Pyrethroid Pesticides

Structure of permethrin
CAS Number: various

Pyrethroid pesticides are common ingredients in pest control products for the home and garden.  They are also used to control insects on commercial agricultural crops and livestock. 

Fact Sheet

Pyrethroid pesticides are found in

  • Home and garden pest control products such as roach, ant, fly, and mosquito sprays, traps, and repellents; and termite and flea foggers and bombs.
  • Some tick and flea control products, such as collars and spot-on treatments.
  • Commercial pesticide products used on crops and livestock and for pest control in buildings and landscape maintenance.  Small amounts of pyrethroid pesticides used in agriculture may be found in some foods.
  • Air and dust in areas where pyrethroid pesticides are used, such as homes, gardens, and some farms.
  • Some treatments for head lice. 

Possible health concerns of some pyrethroid pesticides

  • May affect the developing fetus and child, possibly leading to changes in behavior.
  • May interfere with the body’s natural hormones and may decrease fertility.
  • Might increase cancer risk.

Possible ways to reduce exposure to pyrethroid pesticides

  • Use pesticide-free methods for pest prevention.  If you choose to use pesticides, consider baits and traps instead of sprays.  Always follow directions for use, storage, and disposal. 
  • To help control fleas without pesticides, comb pets with a flea comb, regularly bathe pets with pesticide-free shampoo, and wash pet bedding.
  • If a pesticide is needed for flea control, consider safer spot-on treatments or oral medications for your pet.  Ask your veterinarian about the safest choices. 
  • Wash all fruits and vegetables before eating them.
  • Because pesticides can be in dust, wash your hands often, especially before eating or preparing food, clean your floors regularly, and use a damp cloth to dust.

For More Information: 

Biomonitoring California Information

Documents, Presentations, and Publications: 

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