Selective insecticides

Selective or soft insecticides are active on specific pest species but have minimal impact on non-target organisms such as beneficials. There are varying degrees of ‘softness’ and some insecticides are selective for one group of natural enemies but detrimental to others (refer to pesticide impact on beneficials table).

Selective insecticides:

  • are not available for all pests.
  •  may not always provide 100% control of pests.
  • include seed dressings, which can delay foliar applications, allowing beneficials to build up. Reserve seed treatments for fields where moderate pest pressure is expected

Examples of selective insecticides

  • Pirimicarb – targets aphids
  • Bt – targets small caterpillars
  • NPV – targets small helicoverpa
  • Indoxacarb – targets loopers, Helicoverpa, mirids
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