Which among the following is the least harmful insecticide?

Answer: [C] Pyrethrin

Most of the thousands of different insecticides used today fall into one of four classes as follows:

  • Chlorinated hydrocarbons
  • Organophosphates,
  • Carbamates,
  • Pyrethroids.


Malthion is an organophosphate. Malathion is widely used in agriculture, residential landscaping, public recreation areas, and in public health pest control programs such as mosquito eradication. In some countries, it is the most commonly used organophosphate insecticide. Malathion Organophosphates are harmful and of concern to both scientists and regulators because they work by irreversibly blocking an enzyme that’s critical to nerve function in both insects and humans.


Furadan is a carbamate. The so-called carbamate insecticides feature the carbamate ester functional group. Included in this group are aldicarb (Temik), carbofuran (Furadan), carbaryl (Sevin), ethienocarb, fenobucarb, oxamyl and methomyl. These insecticides kill insects by reversibly inactivating the enzyme acetylcholinesterase.


Pyrethrin is a natural insecticide and least harmful of all. It is one of the insecticides that is based on learning how wild plants, especially tropical species produce chemical compounds that repel insects or inhibit their feeding. There are two major types of these compoundspyrethrins from wild chrysanthemum type plants and rotenoids produced by the roots of rain-forest legumes. Both types of compounds are biodegradable, effective in low doses, and cause little harm to higher animals such as birds and mammals, including humans.


Aldrin is an organochloride and is harmful.

This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module