Skeletal formula of aldicarb
Ball-and-stick model of aldicarb
CAS number  YesY
ChemSpider  YesY
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula C7H14N2O2S
Molar mass 190.26 g mol−1
Density 1.195 g/cm³
Melting point 100 °C (212 °F; 373 K)
Boiling point Decomposes before boiling point
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
 YesY   YesY/N?)

Aldicarb is a carbamate insecticide 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.[1] 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 insecticides 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.

Regulatory status

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.[2]

Aldicarb was one of the "dirty dozen" pesticides that the environmental group Pesticide Action Network North America targeted in 1985. EPA put a ban in place in 2010, requiring an end to distribution by 2017. Use on citrus and potatoes is banned beginning in 2012, with a complete ban in place by 2018. New labeling requirements and protections to ground water near cotton, soybean and peanut farms were implemented in 2010.[3]

"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."[4]


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.

In November 2009, corn treated with Temik was placed in and around peanut fields in Eastland County, Texas, near the town of Cisco. The corn was eaten by feral hogs, deer, and other animals, prompting the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to issue a hunting ban.[5]

Toxicity in mammals

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.[4]

In South Africa (where Aldicarb is popularly known as Two Step) it is widely used by burglars to poison dogs.[6][7][8]


  1. ^ "Temik". Bayer CropScience. Retrieved 2011-04-01. 
  2. ^ "Aldicarb". Pesticide Information Profiles. The Extension Toxicology Network. June 1996. Retrieved 2007-08-13. 
  3. ^ "Toxic Pesticide Banned after Decades of Use".  
  4. ^ a b EPA Illegal Pesticide Products, US Environmental Protection Agency
  5. ^ Authorities Investigate Contaminated Corn in Eastland County, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Nov. 5, 2009
  6. ^ Criminals target dogs with poison, IOL News, June 11, 2006
  7. ^ Temik: killer on the loose, Health24, June 15, 2010
  8. ^ Dog poisoning with the intention to break into houses, South Africa Today, July 10, 2014

External links

  • Aldicarb in the Pesticide Properties DataBase (PPDB)