PMEP Home Page --> Pesticide Active Ingredient Information --> EXTOXNET: The Extension Toxicology Network --> Pyrethrins to Ziram --> Scilliroside

E  X  T  O  X  N  E  T
Extension Toxicology Network

A Pesticide Information Project of Cooperative Extension Offices of Cornell University, Michigan State University, Oregon State University, and University of California at Davis. Major support and funding was provided by the USDA/Extension Service/National Agricultural Pesticide Impact Assessment Program.


Publication Date: 9/95


Trade names for products containing scilliroside include Silmine, Silmurin, Red Squill, Rodine, Topzol Rat Baits and Killing Syrup, Rat-o-Cide, and Rodene.


Scilliroside production was discontinued worldwide in 1980. It was a Restricted Use Pesticide. It was registered in the U.S. for control of the Norway rat (1).


Scilliroside is a rodenticide in the glycoside family of chemicals (5). It is a botanical compound extracted from the bulb of the Mediterranean squill plant (3). Most effective against Norway rats, it was also used to control black rats, house mice, long-tailed field mice, and field voles (2). The EPA classified it as Toxicity Class I- highly toxic. Products containing scilliroside bore the Signal Word "Caution" (1). It was available as a ready- to-use bait or as granules.



Scilliroside is a highly toxic chemical. The dose at which half of the test animals die, the oral LD50, is 0.43 mg/kg for female rats, 0.7 mg/kg for male rats, and 0.35 mg/kg for mice (1, 6). Pigs and cats survived doses of 16 mg/kg (1). Scilliroside is irritating to the skin (2).

Scilliroside affects heart muscle contractions. It is also a potent emetic in most mammals, causing them to vomit and avoid absorbing the toxin. It is specifically toxic to continuous feeders like rats because of their inability to vomit. Rats are relatively resistant to the cardiac actions of scilliroside. Instead, they show protracted convulsions and muscular weakness at doses of 1.5-2.0 mg/kg intraveneously. Cardiac glycosides, like scilliroside, may also cause nausea, vomiting, headache, abdominal pain, confusion or convulsions.


Reproductive Effects

Newborn and young infant heart muscles are less susceptible than adults to the effects of cardiac glycosides such as scilliroside (7).

Teratogenic Effects

No information currently available.

Mutagenic Effects

No information currently available.

Carcinogenic Effects

No information currently available.

Organ Toxicity

Scilliroside is a cardiac glycoside, so it can cause abnormal hearbeat rhythms. It may also affect the nervous system and secretory organs (7).

Fate in Humans and Animals

Cardiac glycosides, such as scilliroside, are metabolized by the liver, excreted into the intestine and then absorbed into the blood. Intestinal flora may also play a role in metabolism, causing large variations in fate among exposed individuals. It may also be eliminated, unmetabolized by the kidney. The half-life in the body is from five to six days (7).


Effects on Birds

Scilliroside is moderately toxic to some birds. Fowl survive doses of 400 mg/kg/day (1). Certain birds learn to avoid insects contaminated with scilliroside because of its strong emetic characteristic (8).

Effects on Aquatic Organisms

No information currently available.

Effects on Other Animals (Nontarget species)

Scilliroside is not toxic to many mammal species because of its strong emetic characteristic (1).


Breakdown of Chemical in Soil and Groundwater

No information currently available.

Breakdown of Chemical in Surface Water

No information currently available.

Breakdown of Chemical in Vegetation

No information currently available.


Scilliroside is a bright yellow crystalline solid. It is hydroscopic and non-corrosive (4). Scilliroside is sensitive to heat and should be used at temperatures below 80 degrees C. Its shelf life is one to five years if it is protected from strong light and low pH conditions (8).

Physical Properties:

CAS#: 507-60-8
Chemical Name: 3B, 6-B-6-acetyloxy-3-(Beta-D-Glucopyranosyloxy)-8,14-dihydroxybufa-4,20,22-trienolide
Melting Point: 168-170 degrees C
Solubility in water: Slight solubility in water
Solubility in other solvents: Soluble in alcohols, ethylene gylcol, dioxane, and glacial acetic acid. Practically insoluble in diethyl ether and petroleum ether

Exposure Guidelines:

No information currently available.


Scilliroside is no longer produced.


  1. Meister, R.T. 1992. Farm Chemicals Handbook '92. Meister Publishing Company. Willoughby, OH.
  2. Thomson, W. T. 1981. Agricultural Chemicals Book III Fumigants, Growth Regulators, Repellents, and Rodenticides. Thomson Publications. Fresno, CA.
  3. Ware, G. W. 1986. Fundamentals of Pesticides- A Self Instruction Guide, Second edition. Thomson Publications. Fresno, CA.
  4. The Agrochemicals Handbook, Third Edition. 1994. Royal Society of Chemistry Information Systems, Unwin Brothers Ltd., Surrey, England.
  5. Hayes Jr., Wayland, and E. R. Laws, Jr., (eds.) 1991. Handbook of Pesticide Toxicology. Academic Press, Inc. New York, NY.
  6. Sax, N. I. 1984. Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials, Sixth edition. Van Nostrand Reinhold. New York, NY.
  7. Wingard, Lemuel, T Brody et. al. 1991. Human Pharmacology Molecular- to-Clinical. Mosby Year Book . Baltimore, MD.
  8. Katzung, B.G. 1987. Basic and Clinical Pharmacology, Third Edition. Appleton and Lange. Norwalk, CT.