Permethrin Insect Repellent – Interactions, Side Effects

Permethrin is one of the synthetic chemicals that are classified under the pyrethroids family and come from a chrysanthemum flower.

Permethrin has been in use as an insecticide (as approved by EPA) since 1979 but its use has been adopted in 2006.

This broad insecticide can be used in a number of techniques in controlling insects.

  1. Controlling mosquitoes, especially in programs meant for the general public.
  2. Spraying on clothes, structures, pets, yard or gardens, livestock, ornamental lawns, seed, and food crops.

You may also spray around food-handling areas.

Which Products Have Permethrin?

Permethrin can be found in a number of products including pest-treated clothes, sprays, aerosol or bombs, powders, and liquids.

Further, you can find permethrin in various pest treatment products like spot-on medication, flea collars, and ear tags.

  • You can also find a matron in gear insect repellent, duration clothing sprays, and JT Eaton repellents.

However, commercially, you can find over 1,400 products that contain permethrin.

These will include a range of products for pest treatment including those for controlling head lice and treating scabies for humans.

  • NB: the permethrin-containing products controlled by the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration).

On Amazon, I noted products with permethrin such as Chemtech d permethrin, Insectguard permethrin, and Bayer Permectin.

  • But I make cream may be formulated into insect-killing sprays, powders, lotions, and creams – but some of this may have some synergist that will enhance their pest-killing efficiency.
  • Further, the permethrin products could also have some additives that will improve their speaking ability and give them a longer life.

As a precaution, I advise you keenly adhere to label instructions and use gear that will protect you against chemical exposure.

  • However, if you accidentally get exposed to permethrin, ensure to call the available poison control helpline in your area.

What’s The Permethrin Insect-Killing Power?

Permethrin belongs to the pyrethrins class and so it will affect the insects if they touch it or eat it.

  • Permethrin will damage the insect’s nervous system which may lead to death, paralysis, or even muscle spasms.

However, permethrin will be less toxic to dogs and humans as compared to how it affects and kills insects.

  • The reason is that insects are unable to easily break down permethrin compared to how dogs and humans do.

However, permethrin will be more toxic to cats than to humans and dogs – cats will take a longer time to break down the permethrin chemical.

How May Humans Get Permethrin Exposure? – Side Effects

Humans may get exposed to permethrin through their eyes, the skin, the breathing system, or even by eating permethrin-containing or contaminated products.

For example, if you use permethrin-containing pest control products such as pest dust or sprays, and pest foggers or bombs, the chemical might get blown onto your face.

  • When considering pets such as dogs, they may get permethrin exposure as you use tick and flea control treatments and their skins.

In addition, humans may breathe in permethrin while controlling mosquitoes or when using a permethrin-containing product.

  • This poisoning could also happen if you fail or forget to wash your hands after handling such products.

But as outlined above you can avoid permethrin poisoning both for yourself and your pets by reading (and following) the product directions as required.

Symptoms & and Signs of Permethrin Exposure?

First, when humans are exposed to Barmer train they may experience itching, burning, tingling, or irritation around the affected skin.

  • A more worrying exposure to permethrin in humans is in the eyes and the science will be burning, pain and redness.

Also, if you ingest the permethrin rain products you may experience vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, and sore throat.

  • It is rare that humans will experience great allergic reactions from permethrin exposure.

Finally, on how permethrin will affect the breathing system of humans; you may experience vomiting, nausea, dizziness, headaches, challenges breathing, and lungs or nose irritation.

Second, on pets such as cats and dogs, permethrin will make the pet’s ears and skin twitch or even the animal roll continuously, and make their paws flick.

  • Extensive permethrin exposure such as over 45% in cuts may lead to the animal getting unable to walk or even very anxious.
  • Death from large exposure to permethrin may happen or at best the pet may get seizures and muscle tremors

However, I can’t say that this is an exhaustive list of the side effects or signs that will appear from permethrin exposure.

Hence, advise you to call the veterinarian or your doctor if you suspect permethrin exposure for yourself or your pets.

Related: Will Apple Cider Vinegar Kill Fleas??

Can Permethrin Cause Cancer?

Recent laboratory and scientific research outcomes suggest that permethrin could cause cancer in humans.

  • This conclusion is based on outcomes of an EPA report of 2007 on the classification of permethrin as possible carcinogenic material.
  • In the laboratory, permethrin was reported to have cost tumors in rats and also in mice.
  • These results canceled earlier conclusions by the IARC that permethrin was unclassifiable regarding its ability to cause cancer.

Permethrin for Lice

Permethrin will work effectively and safely in killing live lice but it won’t exterminate those eggs that are unhatched.

  • I noted that the permethrin treatment was able to kill all the lice that were hatching even a few days after the initial treatment.

But experts recommend doing a second permethrin treatment for lice, especially at the 9 to exterminate all the lice that are newly hatched before they lay eggs.

For humans, follow the doctors’ lice treatment directions or allow their medication to see it for about 10 minutes.

  • Next, dry the hair and the scalp using a towel and finally got all the hair tangles you’ll find.

With an appropriate permethrin-based lice treatment product, you’ll be protected from these bugs for about 14 days.

  • While at it, commercial products that you may find include the pure-essential anti rice, Hedrin treat, and Derbac M. 

Related: Roach Killers for the House

Permethrin for Scabies

New research shows that 5% for permethrin if applied in its cold cream state and on all your skin for 2 days consecutively will treat scabies better.

Therefore, permethrin cream is a suitable prescription for the treatment of scabies and also in killing head lice.

Doctors advised safeguarding your eyes using some towel or washcloth when applying permethrin.

  • Also, ensure to inspect and treat other humans and pets in your space for scabies and head lice.


Permethrin is a reliable insecticide that has been used for a long time for both humans and pets.

  • There are many permethrin-based products in the market and so ensure to consult experts while using them.

Using permethrin products without care may lead to adverse pet and human health effects.


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