Make Organic Pyrethrum Spray at Home for Organic Pest Control

Make your own pyrethrum spray – the strongest insecticide allowed under National Organic Standards – and learn how to apply and store the pesticide.

  • Pyrethrum is made from the dried flowers of a little white daisy classified as “Tanacetum cinerariifolium.”
    Photo Courtesy EverGreen

This article is part of our Organic Pest Control Series, which includes articles on attracting beneficial insects, controlling specific garden pests, and using organic pesticides.

What Is Pyrethrum?

One of the oldest pesticides known, pyrethrum is also the strongest insecticide allowed under National Organic Standards guidelines. Made from the dried flowers of a little white daisy now classified as Tanacetum cinerariifolium, pyrethrum insecticides are known for their fast knock-down of unwanted insects. Insects typically become paralyzed as soon as they come into contact with pyrethrum, so it’s often used in wasp sprays. Pyrethrum use in the garden should be undertaken with care and only after cultural methods that might manage a pest have been exhausted. Pyrethrum insecticides are highly toxic to bees, wasps and other beneficial insects, as well as to fish.   

Which Pests Does Pyrethrum Control?

Aphids, armyworms, cucumber beetles, cutworms, squash bugs, whiteflies, leafhoppers, thrips and Colorado potato beetles are often brought under control with pyrethrum. Pests that cannot be reached with the spray — for example, corn earworms or leaf miners — should not be treated with pyrethrum products. Additionally, very challenging pests such as cucumber beetles and squash bugs are best managed by excluding them with row covers, with pyrethrum used as a late-season remedy should pests get out of control.    

8/17/2015 1:24:24 PM

Pyrethrins are the natural insecticide found in daisy like Chrysanthemum flowers grown and harvested in Kenya, Africa and Australia. Pyrethrin is considered a Botanical “natural” insecticide because it is derived from plants. Source:

2/2/2014 5:39:36 PM

Mark Fulop 201-925-3470

2/2/2014 5:38:04 PM

My name is Mark and I am Commercial Mortgage broker living in northern NJ. I have a green house attached to the back of my house with a ebb and flow hydroponic system with 128 3.75 inch baskets. Two 600 watt lights. Currently I am growing about 50 strawberries and 12 tomatoes. Also a few watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumber, Brussels sprouts, lemon tree, grape tree,and pineapple tree. I just went through 1500 lady bugs that ended up dying in a week. Hopefully they will send me a new batch. I have a mite problem that seems under contro.Just from rubbing each leaf with water and breaking the webs with my fingers. It seems to have worked because the plants are not turning brown and starting to look better. The aphid problem is still an issue. Its harder to find a cluster of them on the plants but they still are there. I have killed a lot of them simply breaking off the leaves that they sit on or squeezing them into the leaf. It seems to be a losing battle because today I noticed some of the leaves ona few tomato plants are curling over. My biggest fear is that when the strawberries and tomatoes create flowers the bugs will be there to eat the flowers. Therefore stopping the plants from bearing fruit. I think that's why my cucumbers are all messed up and wilting. Its because I have an aphid problem. We have green ones and pink ones. Mites that create webs across the leaves on a strawberry plant. What about? Pyrethrum? Insecticidal soup or horticultural oil? 1% ceylon cinnamon leaf oil mixed with 99% water Email or call I appreciate any feed back? Do you think this is the reason why I have no plants that have created any fruit.



Fall 2021!

Put your DIY skills to the test throughout November. We’re mixing full meal recipes in jars, crafting with flowers, backyard composting, cultivating mushrooms, and more!


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