Permethrin vs. Picaridin

Sunday, 2/10/2016

Introduction


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What is Permethrin?

Permethrin is one of the well known and widely used chemical in today’s world. Not only it is used as insecticides but it is also used as a medicine and is an insect repellent too. It is also used to treat scabies and is a prescribed medicine for both adults and children. One of the common usages of permethrin is to kill lice. It is basically a cream which is not toxic for mammals but is harmful for cats and fish and also can cause sudden death to them. Though permethrin can have side effects like rashes, itching and even breathing problem at times but it can be used for a whole lot of things. From using it as insecticides to protecting textile industries to prevent insect attack of woollen products, it can be easily said that permethrin is used for multiple purposes. It is also used as a protective measure by the US military. Permethrin is also used for agricultural purposes. One of the primary usages of permethrin in agriculture is on wheat, cotton, maize and other similar crops. Though it is used to kill pests but it also kills beneficial insects along with honey bees, which makes its usage controversial. Permethrin was developed especially for its application to clothing. Permethrin bonds to clothing and kill ticks on contact with treated clothing. It instantly kills any immature ticks on cotton. The treated clothes remain repellent from 2 weeks to 6 months. Another usage of permethrin includes prevention of mosquito borne diseases such as dengue and malaria. One of the ways to this can be treating the mosquito nets with a solution of permethrin. This is one of the most effective solutions that are used by the military as well. It increases the effectiveness of the bed net by killing parasitic insects before they are able to find gaps or holes in the net. It is also a commonly used
insecticide worldwide for the protection of wool.


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What is Picaridin?

Now-a-days, a lot of people generally confuse permethrin with picaridin. However, the two differs in its usage and a lot of other ways too. Picardin is also a mosquito repellent and one of the most effective alternatives to DEET. It also goes by the name icaridin, which is the officially approved name given by W.H.O. Picaridin is considered as an effective alternative to DEET and unlike DEET, picaridin doesn’t have the irritation factor and is higher in standards when compared to DEET. According to the consumer reports 2016, picaridin has been recorded as the most effective insect repellents when used at a 20% concentration which was earlier reported as 7%. Consumer Reports
2006 also states that 7% of this solution provided minimum protection against mosquito causing dengue fever,however, 15% of the same solution worked well for the same. Picaridin dates back to 1998 when it was originated in Europe. Though the maximum concentration currently available is 20% which gives protection up to 8 hours but in future, higher concentrations may be available after several tests. Picaridin can be used on human skin or clothing to repel mosquitoes, biting flies ticks etc. These products may be pump sprays, liquids, aerosols, or wipes. There are dozens of product with picaridin in them for sale in the United States and all over the world. Although picardin is considered non toxic but if it enters someone’s eyes then it may cause irritation. When several tests were done on the rats, it was observed that almost 60% of the rats’ skins were absorbed; however, the number came down drastically to 6% when applied on human skin. Skin So Soft, Bug Guard Plus, Cutter Advanced, Autan, Smidge and MOKO are some of the products that include picaridin. The American Academy of Paediatrics has made no recommendation on the use of picaridin for kids; however, all repellents should be kept off infants under 2 months. Permethrin and Picaridin are some of the preventive measures available from deadly diseases like malaria and dengue, its right use should be made so that we can concentrate on the country’s overall health condition.