Cypermethrin is a man-made compound that was originally created in 1974 and was used commercially and industrially starting in 1977. Since then, it has become a popular choice for pest control and spot treatments in multiple environments.
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Cypermethrin is a neurotoxin that kills insects by causing central nervous system complications. Laboratory tests have shown that some insects quickly experience paralysis, restlessness, in-coordination and ultimately death after exposure to the chemical.
Cypermethrin is added to many commercially available pest control substances including Raid, Ammo and Demon. It is most commonly used to control pests, primarily moths, known to attack fruit, vegetable and cotton plants.
Insecticides containing cypermethrin are also used for spot treatment of insects in areas that are cracked or contain crevices that are difficult to reach. Applications are in commercial and industrial buildings, such as warehouses, and transportation vehicles like aircraft and buses.
Because of its minimal environmental impact and effectiveness for prevention, cypermethrin is also commonly used as a barrier treatment in hospitals, schools and non-food areas of restaurants.
Cypermethrin is not toxic to groundwater or plants, which is why it is often selected for insect control near vegetation. However, cypermethrin is known to be very toxic when fish and aquatic invertebrates come into contact with the chemical. Obviously, it is also highly toxic in many insects, particularly bees.