substance called pyrethrin, which is also contained in the seeds.
It is pyrethrin that interferes with the nervous system of all insects, including mosquitoes. There cultivation of pyrethrum, or rather than Tanaceto cinerariifolium, could have excellent economic implications.
Due to the high content of pyrethrin, in many places, tanacetum cinerariifolium is known as the pyrethrum plant or the pyrethrum of Dalmatia. The flower of the pyrethrum plant is the one pictured above, while the leaves are similar to ferns.
Pyrethrum is a hardy perennial herb that blooms between May and June. Who intendscultivate the pyrethrum plantwill have to choose a sunny or semi-sunny exposure and will not have to devote much care to this crop. Tanacetum cinerariifolium is very resistant.
The pyrethrumit is not toxic to mammals but it is toxic to insects and fish, so those who live near waterways or reservoirs should avoid its use.
You might also be interested in
- White fly: meaning and insect