Yates pyrethrum insect gun is a readily available insecticide commonly used in a domestic setting, particularly in home vegetable gardens. Risk communication via social media is suitable for the target audience as it has the potential to reach a huge number of individuals using the spray when they search the Internet for gardening advice.
As Winter ends and Spring planting begins, it’s time to start thinking about protecting the garden from the hungry insects that become more common in the warmer months. Yates Pyrethrum Insect Gun is a commonly used insecticide in domestic vegetable gardens. The Yates Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) (2014) states that pyrethrum is classified as non-hazardous by Safe Work Australia, however there are safety risks that need to be addressed with its use, particularly as pyrethrum is allowed to be used in organic agriculture and therefore many individuals are likely to regard it as safe (Saba and Messina, 2003). Now is a good time to review the risks associated with using this product in a domestic setting.
It is important that users of this product should check the MSDS prior to use, as the listed precautions on the Yates website only relate to the growth and harvest of plants rather than human health and safety precautions. According to the MSDS (2014) users should wear protective equipment including overalls, safety glasses, safety shoes and gloves to avoid inhalation of the product as well as to prevent skin and eye irritation. Other preventative measures include working upwind and/or only using the product on a still day. Hands should be washed after use.
The Pyrethrum Insect Gun should be stored in a cool environment out of reach of children and animals. The product should not be used within 24 hours of harvest and it is therefore important to consider when the product can most safely be used, particularly if children and pets are in the habit of grazing on garden plants.
In comparison to many insecticides, pyrethrum can be considered relatively safe and by using personal protective equipment, considering timing of use and practicing safe storage, the risks associated with this product can be easily mitigated.
Saba, A., & Messina, F. (2003). Attitudes towards organic foods and risk/benefit perception associated with pesticides. Food Quality and Preference. 14, 637-645. Retrieved from
Yates. (2014). Material Safety Data Sheet:Yates Pyrethrum Insect Pest Gun. Retreived from