Scientists at the University of Melbourne in Australia and Baylor College of Medicine in the United States have found that low doses of insecticides can harm the nervous and immune systems of insects, which explains their catastrophic decline in numbers. This was announced in a press release on EurekAlert !.
Researchers studied the effects of the insecticide imidacloprid on vinegar fly larvae at very low concentrations of 2.5 parts per million (ppm). In the field, it is commonly used at concentrations up to 2800 ppm. However, even small doses resulted in a 50 percent reduction in larval mobility after two hours of exposure.
This effect is explained by the effect of the toxin on brain function, where a huge amount of reactive oxygen species begins to accumulate, triggering a cascade of damage. Within 25 days of exposure to low doses of imidacloprid, the insects became blind, a symptom of neurodegeneration elsewhere in the brain.