|Water Content (%)
|Slightly yellowish liquid
Used as an insecticidal synergistic agent
Used to kill insects produced during storage of grains such as rice, wheat and beans
It is often used in combination with the insecticide pyrethroid to form complexes for synergistic effect
This product can improve the insecticidal activity of pyrethroid and various pyrethroid rotenone and carbamate insecticides
What is piperonyl butoxide (PBO)?
Piperonyl butoxide (PBO) is a man-made pesticide synergist. By itself, PBO is not designed to harm insects. Instead, it works with bug killers to increase their effectiveness. PBO is often combined with natural pyrethrins or man-made pyrethroids. It has been used in pesticide products since the 1950s, when it was first registered in the United States.
What are some products that contain piperonyl butoxide (PBO)?
There are more than 2,500 pesticide products that contain the active ingredient PBO. These include foggers, dusts, and sprays. Some of these products may be used inside and outside of homes. PBO is also used on agricultural crops and livestock. Other uses include mosquito control programs and flea and tick treatments for pets.
Some head lice products contain PBO and may be applied to humans as lotions or shampoos. The United States Food and Drug Administration regulates products used to control head lice on people. These products are not considered pesticides.
Always follow label instructions and take steps to avoid exposure. If any exposures occur, be sure to follow the First Aid instructions on the product label carefully.
How does piperonyl butoxide (PBO) work?
PBO it not designed to kill insects by itself. Insects have enzymes in their bodies that break down some insecticides. PBO stops some of these enzymes and allows insecticides more time to work. This means insects are less likely to recover from the combination of PBO and certain insecticides.
Early studies found that PBO greatly improved how well pyrethrins kill houseflies. PBO itself did not kill the flies. The combination of both allowed more control with smaller amounts of pyrethrins.
How might I be exposed to piperonyl butoxide (PBO)?
You may be exposed to PBO by breathing it, eating it, touching it, or getting it in your eyes. This can happen when applying sprays or dusts indoors or outdoors. Avoid touching wet surfaces or inhaling pesticide mist or dust. You may also be exposed if you eat, smoke, or use the bathroom without washing your hands after a pesticide application. PBO is also registered for use on both dogs and cats in flea and tick treatments. People may be exposed while treating their pets or if they touch a recently treated pet.
Small amounts of PBO may be present as residue found on food. PBO is approved for use on many crops before harvest. It is exempt from maximum residue limit (tolerance) requirements. Some foods may be treated with PBO after harvest, including almonds, tomatoes, wheat, and animal meat.