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Actara insecticide available from Syngenta

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Actara, available from Syngenta , is an ideal new insecticide, which provides citrus growers with effective, fast acting and long lasting control of Kelly’s Citrus Thrips (KTC) (Pezothrips kellyanus).

Product details:

  • Active ingredient: 250g/kg thiamethoxam
  • Chemical group: Group 4A Insecticide
  • Formulation: Wettable dispersible granule
  • Poison schedule: S5
  • Pack size: 2kg cardboard box

How does Actara works on the insect?

Actara works by contact activity from a direct spray application, and by ingestion once the insect feeds on treated plant tissue.

The ideal mode of action of Actara irreversibly damages the insect’s nervous system, with death following in 2 days.

Although the target insect will still be present during this period, they are no longer feeding or causing damage to the plant.

Rapid uptake
When applied to the foliage of the plant, the highly systemic activity (mobile in the xylem) of Actara means quick uptake into the leaf, translaminar movement in the plant to protect new growth (of existing treated plant tissue) and provides long residual control.

Uptake within different layers in the leaf:

  • Actara quickly penetrates the outer leaf surface
  • Once inside the leaf, a reservoir of active ingredient is formed
  • This reservoir is then protected from the environment
  • This results in long residual control and minimal impact on beneficial insects on the leaf surface.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
Although Actara is toxic to many beneficial insects if sprayed directly, there is minimal effect once the spray has dried on the plant surface.

If bees are foraging, do not apply to plants in open flower or part blossom, or likely to flower within the next 4 days of an application of Actara.

Rain fastness:
Actara is rapidly absorbed into the plant tissue and is resistant to wash-off by rain once dried on the plant. To ensure thorough coverage and uptake of Actara always add a non-ionic surfactant or summer oil.

Re-entry period:
Do not perform medium or high exposure activities such as hand thinning or pruning in citrus for 13 days (scouting is ok), unless wearing cotton overalls buttoned to the neck and wrist (or equivalent clothing) and chemical resistant gloves. Clothing must be laundered after each days use.

Benefits to citrus growers

  • Second generation neonicotinoid chemistry which acts differently
  • Systemic activity delivering long residual control (up to 30 days)
  • Fast action within 30 minutes on key pests
  • Scheduled S5 low to moderate hazard to the operator
  • Applied before calyx closure to maximise control and minimise fruit damage
  • Lower application volumes of water compared to standard products
  • Low dose rate which means less packaging (maximum 1.5kg / ha)
  • The registered product for Kelly’s Citrus Thrip control in citrus
  • Different chemistry group to combat organophosphate (OP) resistant pest populations

Directions for use:


  • Citrus


  • Kelly’s Citrus Thrips (Pezothrips kellyanus)


  • 20 to 30g /100 L water plus summer oil at 0.5% v/v

Critical comments

  • Apply as a foliar spray when thrips larvae incidence is ≥5% fruit infested, typically just prior to calyx closure (GS69-71)
  • Apply in up to 5000L water/ha (refer to sections on dilute and concentrate spraying)
  • Use the upper label rate where thrips incidence is high, such as in lemons, or where extended residual control is desired
  • Do not exceed 1.5kg/ha
  • Spray oils can cause crop phytotoxicity and fruit spotting under certain adverse environmental conditions
  • Use registered summer oil and refer to label restrictions of manufacture
  • Do not apply more than 2 applications per crop
  • Not to be used for any purpose, or in any manner, contrary to this label unless authorised under appropriate legislation withholding period
  • Do not harvest for 7 weeks after application
  • If crop is present on the trees at the time of spraying, no fruit should be harvested for 7 weeks

Export trade advice:
Citrus destined for export markets may require a longer withholding than specified above. To account for countries where a lower MRL or no MRL has been set a withholding period of 22 weeks should be observed. Do not use later than the growth stage GS72-73, i.e. green fruit surrounded by sepal crown.

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