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The history of Pyrethrum as an insect repellent can be traced back to an early Chinese Dynasty where it was grown for sale and passed along the silk routes to Europe.
Pyrethrum is derived from the flowers of Chrysanthemum Cinerarifolium and possesses a unique combination of insecticidal properties. It contains not one but at least six distinct related insecticidal ingredients called Pyrethrins. Insects affected by Pyrethrin will try to escape from the threatening area.
The pyrethrins circulating in the air kill any insects that come into contact with them but they are also a very effective repellant (insects find it extremely irritating).
For example, sometimes when people first start using an Ecomist dispenser, they notice an increased amount of cockroaches because they find the pyrethrins so annoying that they come out of their hiding places during the day (we call this the flushing action of pyrethrins).
Once they are out of their hiding places the insects are killed by the pyrethrins. Pyrethrins are a natural insecticide that break down very quickly in daylight - that's why the dispensers constantly release new amounts into the air.
That property also means that your home is not left with active insecticide residue all over the surfaces. With the dispenser running, the area in which it is operating effectively becomes a no-go zone for insects.
Although in recent years several imitations of pyrethrum, generally called synthetic pyrethroids have become commercially available on the market none of them alone combines all the unique properties of natural pyrethrum. These qualities include:
It is one of the safest insecticides known, as it has very low mammalian toxicity and is rapidly metabolized if accidentally swallowed by warm-blooded animals. Pyrethrum is repellent to insects at very low concentrations and the level of concentration of Pyrethrum dispensed from an Ecomist Aerosol dispenser are at least 1892 times less than the allowable safety levels of Pyrethrum in the atmosphere.
Pyrethrum disturbs insects so that they move out of their hiding places and expose themselves to the insecticidal spray. Pyrethrum has greater flushing power than any other commercial insecticide.
While the presence of pyrethrum initially causes insects to attempt to escape from a threatening area, a rapid paralytic action causes knockdown soon after, often within seconds. It is, however, one of the safest insecticides known, as it has low mammalian toxicity & is rapidly metabolized if accidentally swallowed by warm blooded animals.
Pyrethrum is rapidly degraded by sunlight into harmless component substances but at the same time it can be safely stored for years in suitable containers such as glass bottles or aluminium and steel cans.
It is effective against a wide range of insect pests including flies, ants, mosquitoes, cockroaches, flees, etc. It is low in acute toxicity to humans & other vertebrate animals, is non-carcinogenic & causes no adverse reproductive affects.
Despite its long history of use, very few cases of insects resistant to pyrethrum have been discovered and these have mainly risen as a result of cross tolerance conferred by the insects developing resistance to another insecticide. This is in strong contrast to synthetic insecticides where innumerable cases of resistance have been discovered worldwide.
Pyrethrum affects insects by prolonged exposure (several minutes) even at very low concentrations. Because of its organic nature, pyrethrum breaks down within about two hours of being dispensed into air.
Therefore to effectively use pyrethrum it is necessary to dispense it continuously into the environment in small doses. This is where the battery operated aerosol dispenser comes in.
The Ecomist dispenser, runs on three penlight batteries that last at least a year, it is easily programmable to automatically dispense precise dosages of odourless pyrethrum day and night.
On "normal" dispenser settings a 250ml aerosol of Ecomist’s Insect Killer will last approximately 33 days working 24 hours a day.
Besides being highly effective and safe for humans Ecomist’s continual unobtrusive operation is what makes it most attractive to customers looking for a permanent solution to their insect problems.
Also pyrethrum is odourless which makes it a good alternative to burning nasty smelling coils.