Etofenprox is a synthetic “pyrethroid-like” ether insecticide. Etofenprox differs in structure from pyrethroids in that it contains an ether moiety rather than an ester moiety, lacks a carbonyl group, has no cyano group and no halogen. The structure of etofenprox makes it more stable, exhibit a lower toxicity and allows a reduction of pesticidal burden to the environment. The mode of action against insects is very similar to that of other pyrethroids. The main action site is the neuronal axon.

Etofenprox is registered in more than 50 countries for both agricultural and public health uses. In the US, etofenprox is currently registered for the following uses: rice, mosquito adulticiding, spot treatment for cats; indoor and outdoor residential use; and use in non-food handling areas of commercial food-handling establishments.


Etofenprox-treated textiles are not dermal irritants. Etofenprox is less absorbed dermally than permethrin and other insecticides. Etofenprox is not a neurotoxin or carcinogen like some of the pyrethroids. The carcinogenic risk to etofenprox is 1.09 x 10-6 while it is 1.04 x 10-5 for permethrin.

Toxicological modeling by the US Army Public Health Command indicates etofenprox can be applied at rates 10x higher than permethrin for textile uses which leads to greater efficacy.

The toxicological profile of etofenprox allows for potential treatment on next-to-skin textiles such as t-shirts or socks.

Etofenprox protects from bites at a higher percentage (rate) than permethrin and other pyrethroids; therefore, the user is less susceptible to insect bites while wearing etofenprox-treated textiles. Along with a higher percent bite protection, etofenprox is more stable in textiles than permethrin and other pyrethroids. Etofenprox has been shown to have over 90% efficacy in textiles washed 75 times. There is a potential for etofenprox to be used to retreat textiles previously treated with etofenprox or other pyrethroid-treated textiles. Even after the textile has reached its wash limit and the insecticide is no longer effective, the textile does not need to be disposed of, instead it can be retreated. Etofenprox works on some species of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes where other pyrethroids, such as permethrin, do not. Etofenprox is also very effective on the Aedes Aegypti, the mosquito known to cause the Zika Virus and other harmful fevers.