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Greenhouse Updates: June 7, 2022

Upcoming Neonicotinoid Re-Classification: Important Information for Greenhouse Producers
June 7, 2022

At this stage all licensed pesticide applicators in MA should be aware that the Massachusetts Pesticide Board Subcommittee passed a ruling in March of 2021 regarding the registration and use of neonicotinoids in the Commonwealth. The ruling will make neonicotinoid products labeled for turf, trees, shrubs, golf courses and ornamentals state restricted use starting on July 1, 2022, thereby eliminating access for non-agricultural outdoor applications by people who are not licensed or certified.  For an MDAR FAQ on this status change, see:

For producers wondering on how this change might affect you:

Greenhouse and nursery applications are considered agricultural use

If a product has been classified as general use for agricultural and is labeled only for agricultural use, the product will remain general use for greenhouse and agricultural production unless otherwise determined by the Pesticide Board Subcommittee.

If a product is labeled for both ag use and ornamental use, the whole product will be re-classified as restricted use and therefore a Commercial Certification license is needed.

Generally speaking, there are four neonicotinoid active ingredients currently labeled for use in MA greenhouses (IRAC sub-group 4A):

  • acetamiprid (TriStar)
  • dinotefuran (Safari)
  • imidacloprid (Marathon)
  • thiamethoxam (Flagship)

While flupyradifurone (Altus) is sometimes mistakenly commingled with the neonicotioids, it is actually a butenolide (IRAC 4D) with a mode of action similar to neonicotinoids but a different chemical makeup… and hence a much more favorable pollinator toxicity profile).

TriStar, Safari, and Flagship are labeled for both ag and non-ag uses, and therefore will be subject to the new requirements starting July 1.  Marathon and Altus are not affected by the reclassification for greenhouse uses.  For the complete list of affected products from MDAR, see:

Please note that a Commercial Certification license is needed to purchase and apply restricted use materials.  Licensed greenhouse producers that do not have a Commercial Certification license and wish to apply restricted use materials must follow the direct supervision requirements from MDAR, which have been recently updated:


- Message submitted by Jason Lanier, UMass Extension Specialist