Bifenthrin vs. permethrin is an ongoing debate among gardeners, and we are here to help you decide which one is for you! Each insecticide has its own set of unique properties, and so we are here to present all of them to you in our article.

Bifenthrin vs Permethrin

Keep reading this article, and see more about the differences between the two insecticides to help you pick your preferred choice.

Features Bifenthrin Permethrin
Action Rate slower quicker
Chemical composition C23H22ClF3O2 C21H20Cl2O3
Application Mode Spray or granular Spray, dust, granular, or Emulsion concentrate
Safety Safe to use in lawn around pets and children Safe to use in large crop areas

How Is Bifenthrin Different From Permethrin?

The main difference between Bifenthrin vs. permethrin is that Bifenthrin works less rapidly than permethrin. Permethrin has a rapid action rate. Insects exposed to peremthrin immediately show symptoms of paralysis, while it takes 10 minutes for bifenthrin to have a noticeable impact on the insects.

Both compounds are toxic to bed bugs and can flush them out of their hiding places before killing them. However, if resistant bed bug strains are present, these treatments may cause them to relocate to a new hiding location or temporarily flush them out of existing ones.

Pyrethroids may differ in their ability to control houseplant pests. On the other hand, Bifenthrin is far more effective against spider mites than other pyrethroids.

Properties of Bifenthrin

The Bifenthrin comes with different physical features, it causes paralysis when sprayed on insects. Moreover, it is slightly less toxic to humans and animals. Furthermore, it is specific because it has the ability to kill a big number of pests. 

It is simple to say that Bifenthrin is a great choice if you need a remedy to eliminate pests on your grass and turf. It has general use, which means that it affects different bug species. For instance, it works wonders against ants, cockroaches, mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, and other insects.

– Different Physical Features

The insecticide currently on the market with the longest known residual duration in the soil is Bifenthrin. Bifenthrin frequently lingers in the soil. Depending on the type of soil due to its limited water solubility. Its residual half-life in soil ranges from seven days to almost eight months, with minimal mobility in most soil types.

It has a light sweet scent and is a waxy, white solid. It is chemically produced in several shapes, including powder, granules, and pellets. It doesn’t happen naturally, though.

The molescule of this chemical is chiral, like other pyrethroids, and has many enantiomers with unique properties. There are two enantiomers of bifenthrin: 1S-cis-bifenthrin and 1R-cis-bifenthrin. While 1R-cis-bifenthrin is more than 300 times more effective as a pesticide than 1S-cis-bifenthrin, the former is three to even four times more hazardous to humans.

– Causes Paralysis in Insects

The active component in numerous generic pest control products is Bifenthrin. It is a synthetic pyrethroid that resembles the pyrethrums naturally formed in chrysanthemums. It paralyzes the insect, which results in death within minutes or hours, and operates on contact and through ingestion.

On another note, this insecticide does not need to be sprayed directly on the insect to be effective because it produces residual activity. Insects that enter an area where the chemical has been sprayed are exposed, and they will get paralyzed, but as time passes they will surely perish.

Bifenthrin is intended to be beneficial when applied topically or ingested by pests or insects. Bifenthrin is a Type I pyrethroid that interferes with sodium channel gating to affect the central and peripheral nervous systems.

Bifenthrin Attributes

– Slightly Toxicity to Pets

Bifenthrin is one that contains products that can be used close to humans without risk. Pets can be used once the chemical has dried on the intended surface. It is not as poisonous to humans and other mammals, but it is extremely toxic to aquatic species and only slightly less toxic to birds.

Treating fleas and ticks should never be done directly on pets. It can be used on areas such as pet bedding, but you must wait until it has dried before letting your pet into the area you’ve treated.

– Kills a Big Number of Pests

Bifenthrin is frequently used on a broad scale to combat invading red fire ants. It also works well against termites, aphids, worms, other ants, gnats, moths, beetles, earwigs, grasshoppers, mites, midges, spiders, ticks, yellow jackets, larvae, and thrips.

It is primarily utilized in residences, nurseries, and orchards. It is heavily applied to some crops, such as maize, in the agricultural sector. Bifenthrin treats about 70 percent of the hops and raspberries grown on American farms.

The textile industry uses Bifenthrin to defend woolen goods from insect exploitation. Due to its improved washability, lower aquatic toxicity, and higher effectiveness against keratinophagous insects compared to permethrin-based treatments, it was launched as a replacement.

Properties of Permethrin

Permethrin is the most effective insecticide for removing ticks, mites, and mosquitoes. It adheres well to linens and materials as well. As a result, you can apply it on walls or furniture. Wide effective commercial varieties like country vet farmgard 13.3% permethrin concentrate are available in the market.

Permethrin is primarily metabolized in the liver, which is oxidized by the cytochrome P450 system and hydrolyzed into metabolites. These metabolites are eliminated through urinary excretion. However, if there is a mosquito problem, most people use plants that can repel them and avoid using such products.

– Damages the Neurons of the Insect

Permethrin affects insects’ neurological systems. It disrupts neurons’ ability to function by interfering with sodium channels. It also causes muscles to spasm, which results in paralysis and death. 

This toxin is a mild repellent and is effective when applied topically or ingested. In addition, it also has the ability to leave an impact if ingested or touched by insects. 

– Toxic to Domestic Animals

Permethrin is more poisonous to insects than to humans or dogs. This is because humans and canines can break it down faster than insects. Since it takes their bodies a long time to break down permethrin, cats are more susceptible to it than dogs or humans. 

Which means that if your pet cats lick this insect poison, they tend to get intoxicated. Being a broad-spectrum chemical, its usage is debatable since it is intended to kill in addition to pests; it can also harm domestic cats, aquatic life, and beneficial insects like honey bees.

Permethrin Characteristics

– Used for Buildings and Food Facilities

Permethrin can be used in structures and buildings, including animal housing and food-handling facilities, as well as in public health or mosquito abatement initiatives on a range of food or feed crops and cattle.

It is commonly safe for these places because of the property that it has, which is not to intoxicate humans, and when it is used in common facilities, the insects will die, but humans will not get poisoned.

The common insecticide for pre-and post-construction use is control solutions martin’s permethrin SFR termiticide/insecticide 82004506.

This poison may also be applied to clothing, pets, and indoor and outdoor home locations. The given is regarded as a restricted-use pesticide when applied to expansive regions like farms, nurseries, and sod farms this is because the toxic substance is regarded as a pesticide for general use in different applications.

Permethrin formulations are available for treating head lice and scabies in people. However, these are categorized as medicines.

– Works on Mice and Toxic Mosquitos

Permethrin is primarily applied to agriculture’s cotton, wheat, maize, and alfalfa crops. On contact with clothing treated with permethrin, ticks and mosquitoes are killed. 

Filling biodegradable cardboard tubes with cotton coated with this chemical is one way to treat rodent vectors and lower deer tick numbers. Mice gather cotton to line their nests, and when this chemical is present, it would kill them, because it is prone to kill any juvenile ticks feeding on the mice on the cotton.

In tropical regions, permethrin prevents mosquito-borne illnesses like dengue fever and malaria. Permethrin solution can be used to treat mosquito nets used to cover mattresses. Moreover, it has a keen distribution that has been studied in rat models, with the highest concentrations accumulating in fat and the brain. This is due to the lipophilic nature of the permethrin molecule.

Even when you have any insects on your clothing, this insect repellent can be sprayed directly onto clothing and gear in a slow sweeping motion, keeping the bottle six to eight inches away and treating each side of the garment for approximately 30 seconds.

– Pharmacokinetics

The chemical permethrin belongs to the class of pyrethroid insecticides. The pyrethroid family of compounds was developed to mimic the chemical composition of chrysanthemum flowers. This chemical is one that would aim to postpone the sodium channel’s closing.

Compared to type II pyrethroids, type I pyrethroids on the other hand would leave this to open in a short period of time.


1. What Is The Main Difference Between Bifenthrin vs. Cypermethrin?

The key difference between the two is that cypermethrin is classified as a pyrethroid insecticide while Bifenthrin is a synthetic derivate of pyrethrins found in chrysanthemum flower extracts.


Our extensive guide has compared both insecticides with all their properties and different characteristics and uses. The most imperative thing to note here is that the action rate of permethrin is quicker than Bifenthrin. Another aspect to note here is that permethrin is commercially available for different purposes.

For instance, control solutions permethrin 10% insecticide is a long-lasting livestock spray. In comparison, martin’s permethrin 13.3% quart is used to kill insect pests in various situations, from mobile homes to dog kennels. Permethrin will be the best choice if you require rapid action and a multi-purpose insecticide.


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