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Conventional Insecticides 


The common classes of insecticides typically have a broad spectrum - so that they can devastate biodiversity of harmless and beneficial insects.


These insecticides include:

  • Organochlorines (such as DDT) that targets sodium channels in insect nervous systems

  • Pyrethroids (synthetic and natural pyrethrins) that also target the sodioum channels

  • Organophosphates that target Acetylcholine esterase (again a protein acting at neural synapses)

  • Neonicotinoids (such a simidacloprid) that target the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (as does nicotine)

  • Various 'Insect Growth Regulators' that targets of some are still unknown!

  • Insect hormone disruptors (eg. methoprene which acts upon the juvenile hormone receptor)

  • Anthrallic Diamides (such as the chlorantraniliprole) that are relatively new and target the Ryanodine receptor at neuromuscular junctions.

 Many of these insecticides are being de-registered because of the harm they do to humans, the environment or because they de-value market value of commodities. 

Ideally new insecticide will control the pest insects without harming other components of the ecosystem such as harmless insects or beneficial insects.


For a recent account of threats to insect biodiversity see:


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