On February 3, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published their proposed interim decisions on neonicotinoid insecticides in the Congressional Federal Register. This review included the active ingredients imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, clothianidin, acetamiprid, and dinotefuran. Some common trade names that include these ingredients include Admire and Merit with imidacloprid; Actara and Meridian with thiamethoxam; Arena and Belay with clothianidin; Assail and Intruder with acetamiprid; and Venom and Safari with dinotefuran. This family of insecticides is used widely in the U.S. to manage pests of row and specialty crops, turf, ornamentals, and pets. These products are used in residential and commercial settings, indoors, and outdoors, and some products have professional and homeowner versions. In these reports, the EPA released their risk assessments addressing human, pollinator, and aquatic organism safety. The EPA is proposing new limitations on these insecticides and safety measures to mitigate potential ecological risks and protect human health.
Some of the proposed limitations of neonicotinoid use include measures to reduce off-target movement, reductions in amounts used on some crops, requiring additional personal protective equipment for applicators, restrictions on when neonicotinoids can be applied to some blooming crops to protect pollinators, restrictions on residential uses, and cancellation of use of liquid imidacloprid on residential turf due to health concerns.
This announcement begins a 60-day public comment period. After reviewing comments from the public, the EPA will issue their final interim decision on the neonicotinoids. The proposed interim decisions are available on the EPA website.
By Ric Bessin and Jonathan Larson, Extension Entomologists