Impacts of a neonicotinoid, neonicotinoid-pyrethroid premix, and anthranilic diamide insecticide on four species of turf-inhabiting beneficial insects

Ecotoxicology. 2014 Mar;23(2):252-9. doi: 10.1007/s10646-013-1168-4. Epub 2014 Feb 4.


Many turf managers prefer to control foliage- and root-feeding pests with the same application, so-called multiple-targeting, using a single broad-spectrum insecticide or a premix product containing two or more active ingredients. We compared the impact of a neonicotinoid (clothianidin), a premix (clothianidin + bifenthrin), and an anthranilic diamide (chlorantraniliprole), the main insecticide classes used for multiple targeting, on four species of beneficial insects: Harpalus pennsylvanicus, an omnivorous ground beetle, Tiphia vernalis, an ectoparasitoid of scarab grubs, Copidosoma bakeri, a polyembryonic endoparasitoid of black cutworms, and Bombus impatiens, a native bumble bee. Ground beetles that ingested food treated with clothianidin or the premix suffered high mortality, as did C. bakeri wasps exposed to dry residues of those insecticides. Exposure to those insecticides on potted turf cores reduced parasitism by T. vernalis. Bumble bee colonies confined to forage on white clover (Trifolium repens L.) in weedy turf that had been treated with clothianidin or the premix had reduced numbers of workers, honey pots, and immature bees. Premix residues incapacitated H. pennsylvanicus and C. bakeri slightly faster than clothianidin alone, but otherwise we detected no synergistic or additive effects. Chlorantraniliprole had no apparent adverse effects on any of the beneficial species. Implications for controlling turf pests with least disruption of non-target invertebrates are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bees / drug effects*
  • Coleoptera / drug effects
  • Diamide / toxicity*
  • Guanidines / toxicity
  • Hymenoptera / drug effects
  • Insecticides / toxicity*
  • Isoxazoles
  • Neonicotinoids
  • Plant Weeds / drug effects
  • Pyrethrins / toxicity
  • Thiazoles / toxicity
  • ortho-Aminobenzoates / toxicity


  • Guanidines
  • Insecticides
  • Isoxazoles
  • Neonicotinoids
  • Pyrethrins
  • Thiazoles
  • ortho-Aminobenzoates
  • Diamide
  • anthranil
  • clothianidin
  • chlorantranilipole
  • bifenthrin