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How to Manage Pests

Pesticide Information

Active ingredient: Imidacloprid

Pesticide type: insecticide (neonicotinoid)

See example products below.

Potential Hazard1 to
Water quality2
(aquatic wildlife)
Natural enemies
Honey bees3 People and Other Mammals
Acute4 Long Term5
Not listed

Acute Toxicity to People and Other Mammals4

  • Toxicity rating: Moderately Toxic

Long-Term Toxicity to People and Other Mammals5

  • On US EPA list: Not listed;
  • On CA Proposition 65 list: Not listed

Water Quality Rating2

  • Overall runoff risk rating: Low
  • Source: Pesticide Choice: Best Management Practice for Protecting Surface Water Quality in Agriculture. UC ANR Publication 8161.

Impact on Natural Enemies

  • Overall toxicity rating: Moderate To High
  • Specific impacts: predatory mites (Moderate), parasitoids (High), general predators (Moderate)

Impact on Honey Bees3

  • Toxicity category: I - Do not apply to blooming plants
  • Notes: Soil-applied imidacloprid can move into nectar, so don't apply prior to bloom.

Pests for which it is mentioned in Pest Notes

AphidsAsian Citrus PsyllidAvocado Lace BugBiological Control and Natural EnemiesCarpenter AntsCitrus LeafminerCockroachesElm Leaf BeetleEucalyptus Redgum Lerp PsyllidEucalyptus Tortoise BeetlesFleasn/aGlassy-winged SharpshooterGoldspotted oak borerHackberry Woolly AphidLace BugsLawn insectsMealybugsMyoporum ThripsPsyllidsRoses in the Garden and Landscape: Insect and Mite Pests and BeneficialsaphidsScalesSycamore ScaleTermites

Application Tips

Drenching soil beneath infested plants is probably the best method when treating hedges, shrubs, or clumped groups of plants. Foliar application is not recommended because of negative impacts on natural enemies and bees. Soil injection is a good option for commercial applicators. Trunk injections can injure trees. The home-use product is measured into a bucket, diluted with water, and poured onto soil near trunks, as directed on the label. The amount of pesticide to use according to certain labels is calculated based on the cumulative feet of plant height. Cumulative feet is the sum of the heights of all plants to be treated. Be aware that imidacloprid applications have sometimes contributed to outbreaks of spider mites and certain other pests. Do not apply imidacloprid to plants with cottony cushion scale because the insecticide is highly toxic to beneficial predatory vedalia lady beetles and its use can cause dramatic increases in cottony cushion scale populations. Imidacloprid applied as a soil treatment can move up into flowers to injure or kill bees, other pollinators and beneficial insects. Avoid application to flowering plants that are visited by these beneficials. If used, don't apply until after bloom has been completed.

Precautions and Safety Equipment

Minimize your exposure to pesticides.  Avoid contact with eyes.  Wear eye protection, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and a hat that can be washed after each use.  Always read label of individual product for additional directions.

Always check the label before purchasing or applying a pesticide product for a specific pest on a specific plant to be sure it can be applied. Follow label directions precisely.


Example home, garden or landscape use products6

Annual Tree & Shrub Insect Control with Systemaxx • Bayer Advanced 12 Month Tree & Shrub Protect & Feed Concentrate • Bayer Advanced 12 Month Tree & Shrub Protect & Feed Concentrate II • Bayer Advanced 12 Month Tree & Shrub Protect & Feed Ready to Use Granules • Bayer Advanced 12 Month Tree & Shrub Protect & Feed Ready-to-Use Granules II • Bayer Advanced 2 in 1 Rose & Flower Care Ready-to-Use Granules II • Bayer Advanced All-in-One Rose & Flower Care Concentrate • Bayer Advanced Complete Brand Insect Killer for Soil & Turf Concentrate • Bayer Advanced Complete Brand Insect Killer for Soil & Turf Ready-to-Spray • Bayer Advanced Complete Brand Insect Killer for Soil & Turf Ready-to-Spread Granules • Bayer Advanced Dual Action Rose & Flower Insect Killer RTU • Bayer Advanced Fruit, Citrus & Vegetable Insect Control Concentrate • Bayer Advanced Season Long Grub Control Plus Turf Revitalizer Ready-to-Spread Granules • Bayer Advanced Season Long Grub Control Ready-to-Use Granules • Bayer Advanced Season-Long Grub Control Ready to Spray • Bayer Advanced Termite Killer Ready-to-Spread Granules • Bonide Systemic Rose & Flower Care 8-12-4 • Ferti-Lome Tree & Shrub Systemic Insect Drench • Spectracide Grub Killer Concentrate • Spectracide Tree & Shrub Insect Spray Concentrate • Systemic Houseplant Insect Control


  1. Potential Hazard Rating: VL=Very low, L=Low, LM=Low to Moderate, M=Moderate, LH=Low to High, MH=Moderate to High, H=High, VH=Very High, N=None, NKR=No Known Risk, —=No data
  2. Water quality ratings from Pesticide Choice: Best Management Practice (BMP) for Protecting Surface Water Quality in Agriculture, ANR Publication 8161, or the USDA-NRCS WIN-PST database—see Pesticides: Water-Related Toxicology of Active Ingredients.
  3. Honey bee ratings are: (Very High) I-Do not apply to blooming plants; (High) II-Apply only during late evening; (Moderate) III-Apply only during late evening, night, or early morning; and (Low) IV-Apply at any time with reasonable safety to bees. For more information, see How to Reduce Bee Poisoning From Pesticides (PDF), Pacific Northwest Extension Publication PNW591.
  4. Acute oral toxicity ratings for people and other mammals based on LD50 and US EPA Acute Toxicity Ratings system: H = Highly Toxic (LD50 <50), M = Moderately Toxic (LD50: 50-500), L = Slightly Toxic (LD50: 500-5000), VL = Not Acutely Toxic (LD50 >5000)
  5. Long term ratings indicate whether the active ingredient is on the California Prop 65 list, which indicates if materials are known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity, or whether the US EPA has classified the pesticide as "likely to be carcinogenic to humans", "Group B-Probably Human Carcinogen", or "Group C-Possible Human Carcinogen."
  6. These products were registered for home and garden use in California in July 2013. Professional use products are not included. If no example products are listed, this active ingredient may be available only for professional use. Individual products are registered for specific uses on specific sites. Read the label to determine if the product is registered for your use. Note that some products may be formulated with additional pesticides.

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