Adult Mosquito Control Pesticides

Sumithrin (d-Phenothrin)

NOTE: EPA toxicity levels are grouped into four categories: (IV) relatively non-toxic, (III) slightly toxic, (II) moderately toxic, and (I) highly toxic. Sumithrin is rated as slightly toxic (III). By comparison, caffeine would be labeled moderately toxic (II).


  • Sumithrin is a synthetic pyrethroid
  • Pyrethroids are synthetic compounds related to the naturally occurring Chrysanthemum sp compound pyrethrum
  • pyrethroids affect the nervous system by causing sodium channels to remain open longer causing repetitive firing of nerves (“jitters”)
  • Symptoms of acute poisoning by pyrethroids include restlessness, incoordination, and hyperactivity, followed by prostration and paralysis

Toxicity to people: LOW RISK

  • found to be a non-irritant to skin& eyes
  • not found to be a skin sensitizer (allergen)
  • not found to be oncogenic (tumor-producing)
  • not found to cause birth defects
  • rapidly metabolized (broken down by the body)
  • metabolic products are non-toxic

Toxicity to non-targets:
other mammalslow risk
birdslow risk
fish high risk

However, (1) sumithrin is unstable and insoluble in water, (2)

breakdown products have low to no toxicity, and (3) no fish kills

have been attributed to proper use of sumithrin.
bees – high risk

However, (1) sumithrin is applied after dusk when bees are not

active, (2) sumithrin is applied at very low rates, and (3) sumithrin

breaks down rapidly in sunlight.
other invertebrates – unknown but probably high, especially to

night-flying insects. Sumithrin is a very good insecticide.

However, it can be rapidly biodegraded (broken down by living

Environmental Risk

1. sumithrin breaks down rapidly in sunlight

2. sumithrin is unstable and insoluble in water – risk to groundwater

is low

3. sumithrin is non-volatile (doesn’t release vapors)

4. sumithrin breakdown products have low to no toxicity

Efficiency as a Pesticide
1. sumithrin is applied when mosquitoes are flying
2. sumithrin produces rapid knockdown and mortality in mosquitoes at application rates of .0024 lbs. of
sumithrin per acre The product used Anvil 10+10 is comprised of 10% sumithrin, 10% is the synergist piperonyl butoxide and 80% is comprised of inert ingredients
3. sumithrin is not persistent in the environment, so the
chance of resistance developing is low


Questions and Answers: Pesticides and Mosquito Control

For Your Information: Larvicides for Mosquito Control

For Your Information: Synthetic Pyrethroids for Mosquito Control


Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

-Anvil 10+10
-Vectobac 12AS
-Vectobac G
-Vectolex WSP
-Altosid Pellets WSP