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Glossary of Terms

Definitions of Key Terms you may find on this Site

Pyrethrum:  Chrysanthemum flowers of the specific Tanecetum cinerariaefolium.  When fully grown the head of the flower is picked, dried and  6 esters (oleoresins) are extracted for use as an insecticide.  The term “pyrethrum” is also often used as a collective name for the 6 esters of the flower. 

Pyrethrins:  6 insecticide esters extracted from the Pyrethrum flower.  The ester names are cinerin-I, jasmolin-I, pyrethrin-I, cinerin-II, jasmolin-II, and pyrethrin-II. The mode of activity of pyrethrins on insects is as a neurotoxin.  Pyrethrins are used in many different types of products in many markets.  For more information see the Products and Industries section of this site.

Pyrethroids:  Pyrethroids are a class of synthetic insecticides created to imitate the naturally occurring pyrethrins molecules. 

Piperonyl Butoxide Technical:  Also known as PBO, an insecticide synergist which isn’t harmful to insects on its own, but when combined with insecticides such as pyrethrins, inhibits the insects’ ability to detoxify the primary toxicant as quickly.  The P-450 enzyme in the insect binds with the PBO which allows more of the pyrethrins to reach the target site.

Synergist: A substance used in insecticide products to boost the performance of the primary insecticide in the formulation.  The two most common synergists are PBO and MGK 264.

Exciter: A substance used in insecticides to excite insects out of hiding and into contact with a tank mix partner in an insecticide spray.  Pyrethrins react with insects nervous systems to “excite” them and get them moving so they will contact more of the tank mix partners.

Crude:  Pyrethrum extract in its raw form before it is refined.

Waxy Resins:  Vegetable waxes that are the byproduct of pyrethrum refining process.

Mode of Action:  Way in which the pyrethrins work within the insects system to kill it.

MGK:  McLaughlin Gormley King Company

PCT: Pyrethrum Company of Tanzania

Color bodies:  Naturally occurring yellow/orange color bodies that are extracted from Pyrethrum during the refining process.

BRA:  Botanical Resources of Australia

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