Agriculture: Floriculture and Ornamental Nurseries Pest Management Guidelines

Relative Toxicities of Pesticides Used in Floriculture and Nurseries to Natural Enemies and Honey Bees

This table summarizes the relative effects of insecticides and miticides (acaricides) on parasites and predators (natural enemies) and honey bees. See Best Management Practices to Protect Bees from Pesticides and Protecting Natural Enemies and Pollinators for more information.

Common name (Example trade name) Mode of Action1 Selectivity (affected groups)2 Predatory Mites3, 4 Predators, other4 Parasites4 Duration of impact on natural enemies5 Honey Bees6
abamectin (Avid) 6 intermediate (leafminers, mites, thrips, whiteflies) M H H long I
abamectin/S-methoprene bait (TruFin Ant Bait) 6/7A narrow (certain ants) none L11 none none III
acephate (Acephate) 1B broad (insects, mites) H H H intermediate I
acetamiprid (TriStar) 4A broad (insects) L–M7 H H long II
azadirachtin (Azatin) (Ornazin) broad (insects, mites) L–M M M–H short II
Bacillus thuringiensis spp. aizawai (Xentari) 11A narrow (caterpillars, larvae of butterflies and moths) none none L none II
Bacillus thuringiensis spp. israelensis (Gnatrol) 11A narrow (larvae of certain flies e.g., fungus gnats, mosquitoes) none none none none III
Bacillus thuringiensis spp. kurstaki (Deliver) 11A narrow (caterpillars, larvae of butterflies and moths) none none none none III
Beauveria bassiana
(BotaniGard, Mycotrol)
narrow (aphids, lygus bugs, whiteflies) L L8 L short II
bifenazate (Floramite) 20D narrow (mites) M L none intermediate II
bifenthrin (Attain, Talstar) 3A broad (insects, mites) H H H long I
borate (Revenge Granular Ant Bait) 8D narrow (ground-dwelling invertebrates including ants, crickets) none L11 none short III
buprofezin (Talus) 16 narrow (leafhoppers, mealybugs, sharpshooters, soft scales, whiteflies) L9 L10 none intermediate II
carbaryl foliar* (Carbaryl 4L) 1A broad (insects, mites) H7 H H long I
chlorantraniliprole (Acelepryn) 28 intermediate (aphids, clearwing moths, lace bugs, leaf-feeding caterpillars, root-feeding grubs) L L L–M short III
chlorfenapyr (Pylon) 13 narrow (leafminers, mites) L L M intermediate II
cinnamaldehyde (Cinnacure) intermediate (aphids, mites, thrips) L L L short III
Cryptolaemus montrouzieri (mealybug destroyer) narrow (ovisac-forming mealybugs and scales) none none none none III
cyantraniliprole (Mainspring GNL) 28 intermediate (caterpillars, leafminers, sucking insects) L L L short I
cyfluthrin (Decathlon) 3A broad (insects, mites) H H H intermediate I
cyfluthrin/imidacloprid (Discus) 3A/4A broad (insects, mites) H H H long I
cyromazine (Citation) 17 narrow (fungus gnats, leafminers, shore flies) L M none short II
diazinon (Diazinon AG500) 1B broad (insects, mites) H H H intermediate to long I
diflubenzuron (Adept) 15 narrow (fungus gnats) L M L intermediate II
dinotefuran (Safari) 4A broad (insects) L M M long I
etoxazole (Eschaton) 10B narrow (mites)
fenazaquin (Magus) 21A narrow (mites) M I
fenpropathrin (Tame) 3A broad (insects, mites) H H H intermediate I
fenpyroximate (Akari) 21A narrow (mites) M L M short to intermediate III
flonicamid (Aria) 29 intermediate (sucking insects) L L L short III
flupyradifurone (Altus) 4D broad (insects) L M H intermediate II
Heterorhabditis spp. (entomopathogenic nematodes) narrow (soil-dwelling insects) none L none short III
hexythiazox (Hexygon) 10A narrow (mite immatures) M L L long II
imidacloprid, soil (Marathon) 4A broad (insects, mites) L7 L M long I
Isaria fumosorosea (Ancora) narrow (certain insects) L L L short II
lambda-cyhalothrin (Scimitar) 3A broad (insects) H H H intermediate I
malathion (Malathion 8) 1B broad (insects, mites) M H H intermediate I
metaflumizone bait (Siesta) 22B narrow (certain ants) none L none intermediate III
metam sodium* (Vapam) 8F broad (soilborne fungi, soil-dwelling insects, nematodes, mites, weeds) L M L short III
Metarhizium anisopliae (MET 52) broad (insects, mites) L L L short III
Methiocarb (Mesurol 75-W) 1A    
methoxyfenozide (Intrepid 2F) 18 narrow (caterpillars) L L L short II
narrow-range oil
(JMS Stylet Oil, Organic JMS Stylet Oil)
broad (insects, mites) M M L short II
neem oil (Triact 70, Trilogy) intermediate (exposed insects) M M M short II
novaluron (Pedestal) 15 broad (caterpillars, leafminers, lygus bugs, thrips, whiteflies) L M–H M intermediate I
permethrin (Perm-UP 25 DF) 3A broad (insects, mites) H H H long I
polybutene (Tanglefoot) narrow (ants, certain other flightless insects) L L L long III
potassium salts of fatty acids (M-Pede) broad (insects, mites) L L L short III
pymetrozine (Endeavor) 9B narrow aphids, whiteflies) L L M short II
pyrethrins (PyGanic) 3A broad (insects, mites) M M H short I
pyrethrins/PBO12 (Pyrethrum TR) 3A/— broad (insects) M H H short I
pyridaben (Sanmite) 21A narrow (mites) H M H intermediate I
pyridalyl (Overture) narrow (caterpillars, thrips) L
pyrifluquinazon (Rycar) 9B intermediate (sucking insects) L
pyriproxyfen (Distance) 7C intermediate (aphids, armored scales, fungus gnats, leafminers, shore fly, soft scales, whiteflies) L H M long II
pyriproxyfen bait (Distance) 7C narrow (certain ants) none L none intermediate III
S-Kinoprene (Enstar) 7A intermediate (immature insects) none M none short III
spinosad (Conserve SC, Entrust Naturalyte, Entrust SC) 5 intermediate (caterpillars, leafminers, thrips) M M13 H intermediate II
spiromesifen (Savate) 23 narrow (mites, whiteflies) II
spirotetramat (Kontos) 23 intermediate (sucking insects, mites) L L L short II
Steinernema spp. (entomopathogenic nematodes) narrow (fungus gnats, soil-dwelling insects and larvae and pupae of certain other insects) none L none short III
sulfur dust (various products) intermediate (mites) M L–M M intermediate III
sulfur wettable (various products) intermediate (mites) L–M L L short III
tau-fluvalinate (Mavrik) 3A broad (insects, mites) H H H long I
Tebufenozide (Confirm 2F) 18 narrow (caterpillars) L L L short II
thiamethoxam, foliar (Flagship) 4A broad (insects) M M–H H long I
thiamethoxam, systemic (Flagship) 4A broad (insects) L L M long I
tolefenpyrad (Hachi-Hachi) 21A broad (insects) I
Relative adverse effect: H = high, or medium to high    M = medium, or low to medium   L = low or none
— = Information not available or not presented
1 To prevent the development of resistance, rotate pesticides with a different mode-of-action group number, and do not use products with the same mode of action more than twice per season, especially if they target the same, or successive, generations of a pest. For example, organophosphates have a group number of 1B; pesticides with a 1B group number should be alternated with pesticides that have a group number other than 1B. Mode-of-action group numbers for acaricides (miticides), insecticides, nematicides, and molluscicides are assigned by the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC).
2 Selectivity: Broad means the pesticide affects most groups of insects and mites. Narrow means the pesticide affects only one or a few specific groups.
3 Toxicities generally are to western predatory mite, Galendromus occidentalis.
4 Toxicities are averages of reported effects and should be used only as a general guide. Actual toxicity of a specific pesticide can vary depending on factors including application rate, environmental conditions, and the life stage and species of parasite or predator.
5 Duration: Long means many weeks or months. Intermediate (medium) means days to 2 weeks.Short means hours to days.
6 Honey bees, guidance on how to avoid bee poisoning:
I–Do not apply or allow to drift to plants that are flowering including weeds. Do not allow pesticide to contaminate water accessible to bees including puddles.
II–Do not apply or allow to drift to plants that are flowering including weeds, except when the application is made between sunset and midnight if allowed by the pesticide label and regulations. Do not allow pesticide to contaminate water accessible to bees including puddles.
III–No bee precaution, except when required by the pesticide label or regulations.
7 May cause an increase in spider mites.
8 Toxic to (infects and kills) soil-dwelling predators e.g., predaceous ground beetles and certain spiders.
9 Use lowest rates for best management of predatory mite/spider mite ratio.
10 Kills lady beetles and other predatory beetles.
11 Toxic to ground-dwelling predators including predaceous ground beetles and rove beetles e.g., Dalotia =Atheta spp.
12 PBO = piperonyl butoxide
13 Toxic to certain natural enemies (lacewing and syrphid fly larvae, predatory beetles and thrips) when sprayed and up to 5 to 7 days after, especially for syrphid fly larvae.
* Permit required from county agricultural commissioner for purchase or use.
# Acceptable for use on organically grown ornamentals.

Sources: Bee Precaution Pesticide Ratings; Croft BA. 1990. Arthropod Biological Control Agents and Pesticides. Wiley, New York; Data mining of the 2018 University of California, Integrated Pest Management Pest Management Guidelines (UC IPM PMGs); Hassan SA. et al. 1994. Results of the Sixth Joint Pesticide Testing Programme of the IOBC/WPRS Working Group–Pesticides and Beneficial Organisms. Entomophaga 39:107–119; Jepson PC. 1989. Pesticides and Non-target Invertebrates. Wimborne. Dorset, UK; Orchard Pesticide Effects on Natural Enemies Database (OPENED); International Organisation for Biological and Integrated Control - West Palearctic Region Section IOBC-WPRS Pesticide Side Effect Database; Sterk G. et al. 1999. Results of the Seventh Joint Pesticide Testing Programme Carried Out by the IOBC/WPRS-Working Group Pesticides and Beneficial Organisms. BioControl 44 (1): 99–117.

Text Updated: 01/22