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Deltamethrin: Wikis


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IUPAC name
Other names Deltamethrin
CAS number 52918-63-5 Yes check.svgY
ATCvet code QP53AC11
Molecular formula C22H19Br2NO3
Molar mass 505.21 g mol−1
Density 1.5 g cm−3
Melting point

98 °C

Boiling point

300 °C

 Yes check.svgY (what is this?)  (verify)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

Deltamethrin is a pyrethroid ester insecticide.



Deltamethrin products are among some of the most popular and widely used insecticides in the world and have become very popular with pest control operators and individuals in the United States in the past five years.[1] This material is a member of one of the safest classes of pesticides: synthetic pyrethroids. While mammalian exposure to deltamethrin is classified as safe, this pesticide is highly toxic to aquatic life, particularly fish, and therefore must be used with extreme caution around water.

There are many uses for deltamethrin, ranging from agricultural uses to home pest control. Deltamethrin has been instrumental in preventing the spread of diseases carried by tick-infested prairie dogs, rodents and other burrowing animals. It is helpful in eliminating and preventing a wide variety of household pests, especially spiders, fleas, ticks, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, cockroaches and bedbugs. Deltamethrin is also one of the primary ingredients in ant chalk.

Malaria control

Deltamethrin plays a key role in controlling malaria vectors, and is used in the manufacture of long-lasting insecticidal mosquito nets. It is used as one of a battery of pyrethroid insecticides in control of malarial vectors, particularly Anopheles gambiae and Aedes aegypti, and whilst being the most employed pyrethroid insecticide, can be used in conjunction with, or as an alternative to, permethrin, cypermethrin and other organophosphate-based insecticides, such as DDT, malathion and fenthion. Resistance to deltamethrin (and its counterparts) is now extremely widespread and threatens the success of worldwide vector control programmes.

Recently, in South Africa, residues of deltamethrin were found in breast milk, together with DDT, in an area that used DDT treatment for malaria control, as well as pyrethroids in small-scale agriculture.[2]

Resistance to deltamethrin

Resistance has been characterised in several important vectors of malaria, including Anopheles gambiae. Methods of resistance include thickening of the cuticle of the vector to facilitate less permeation of the insecticide, metabolic resistance via overexpression of metabolising P450 mono-oxygenases and glutathione-S-transferases, and the kdr sodium channel mutations which render the action of insecticides ineffectual, even when co-administered with piperonyl butoxide. Characterisation of the different forms of resistance has become a top priority in groups studying tropical medicine due to the high mortality of those who reside in endemic areas (Muller, Pie, et al. (2008). Field caught Permethrin-Resistant Anopheles gambiae overexpress CYP6P3, a P450 that metabolises pyrethroids,PLoS Genetics 4(11)).



In humans

While deltamethrin is easy to use and very effective, it should always be treated with respect. It should be applied according to the instructions that come with the insecticide. When care is not taken, deltamethrin poisoning can occur.

Since deltamethrin is a neurotoxin, it attacks the nervous system. Skin contact can lead to tingling or reddening of the skin local to the application. If taken in through the eyes or mouth, a common symptom is facial paraesthesia, which can feel like many different abnormal sensations, including burning, partial numbness, "pins and needles", skin crawling, etc.

There are no antidotes, and treatment must be symptomatic, as approved by a physician. Over time, deltamethrin is metabolized, with a rapid loss of toxicity, and passed from the body. Contact a Poison Control center or your physician as soon as possible for guidance in treatment.

In domestic animals

Cases of toxicity have been observed in cattle, following use of agricultural deltamethrin preparation in external application in tick control. Symptoms appeared 36 hours after the application, including muscular tremors leading to decubitus 12 hours later. After 12 hours, there was spontaneous recovery and the animal could stand up again, although the muscular tremors persisted. The body temperature was then 38.3°C. (normal range 38.0 to 39.5°C.).


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