The nicotinoids are a new class of insecticides with a new mode of action. They have been previously referred to as nitro-quanidines, neonicotinyls, neonicotinoids, chloronicotines, and more recently as the chloronicotinyls. Just as the synthetic pyrethroids are similar to and modeled after the natural pyrethrins, so too, are the nicotinoids similar to and modeled after the natural nicotine. Imidacloprid was introduced in Europe and Japan in 1990 and first registered in the U.S. in 1992. It is currently marketed as several proprietary products worldwide, e.g., Admire(r), Confidor(r),Gaucho(r), Merit(r), Premier(r), Premise(r) and Provado(r). Very possibly it is used in the greatest volume globally of all insecticides.
Imidacloprid is a systemic insecticide, having good root-systemic characteristics and notable contact and stomach action. It is used as a soil, seed or foliar treatment in cotton, rice cereals, peanuts, potatoes, vegetables, pome fruits, pecans and turf, for the control of sucking insects, soil insects, whiteflies, termites, turf insects and the Colorado potato beetle, with long residual control. Imidacloprid has no effect on mites or nematodes.
Other nicotinoids include acetamiprid (Mospilan(r)), thiamethoxam (Actara(r), Platinum(r)), and nitenpyram (Bestguard(r)). All are pursuing U.S. registration.
Mode of action--The nicotinoids act on the central nervous system of insects, causing irreversible blockage of postsynaptic nicotinergic acetylcholine receptors (See also Nicotine under the Botanicals).