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Imidacloprid is the most widely used insecticide in the world. It is a insecticide that acts as an insect neurotoxin and belongs to a class of chemicals called the neonicotinoids which act on the central nervous system of insects. The chemical works by interfering with the transmission of stimuli in the insect nervous system. Specifically, it causes a blockage of the nicotinergic neuronal pathway. By blocking nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, imidacloprid prevents acetylcholine from transmitting impulses between nerves, resulting in the insect’s paralysis and eventual death.

It is effective on contact and via stomach action.  Because imidacloprid binds much more strongly to insect neuron receptors than to mammal neuron receptors, this insecticide is more toxic to insects than to mammals.

Imidacloprid is an insecticide that was made to mimic nicotine. Nicotine is naturally found in many plants, including tobacco, and is toxic to insects. Imidacloprid is used to control sucking insects, termites, some soil insects, and fleas on pets. It has been used in products sold in the United States since 1994.

Imidacloprid is not very toxic to birds and slightly toxic to fish, although this varies by species. Imidacloprid is very toxic to honeybees and other beneficial insects. The role, if any, of imidacloprid in Colony Collapse Disorder is not yet clear. Scientists have shown that plants grown in treated soil may have imidacloprid residues in their nectar and pollen at levels that are below those shown to cause effects on bees in laboratory experiments.

Read more: Insecticides

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