Everything you need to know about bifenthrin: A comprehensive guide

Ant trail

Bifenthrin is an effective, targeted insecticide from the pyrethroid family that interferes with pests’ nervous systems upon contact. Used across a range of industries and on many types of insect, including fire ants, termites, borers, and cockroaches, it is a popular choice because of its high toxicity and variety of easy application methods. Whether you’re looking to simply control pests in your home garden, or are dealing with larger land areas and more complex needs, bifenthrin offers an excellent solution.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll unpack everything you need to know about using bifenthrin to eradicate unwanted insects.

What is bifenthrin? 

Bifenthrin is a pyrethroid – a synthetic derivative of natural pyrethrins, which are compounds extracted from the chrysanthemum flower. There are many pyrethroids on the market, but bifenthrin is amongst the most widely known and is used worldwide. 

It is neurotoxic and works by targeting insects’ nervous systems, paralysing them, and killing them just minutes after ingestion. It provides good residual activity, meaning it does not need to be applied directly on the insect to be effective – simply spray bifenthrin on or around your target area and this fast-acting chemical will do the rest. 

Bifenthrin can be used both indoors and outdoors in many situations, including in small spaces where pests hide and breed, such as crawl spaces and under appliances. It’s also suitable for use in larger areas, and isn’t absorbed by plant life, making it ideal for spraying on and around buildings, lawns, gardens, shrubs, and even crops. Simply put, bifenthrin has very few spatial limitations – so whether you’re dealing with an infested home, business, farm, or yard, it is a viable and highly effective pest control option. 

While bifenthrin is extremely toxic to insects, its low toxicity to humans and mammals ensure it can safely be used in agricultural and urban applications. However, bifenthrin is toxic to aquatic animals, so should never be used near waterways.

Is bifenthrin an effective pesticide? 

Bifenthrin is widely regarded as one of the most powerful pesticides available on the market. Its broad spectrum activity, long residual effect, and application versatility make it a top choice for pest control professionals and homeowners seeking comprehensive and lasting eradication, especially when incorporated into an integrated pest management plan. 

Which insects does bifenthrin kill? 

Bifenthrin is effective in eradicating over 75 different insect species, including: 

  • Ants (including fire ants) 
  • Armyworms
  • Spiders
  • Ticks
  • Silverfish
  • Crickets
  • Fleas
  • Mosquitoes
  • Cockroaches
  • Grasshoppers
  • Beetles
  • Moths
  • Wasps
  • Termites
  • Stink bugs 
  • Earwigs
  • Centipedes and millipedes 

This versatility has made bifenthrin a go-to solution for homeowners, landowners, and pest professionals, especially those dealing with multiple infestations at once.

How to use bifenthrin for effective pest management

Bifenthrin is available in three main forms – liquid, granules, and ready-to-use sprays. Each of these application methods has pros and cons, and will best suit certain contexts. 

Liquid bifenthrin 

Liquid forms of bifenthrin are particularly effective for treating lawns, gardens, and the exterior of buildings. To use liquid bifenthrin, mix your chosen product with water according to the label instructions and apply using a sprayer.

Granular bifenthrin

Like with other common pesticides, granules are fantastic at addressing infestations on lawns and in the soil. We recommend distributing your chosen product with a broadcast spreader.

Ready-to-use bifenthrin sprays 

Perhaps the quickest and simplest way of administering bifenthrin, ready-to-use sprays lend themselves well to indoor use, smaller areas, and spot treatments. 

The best bifenthrin products for pest control

There are a range of generic and branded products available across liquid, granular and ready-to-use bifenthrin formulations. Here’s what our expert team recommends:

Liquid bifenthrin products

Surefire Zeus Termiticide and Insecticide: This residual insecticide uses 100g/L of bifenthrin to treat many common pests found in households and crops. Its residual nature means it will continue to kill pests it comes into contact with well after application.

AntagonistPro Residual Insecticide: 80g/L of bifenthrin forms the base of this fast-acting knockdown and residual product, designed to control ants and other urban pests in turf and ornamental plants. AntagonistPro Residual Insecticide is Australia’s only polymer-enhanced bifenthrin formulation. This technology helps overcome the harsh environmental factors that can break down regular pyrethroid treatments, meaning it is effective for longer than standard formulations. 

Bifenthrin Ultra 300EC Insecticide: This non-selective, broad-spectrum insecticide and miticide has residual properties and 300g/L of bifenthrin. Its high-load formulation provides quick and effective eradication of various pest insects. It can be used in conjunction with fungicides and herbicides in agricultural settings. 

Surround Termiticide: 100g/L of bifenthrin controls many pests in various situations, from termites to common internal and external house insects. It can also protect fence posts and service poles from termite damage.

Surefire Mosquito & Midge Slayer: This powerful knockdown, residual product uses 100g/L of bifenthrin to control mosquitoes and midges on external surfaces of buildings and structures.

Venom Professional 100SC Insecticide: Registered to control over 100 species of pests and insects, this broad-spectrum insecticide formulated with 100g/L of bifenthrin is ideal for use on turf and ornamental plants and in commercial pest control. It leaves a residual on treated surfaces, providing long-term control against interior and exterior pests.

Surefire Fivestar Insecticide: This water-based formulation relies on 80g/L of bifenthrin to control a wide range of indoor and outdoor pests, including spiders, ants, and mosquitoes. 

Granular bifenthrin products

Our recommendation for a granular bifenthrin product is the Surefire Anstar Granular Insecticide, which uses 2g/kg of bifenthrin to control ticks, fleas, ants, and other turf pests both in the garden and in larger outdoor areas around buildings. This highly potent insecticide can be used as a knockdown treatment to eradicate an existing infestation or applied at regular intervals as a preventative. 

Does bifenthrin need to be reapplied? 

Bifenthrin is a residual active ingredient, which means it will continue to provide pest control for days, weeks, and even months after its initial application. As a general rule, outdoor treatments will need reapplication every 4 to 8 weeks, whereas indoor treatments can last up to 12 weeks. 

However, the frequency of your reapplication will depend on a few factors: 

  • Pest pressure: If you’re dealing with a high-pest activity area or a difficult-to-control infestation, you’ll likely need to apply bifenthrin more regularly than is advised on your chosen product’s label.
  • Environmental conditions: Heavy rain can wash away insecticides. If you’re experiencing high rainfall in your area, you’ll need to reapply to ensure maximum protection. 
  • Product formulation: Ultimately, the frequency with which you’ll need to reapply bifenthrin will depend on your chosen product formula. Some formulations have residual activity that lasts weeks, whereas some offer protection for months. Always refer to the product label for recommended reapplication intervals. 

Is bifenthrin safe to use around pets? 

One of the clearest benefits of using bifenthrin rather than another fast-acting insecticide is that it is safe for use around humans and most pets once the ingredient has dried on the target surface. 

Dogs, cats, and other mammals will not be affected by bifenthrin. While it should never be sprayed directly on pets to control fleas or ticks, ready-to-use products can be applied to kennels and pet bedding as long as the product’s directions for use clearly state it is safe to do so. 

Here are some safety tips for using bifenthrin around cats and dogs: 

  • During application, keep pets away from the area being treated. 
  • After application, allow treated areas to dry completely before letting pets back in or to roam the area freely. Depending on weather conditions, this may take a few hours.
  • Always keep bifenthrin out of reach of pets. 

While bifenthrin is considered low toxicity to mammals, ingestion of concentrated forms or direct exposure to a recently-sprayed area can be harmful. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has been exposed to bifenthrin. 

It’s critical to note that bifenthrin is highly toxic to aquatic animals, and can be semi-toxic to birds. If you have these types of pets in your home, please ensure they are not exposed to bifenthrin. 

As an active ingredient, bifenthrin is amongst the best, providing total pest control against 75 different insect species. With an array of fast-acting, powerful bifenthrin-based products on the market to suit various settings and contexts, from home gardens to farm crops, integrating this product into your pest management plan is simple. When using this potent pesticide, remember to read and follow the product label to ensure the safety of yourself and others. 

Got questions about the right bifenthrin formulation to choose, whether it will suit your needs, or how to use it for best results? The Specialist Sales team has cumulative decades of experience advising Australians on the safe, effective use of pesticides – and much more. Contact us and we’ll be glad to help.

Don't miss our deals or news - sign up now