Biological Profile of Neonicotinoids

Neonicotinoid insecticides exhibit extensive biological activity with widespread agricultural uses, and numerous reviews, articles and book chapters have been published over the past decade on the subject.35'36 It is beyond the scope of this chapter to provide a comprehensive overview of the agronomic and horticultural uses of neonicotinoid insecticides, since more than 140 and 115 crop uses have been described and commercialized for imidacloprid and thia-methoxam alone.36

The unique properties of neonicotinoids include high intrinsic acute and residual activity against sucking and some chewing insect species; high efficacy against susceptible and insecticide-resistant populations (such as aphids,

Figure 4.4 (A) Translocation of [14C]-thiacloprid in cabbage plants 1 day after application of 2 x 5 ml droplets onto the first true leaf. Radioactivity on the surface of the cuticle (residue) was already removed by cellulose-acetate stripping, (B) translocation pattern of thiacloprid sprayed to a cucumber leaf. (Pictures taken by Nauen).

Figure 4.4 (A) Translocation of [14C]-thiacloprid in cabbage plants 1 day after application of 2 x 5 ml droplets onto the first true leaf. Radioactivity on the surface of the cuticle (residue) was already removed by cellulose-acetate stripping, (B) translocation pattern of thiacloprid sprayed to a cucumber leaf. (Pictures taken by Nauen).

whiteflies, leafhoppers and planthoppers, Colorado potato beetles and others); and excellent acropetal translocation. These properties make neonicotinoids suitable for use on a wide variety of crops, including aphids in vegetables, sugar beet, cotton, pome fruit, cereals and tobacco; leafhoppers, planthoppers and water weevil in rice; whiteflies in vegetables, cotton and citrus; lepidopteran leafminer in pome fruit and citrus; and wireworms in sugar beet and corn. Termites and turf pests such as white grubs are also important indications covered by imidacloprid.9,36

Due to their high systemicity, diverse application methods for neonicotinoids are feasible which have been introduced into practice. Soil treatments can be done by incorporation of granules, injection, application with irrigation water, spraying, use of tablets, etc. Plants, or parts of plants, are treated by seed dressing, pelleting, implantation, dipping, injection and painting. Such methods have led to a more economic and environmentally friendly use of these products which fits well into various IPM (Integrated Pest Management) programmes.36

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