The Chennai City Corporation has agreed to a novel solution to tackle its burgeoning mosquito population. It plans to import pyrethrum used in insecticide to beat the menace.
The Chennai Corporation came upon some innovative measures to curb mosquitoes. Some of these include import of pyrethrum, used as an insecticide, directly from Kenya at around 50% of its price in India; use of Bacillus thuringiensis, a bacterium that serves as a biological pesticide; and modification of motorcycles for fogging operations.
A few plant species that contain active insecticidal components have been commercially exploited to the optimum level in Kenya. Pyrethrum, the most widely-used botanical insecticide for mosquito control in Chennai, is derived from the flowers of a plant in the genus Chrysanthemum, grown in Kenya. Pyrethrins have been used in insect control for more than 160 years.
The terms “pyrethrins” refers to the natural insecticides derived from chrysanthemum flowers; “pyrethroids” are the synthetic chemicals, and “pyrethrum” is a general name covering both compounds.
Pyrethrin, a botanical “natural” insecticide derived seed cases of chrysanthemum plant are environmentally safe. The flowers of the plant are harvested shortly after blooming and are either dried or powdered or the oils within the flowers are extracted with solvents.
Pyrethrins are toxic to ants, roaches, silverfish, mosquitoes, wasps, spiders, crickets and basically all insects and garden pests. Pyrethrum also has a very quick knockdown effect. Pyrethrum induces a toxic effect in insects when it penetrates the cuticle and reaches the nervous system. The pyrethrins that compose pyrethrum bind to sodium channels that occur along the length of nerve cells. Sodium channels are responsible for nerve signal transmission along the length of the nerve cell by permitting the flux of sodium ions. When pyrethrins bind to sodium channels, normal function of the channels is obstructed thereby resulting in hyperexcitation if the nerve cell and, consequently, a loss of function of the nerve cell. The shutdown of the insect nervous system and insect death are most often the consequences of insect exposure to pyrethrins.
Semisynthetic derivatives of the chrysanthemumic acids have been developed as insecticides. These are called pyrethroids and tend to be more effective than natural pyrethrins while they are less toxic to mammals.
Pyrethrum is an excellent flushing agent and works great in control of roaches when it is necessary to force the population out of hiding. Pyrethrin is quickly broken down in the bodies of mammals. It also breaks down when exposed to sunlight or water. When Pyrethrin is applied to the soil for treatment against ants or termites for example, it sticks to the soil and does not spread. That is good for the environment because it won’t translocate to streams and lakes where it could contaminate a water supply. When applied to the soil the top layer breaks down quickly, but has a soil half-life of 12 days. When applied in non-lethal doses to insects it acts as a repellent, but is not necessarily a killing agent.
Pyrethrin can be found in aerosol foggers, human head lice treatments and pet flea sprays. It is effective in killing all kinds of insects like fleas, bees, wasps, ants, cockroaches, and beetles and is a good extermination tool to fight bedbugs, ticks, mosquitoes and other blood sucking insects.
Just as the types of accounts that professional pest controls encounter are different, so are the options for types of pyrethrum products to be used and ways to apply the products. Some of the types of applications include indoor surface sprays, indoor space spays (fog or ULV spray), in indoor food areas, in indoor non-food areas, general outdoor premise spray, pet premises, transportation equipment, in livestock, dairy, and poultry facilities and premises.