Literature Review for Candidate Chemical Control Agents for Nonnative Crayfish

Open-File Report 2021-1048
Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
By: , and 



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.

Suggested Citation

Schueller, J.R., Smerud, J.R., Fredricks, K.T., and Putnam, J.G., 2021, Literature review for candidate chemical control agents for nonnative crayfish: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1048, 32 p.,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Table of Contents

  • Financial Acknowledgment
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Summary Considerations
  • Acknowledgments
  • References Cited
  • Appendix 1. Search Terms for the “Literature Review for Candidate Control Agents for Nonnative Crayfish”
  • Appendix 2. Chemical Properties and Toxicity Data as Determined from the “Literature Review for Candidate Control Agents for Nonnative Crayfish”
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Literature review for candidate chemical control agents for nonnative crayfish
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2021-1048
DOI 10.3133/ofr20211048
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
Description vii, 32 p.
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details