A Brief History of Permethrin: Where it Comes from and How it Works

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“...Today, permethrin is available both as a spray and as pretreated clothing that you can use to effectively prevent tick bites.”

- Dr. Thomas Mather, Tick Expert, University of Rhode Island Tick Encounter Resource Center

Permethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid that has been used for insect control for over 40 years. This chemical compound has a fascinating history, dating back to ancient times. 

Where does permethrin come from?

Permethrin was first created in 1973 and registered as an insecticide by the EPA in 1979. However, its origins can be traced back to ancient Persia around 400 BC. The Persians discovered the insecticidal properties of pyrethrum, a naturally occurring chemical found in certain types of flowers in the chrysanthemum family. Pyrethrum extracts and powders were used for over 200 years to control all types of insects and reactants.

The first commercial product using pyrethrum was made in 1828, and there are accounts of similar products dating back to China's Chan Dynasty over 2000 years ago. Napoleon used insect powder made from pyrethrum to control flea and body lice infestations on French soldiers. Pyrethrum has been used in various forms for effective low-toxicity insect control, including natural pyrethrum and its synthetic form.

[Related Article: What is Permethrin?]

How does permethrin work?

Permethrin works by attacking the central nervous system of insects, causing them to become incredibly hyperactive and then fall to the floor, seemingly repelled. However, the treatment is often fatal to the bugs. When exposed to permethrin, ticks, and other insects become paralyzed.

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How to use permethrin

Permethrin is available in various forms, including sprays and as pre-treated clothing. Many outdoor enthusiasts choose to buy pre-treated clothing with permethrin to effectively repel ticks, mosquitoes, and other insects.

Permethrin has a long and fascinating history that dates back to ancient times. Its effectiveness in controlling insects has made it a popular choice for tick and insect repellent. Permethrin spray and permethrin-treated clothing offer people an effective and easy way to help repel ticks and other insects while enjoying the outdoors.

[Related Article: Is Permethrin Treated Clothing Safe?]

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