The mode of action of pyrethnxm on the cockroach, Periplaneta americana L



Pyrethrin, the active principle of pyrethrum powder, is insoluble in water but is soluble in, the body fluid of the cockroach. It has a selective action on nerve ganglia, and the destruction of their cells is responsible for the death of the insect. Whereas pyrethrum, when used -either in the powdered form or in a fluid state mixed with kerosene and introduced directly into the body cavity reaches the ganglion with the circulation, its mode of action when it acts through the spiracles is different. Kerosene-pyrethrum mixture when introduced into the tracheal trunks through the spiracles is quickly diffused into the haemocoele. When the dry powder is inserted into the trachea, its mode of action is analogous to a fluid preparation. As the conversion of pyrethrum from a dry into a fluid state is alone possible in the interior of the trachea, the natural conclusion is that a fluid analogous to the body fluid is present in the same situation. As soon as the pyrethrin is dissolved, it is quickly diffused into the haemocoele and thus reaches the nearest ganglion.