Your Experience Using Neonicotinoids?

A recent problem with leafhoppers has me taking a look at neonicotinoids. I know they have gotten some bad press in recent years but wonder if its because they are used without regard to bloom timing that affects pollinators on row crops and ornamentals. They seem to have lower human toxicity than many of the products I’m currently using. I’m looking at imidacloprid in particular. I would love to hear ant first hand experiences. Pm if you want.

The bad press is overgeneralized to include all neonicotinoids whereas the specific bad actors are limited to a few. Also the much touted ban on neonicotinoids in the EU is false, it is actually limited to precoated seeds of a few neonicotinoid compounds.

Bayers “generic” imidacloprid is one of the bad actors when applied in pretreated seeds. I say generic because there are variants (isomers or enriched) of this compound produced by Bayer.

I am using the Bayer product Leverage (also sold as Temprid SC) as a foliar every few months on my fruit trees. The dosage for my quarter acre orchard is essentially one drop. I apply in the very late afternoon to avoid harming bees in the area. I have pesticide applicators license. Over the years I have experienced increases – not decreases in beneficial insects (bees included) in my yard.

You might find Leverage/Temprid a bit pricey, but for my wide range of crops and insect pests it is so far well worth it.

Richard, which insects you control with Leverage?

Pretty much everything on the label. The big ones are aphids, citrus leaf miner, psyllids, and thrips.

Assail is a neonic I use for leaf hopper control. I use it partially because the label says it doesn’t kill bees once it dries, but I’m still careful not to let spray fall on any nearby flowers from plants in the vicinity. It works fine- for maybe 9-10 days. Pyrethroids may work for a few days longer but keep their killing power of bees even when dry. I worry about them drinking the dew off sprayed trees.

Leafhoppers can kill new grafts as they are often the most succulent growth on a tree. OFM is a nightmare this year for my peach grafts, although they don’t kill them, just mess up form and slow overall growth. I keep spraying but the generations this year seem to never end.

I only spray growing tips to control leaf hoppers and OFM, which greatly reduces spray volume needed.

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Recent article.

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I’ve used acetamiprid against late PCs on plums, well past blooming time

It works well and has a kickback effect that saves a lot of fruits, altho I suppose it leaves a dead larva inside, which will apparently freak out many


The leafhopper stippling damage just appeared from nowhere this year. My guess is that they maybe rose leafhopper that overwinter on newly established nearby blackberrys. I am trying to put a spraying program together. I will give imidacloprid a try in the spring and again around late July / August First. Assail is a little pricy at $800.00 a gallon. Do you find dormant sprays to be effective on overwintering leafhopper?

But do you really need a gallon? Check the dosage. A pint might be sufficient. And take another look at Leverage/Temprid – it is both neonicotinoid and pyrethroid.