Thursday, July 21, 2011

What's the deal with Camicide?

Camicide has been a bird owner's best friend for years. An insecticide that is safe to use around birds AND effective, it is the number one selling insecticide in the bird industry. I personally LOVE this stuff because it works! Being in Texas, controlling insects is a constant battle. Spraying insecticides around the outside of our home is not a problem, but inside we have to be very careful. Anyone who lives here knows Texas bugs are immune to just about everything. You can practically bathe them in natural "herbal" insecticide products and they walk away unscathed! A spray or two with Camicide knocks them out cold.

Now the problem. Camicide is nowhere to be found at the moment. I think I bought the last gallon in existence a few weeks ago from a poultry supplier. I paid a pretty penny for it too. What's the deal?

There is a worldwide shortage of pyrethrin, the active ingredient in Camicide. Pyrethrin is a natural insecticide made from the Chrysanthemum flower. Kenya is the primary supplier of pyrethrin and problems in that country have affected the global supply. Actually there have been problems with the supply on and off for about four years now. This is why in the past, Camicide would be temporarily unavailable only to come back on the market a few months later. This year, the shortage is really bad. Many companies that produce horse fly sprays, etc. have gone to using alternative substitutions to pyrethrin to meet customer demand for pest control. Unfortunately for bird people, our options are limited.

Some people confuse Pyrethrin and Permethrin which is a fatal mistake. Permethrin is a synthetic insecticide which is not safe to use around birds (nor cats).

I have recently ordered Mango Control spray to see if that would work as a viable alternative to Camicide. I read online that it contained pyrethrum (pyrethrin). I ordered it, thinking it might work similar to Camicide. I admit, I was wondering how they had this stuff in light of the shortgage, but went ahead and ordered it.

But when I received it, the ingredients read as follows: ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Sodium lauryl sulfate 1.50%, cinnamon oil .50%, cedar oil .20%, clove oil .20%, other ingredients (water, citric acid, bentonite) 97.60%. So it looks like they changed their formulation to a "natural" product in light of the pyrethrin shortgage. Retail sellers and distributors of this product really need to change their information to reflect this. I was very disappointed when I read the label.

The product smells nice, kind of minty. I haven't had the chance to use it yet, but as soon as I do, I will write a review on this product and let you know whether or not it worked for me.

Meanwhile, if you know where there is some Camicide let me know!

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