Imidacloprid

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Imidacloprid is an insecticide developed and marketed by Bayer Cropscience (part of the drug and chemical conglomerate Bayer AG) under the trade name Merit ®. It is notable for its relatively low toxicity to most animals other than insects, due to its specificity for the type of synapse which is found more often in insect nervous systems than that of other animals (exceptions exist; certain species of fish, for example). This enables its use in applications as diverse as one-spot flea treatments for cats (who are notoriously sensitive to toxic chemicals) and widespread grub treatments for lawns where pets and people will be exposed to any residual chemicals.

Imidacloprid acts by deranging the reflexes and autonomic behavior of the insect nervous systems, causing them to fail to carry out their normal pattern of behavior, for instance feeding, or moulting. It is chemically related to nicotine, being modified by chlorination, which generally tends to inhibit metabolism and excretion of a chemical agent by an animal's physiology.

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