Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Literature review for candidate chemical control agents for nonnative crayfish

June 30, 2021

Nonnative crayfish are an immediate and pervasive threat to aquatic environments and their biodiversity. Crayfish control can be achieved by physical methods, water chemistry modification, biological methods, biocidal application, and application of crayfish physiology modifiers. The purpose of this report is to identify suitable candidates for potential control of nonnative crayfish through a comprehensive literature review. This review focuses on control methods, specifically on the available data to support registration of a crayfish pesticide. The literature search resulted in 28,058 documents, which were searched to determine if they contained information on physical, chemical, biological, and (or) biocidal approaches to control crayfish. Pesticides directly toxic to crayfish in this literature review include: pyrethroids (natural pyrethrins and synthetic), fipronil, mirex, antimycin-A, and rotenone. Some chemicals, such as diflubenzuron and emamectin benzoate, alter crayfish physiology resulting in a lower pesticide dose needed to control crayfish. Environmental damage, application rate, exposure duration, nontarget effects, environmental persistence, and registration data gaps were used as criteria to define which pesticides are potentially selective to crayfish, along with which have the greatest amount of data to support registration by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Synthetic pyrethroids were identified as the most likely candidate to be developed into a crayfish pesticide. A type-2 synthetic pyrethroid, cyfluthrin, has the greatest potential for eradicating nonnative crayfish. Although other invertebrate species will be negatively affected at the concentrations required for crayfish control, compared with other pyrethroids and other potential control chemicals, cyfluthrin offers rapid ecosystem recovery due to being more selective, having fewer effects on native fish, and having a short aquatic persistence. Cyfluthrin also has few data gaps for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency registration purposes.

Publication Year 2021
Title Literature review for candidate chemical control agents for nonnative crayfish
DOI 10.3133/ofr20211048
Authors Justin R. Schueller, Justin Smerud, Kim T. Fredricks, Joel G. Putnam
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2021-1048
Index ID ofr20211048
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center