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A Pesticide Information Project of Cooperative Extension Offices of Cornell University, Oregon State University, the University of Idaho, and the University of California at Davis and the Institute for Environmental Toxicology, Michigan State University. Major support and funding was provided by the USDA/Extension Service/National Agricultural Pesticide Impact Assessment Program.

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Revised 9/95.


TRADE OR OTHER NAMES: The active ingredient deltamethrin (NRDC 161 and RU 22974) is found in a variety of commercial insecticide products. Trade names for products containing deltamethrin include Butoflin, Butoss, Butox, Cislin, Crackdown, Cresus, Decis, Decis-Prime, K-Othrin, and K-Otek (1, 83, 86, 61, 20).

REGULATORY STATUS: Deltamethrin is used in the U.S. in the Environmental Health Market. It is being sold in many countries for agricultural, public health and livestock applications (86, 20).

CHEMICAL CLASS: pyrethroid

INTRODUCTION: Deltamethrin is a pyrethroid insecticide that kills insects on contact and through digestion. It is used to control apple and pear suckers, plum fruit moth, caterpillars on brassicas, pea moth, aphids (apples, plums, hops), winter moth (apples and plums), codling and tortrix moths (apples). Control of aphids, mealy bugs, scale insects, and whitefly on glasshouse cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, potted plants, and ornamentals. It also controls numerous insect pests of field crops. Formulations include emulsifiable concentrates, wettable powders, ULV and flowable formulations and granules. There are no known incompatibilities with other common insecticides and fungicides (1, 83, 84, 86). Deltamethrin is a synthetic insecticide based structurally on natural pyrethrins, which rapidly paralyze the insect nervous system giving a quick knockdown effect (91). Deltamethrin has a rapidly disabling effect on feeding insects and for this reason there is hope that it may be useful to control the vectors of "non-persistent" viruses (viruses that can be passed on by the vector within a few minutes of starting to feed on the plant) (82). Deltamethrin's mode of action is thought to be mainly central in action, or at least originate in higher nerve centers of the brain. Death of insects seems to be due to irreversible damage to the nervous system occurring when poisoning lasts more than a few hours (89). Deltamethrin poisoning occurs through cuticular penetration or oral uptake. The susceptibility of insects is dependent on a variety of factors and can vary, as with many insecticides, according to the environmental conditions. Flies are most susceptible to pyrethroid poisoning shortly before dawn. The LD50 drops by the factor of 2 as compared to full daylight activity (91, 20). Many pyrethroids are not very active against cattle ticks, but some alpha cyano compounds (of which deltamethrin is one) have higher activity than organophosphates or amidines, the former standard compounds for this purpose (91). Deltamethrin has very good residual activity for outdoor uses (field crops, cattle dip, tsetse) and for indoor uses (mosquitoes, stable flies, horsefiles, fleas, cockroaches, stored product insects) (87, 20). Deltamethrin has very broad spectrum control. It is considered the most powerful of the synthetic pyrethroids. It is up to three orders more active than some pyrethroids (92,20).




PHYSICAL PROPERTIES AND GUIDELINES: There is no degradation of deltamethrin in storage for 6 months at 40 degrees C. It is extremely stable to atmospheric oxygen. Under UV irradiation and in sunlight, a cistrans isomerization, splitting of the ester bond, and loss of bromine occur (12). Deltamethrin is noncorrosive to metals (12). By contrast with natural pyrethrins, it is stable to air and sunlight (86, 92). When exposed to air and light, deltamethrin remains unchanged after two years at 40 degrees C. It is considered stable when exposed to air and sunlight, and more stable in acid than alkaline media (87). Deltamethrin is a lipophilic compound of high molecular weight and consequent low volatility. It is not used for soil application in agricultural practice because it moves neither in the vapor nor water phase and has no systemic action (89, 98).

Physical Properties:

Exposure Guidelines:


AgrEvo Environmental Health, Inc.
95 Chestnut Ridge Rd.
P.O. Box 30
Montvale, NJ 07645


References for the information in this PIP can be found in Reference List Number 2

DISCLAIMER: The information in this profile does not in any way replace or supersede the information on the pesticide product label/ing or other regulatory requirements. Please refer to the pesticide product label/ing.