A new USGS study found that insecticides resembling nicotine are common throughout streams in the Midwest, according to a press release.
Neonicotinoids, as these insecticides are known, are a family of chemicals capable of killing a variety of insect pests. Use of the neonicotinoids has risen in the U.S. over the last 10 years, leading to increased runoff in waterways. The chemicals don’t break down easily, and are often toxic after prolonged exposure.
Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, and Wisconsin are the biggest users of neonicotinoids in the country. The study found one chemical, clothianidin, in 75 percent of the sites tested.