Chlorpyrifos is a widely used insecticide which has been used in Australia since the mid 1960’s. It is used mainly on fruit and vegetable crops, but was also used in households and gardens up until the 2000’s. It is still registered for use across Australia for termite control.=
Chlorpyrifos is a broad spectrum1, non-systemic2 organophosphorous insecticide with contact, stomach and respiratory action. It acts by inhibiting the enzyme, acetyl cholinesterase (AChE), which is important for the transmission of nerve signals.
1broad spectrum means it can kill a wide range of insects.
2 Non-systemic means a contact pesticide, which is absorbed through the body of the insect. It also means that the insecticide will not be absorbed throughout the plant that the insect is eating.