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Allethrin is one of of the group of synthetic pyrethroid insecticides, which are synthetic duplicates of a component of pyrethrum. Pyrethrum is extracted from chrysanthemum flowers and related plants and belongs to the group of chemicals of pyrethrins. Pyrethroids are similar chemicals made synthetically. Introduced in 1949. allethrin was the first synthetic pyrethroid.

  • Trade and Other Names: Alleviate, Pynamin, d-allethrin, d-cisallethrin, Bioallethrin, Esbiothrin, Pyresin, Pyrexcel, Pyrocide, and trans-allethrin.
  • CAS Nnmber: 584-79-2

Pesticides containing allethrin are class III - slightly toxic and brear the Signal Word CAUTION on the product label. Container of technical grade d-trans-allethrin bear the Signal Word WARNING. Allethrin is a general use pesticide (GUP).

Mechanism of Action

Pyrethrins are neurotoxins with rapid paralysis or ""quick knock-down effect" of target pest. The toxic mode of action for pyrethroids is the disruption of the conductance of neuronal impulses, which results in the generation of multiple action potentials that leads to tremors and incoordination. These cellular level effects can lead to various health concerns. 5 Allethrin has contact, stomach and respiratory action and paralyzes insects before killing them.


Allethrin is used almost exclusively in homes and gardens for control of flies and mosquitoes, and in combination with other pesticides to control flying or crawling insects. It is also used as an animal ectoparasiticide. Another structural form, the d-trans-isomer of allethrin, is more toxic to insects and is used to control crawling insects in homes and restaurants. It is also available as mosquito coils, mats, oil formulations, and as an aerosol spray.2

Pyrethroids are among the most common insecticides used in pet products. They are insecticides commonly found in pet shampoos, sprays and dusts, but also come as spot-on formulations.


In mammals, the compound is detoxified after oral administration in the liver and eliminated via urine and feces within 2-3 days after treatment.3

Environmental Fate

Pyrethroids are more persistent in the environment than the naturally occurring pyrethrins and are therefore used indoors as well as in agricultural applications and therefore have greater potential to accumulate outdoors and indoors and being toxic to people.4

References 1. Pesticide Fact Handbook, Volume 2, Volume 2 by USEPA
2. Pesticide profiles: toxicity, environmental impact, and fate. Michael A. Kamrin
3. Encyclopedia of parasitology, Volume 1. Heinz Mehlhorn
4. Poisons on Pets. David Wallinga, M.D., MPA, Linda Greer, Ph.D.
5. Pesticide loadings of select organophosphate and pyrethroid pesticides in urban public housing. Rhona Juliena, Gary Adamkiewicza, Jonathan I Levya, Deborah Bennetta,b, Marcia Nishiokac and John D Spenglera. In: Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology (2008) 18, 167-174; doi:10.1038/sj.jes.7500576; published online 9 May 2007



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