Aldicarb is a carbamateinsecticide which is the active substance in the pesticide Temik. It is effective against thrips, aphids, spider mites, lygus, fleahoppers, and leafminers, but is primarily used as a nematicide. Aldicarb is a cholinesterase inhibitor which prevents the breakdown of acetylcholine in the synapse. In case of severe poisoning, the victim dies of respiratory failure.
Aldicarb is effective where resistance to organophosphateinsecticides has developed, and is extremely important in potato production, where it is used for the control of soil-borne nematodes and some foliar pests. Its high level of solubility restricts its use in certain areas where the water table is close to the surface.
Aldicarb was approved by the USEPA for use by professional pesticide applicators on a variety of crops, including cotton, beans, and others. It is not approved for household use.
Aldicarb was one of the "dirty dozen" pesticides that the environmental group Pesticide Action Network North America targeted in 1985. EPA put a ban on the main aldicarb pesticide, Temik 15G (Produced by Bayer CropScience), in 2010, requiring an end to distribution by 2017. Use on citrus and potatoes was banned beginning in 2012, with a complete phase out of the product expected by 2018. Despite this, a new aldicarb pesticide named Meymik 15G, produced by AgLogic Chemical, was approved by the EPA in December 2011 and is said to be entering the market in 2015. It will be registered for use on Cotton, Dry Beans, Peanuts, Soybeans, Sugarbeets, and Sweet Potatoes.
"Tres Pasitos", a mouse, rat, and roach killer that contains high concentrations of aldicarb, has been illegally imported into the United States from Mexico and other Latin American countries. The product is highly toxic to animals and people, and according to the EPA "should never be used in [the] home."
Aldicarb is manufactured by Bayer CropScience, but was formerly owned and produced by Union Carbide. Union Carbide's agricultural chemicals division was sold to Rhône-Poulenc. Later, Aventis Cropscience was formed from Hoechst AG and Rhone-Poulenc Agrochemical, which lasted until Bayer acquired it in 2002.
Aldicarb is a fast-acting cholinesterase inhibitor, causing rapid accumulation of acetylcholine at the synaptic cleft. It is widely used to study cholinergic neurotransmission in simple systems such as the nematode C. elegans.
Exposure to high amounts of aldicarb can cause weakness, blurred vision, headache, nausea, tearing, sweating, and tremors in humans. High doses can be fatal to humans because it can paralyze the respiratory system.
In South Africa (where Aldicarb is popularly known as Two Step) it is widely used by burglars to poison dogs.