Evidence is mounting regarding the environmental damage caused by ‘nerve-agent’ pesticides such as Cruiser OSR, which contains the active ingredient thiamethoxam derived from the neo-nicotinoid family of insecticides.
- Cruiser OSR is used to treat rapeseed crops however, two recent studies suggest strong links between its use and the decline in pollinating insects. Neo-nicotinoids are used on 30% of UK croplands and though effective at disrupting the nervous system of pests (e.g. aphids) the unintended consequences of pesticide use include impacts on pollinators.
- A French study recently showed that even non-lethal amounts of pesticide may affect a bee’s ability to return home, thus putting the colony at risk of Colony Collapse Disorder.
The challenge is to strike a balance between pest control and minimising environmental damage, and this may be achieved through a change in operation and application or the use of new, less dangerous pesticides.