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Fenoxycarb
Beyond Pesticides Rating: Toxic

Fenoxycarb (ComplyTM, LogicTM, TorusTM and VarikillTM) is a carbamate insect growth regulator used to control a wide variety of insect pests. It is used as a fire ant bait and for flea, mosquito, and cockroach control, and can also be used to control butterflies, moths, beetles, and scale and sucking insects on olives, vines, cotton, and fruit. It is also used to control these pests on stored products, and is often formulated as a grit or corncob bait. Compared to other carbamates, fenoxycarb is one of the least toxic in this chemical class.  

Mode of Action

Rather than an instant population knock-down, fenoxycarb blocks the ability of an insect to change into the adult stage from the the juvenile stage. It also interferes with larval molting, the periodic shedding or molting of the old exoskeleton and production of a new, larger one (ETN, 1996).  

Toxicity

Fenoxycarb is a General Use Pesticide, meaning a pesticide applicator license is not required to apply it. EPA labels fenoxycarb as a toxicity class IV pesticide (I = most toxic, IV = least toxic) and requires that the word CAUTION appear on all product labels. Based on studies in lab animals, fenoxycarb has a relatively low-toxicity. The dermal rat LD50 is greater than 2000 mg/kg and the oral LD50 is greater than 10,000 (ETN, 1996). When fenoxycarb is applied directly to the skin, laboratory rats exhibited labored breathing and diarrhea. While fenoxycarb does not irritate the skin, it is an eye irritant. The liver is the primary organ affected by fenoxycarb in long-term animal studies (ETN, 1996).  

Carcinogenicity

Fenoxycarb is a class B2 probable human carcinogen (PANNA, 2000).  

Ecological Effects

Fenoxycarb is moderately to highly toxic to fish, depending on the species. 

Environmental Fate

Fenoxycarb, is relatively unstable with a half life of one day in soil and 5 hours in direct sunlight. 

References 

Extension Toxicology Network (ETN). 1996. “Fenoxycarb.” Pesticide Information Profiles. <http://ace.orst.edu/cgi-bin/mfs/01/pips/mancozeb.htm>. 

Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA). 2000. “Fenoxycarb.” Chemical Information. <http://data.pesticideinfo.org/4DAction/GetRecord/PC35080>.