Negatives of Neonicotinoids

Living With Insects Blog

Bumblebee Bumblebee The use of neonicotinoid insecticides was widely adopted in the 1990s as one of the few effective pesticides against sweet potato whitefly and other sucking insects. Some of the organophospates with high toxicity to humans were displaced by neonicotinoids with low toxicity to humans, greatly reducing the human health hazards.

Neonicotinoid use has grown in the last decade, especially as seed treatments. Many crop seeds are only sold treated with neonicotinoids as a “seed insurance” whether or not the grower wants it. The neonicotinoids are being used against variable insect pests that may not even be present. In such situations, harm outweighs benefit. Neonicotinoids have long residual life in the soil and are water soluble. Neonicotinoids are detectable in surface waters near agricultural areas. Plants absorb neonicotinoid from the soil and translocate it into the tissues and plant fluids such as nectar. Neonicotinoids are orders of magnitude more toxic…

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