Neonicotinoid insecticides comprise seven commercially marketed active ingredients: imidacloprid, acetamiprid, nitenpyram, thiamethoxam, thiacloprid, clothianidin and dinotefuran. The technical profiles and main differences between neonicotinoid insecticides, including their spectrum of efficacy, are described: use for vector control, systemic properties and versatile application forms, especially seed treatment. New formulations have been developed to optimize the bioavailability of neonicotinoids through improved rain fastness, better retention and spreading of the spray deposit on the leaf surface, combined with higher leaf penetration. Combined formulations with pyrethroids and other insecticides are also being developed with the aim of broadening the insecticidal spectrum of neonicotinoids and to replace WHO Class I products from older chemical classes. These innovative developments for life-cycle management, jointly with the introduction of generic products, will, within the next few years, turn neonicotinoids into the most important chemical class in crop protection.
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