Resistance management for sustainable agriculture and improved public health

The IRAC Mode of Action Classification

The definitive, global scheme on the target sites of acaricides and insecticides.

The IRAC Mode of Action (MoA) classification provides growers, advisors, extension staff, consultants and crop protection professionals with a guide to the selection of acaricides or insecticides for use in an effective and sustainable acaricide or insecticide resistance management (IRM) strategy.
See the list of references describing established target site mutations.

Browse the classification

  • Browse online now

    The MoA Classification is available as an interactive searchable eTool allowing you to browse and filter chemical groups, classes and actives.

  • Get the classification to go

    Download the IRAC MoA application from the Apple iTunes or Google Play App Stores for quick access to reference information on the move.

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  • Print the MoA Structures Poster

    The MoA poster with the chemical structures is available for download from the website in various languages including Chinese & Japanese!

  • Download the Classification Scheme in PDF

    The complete MoA Classification document is available to view or download. This 23-page document provides full details of the scheme with lots of supplimentary information and guidance.

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    Submit an active you think should be included in IRAC’s Mode of Action Classification.

  • View the MoA video

    Our team of technical experts are charged with maintaining the classification and it’s status.

  • Meet the team and see more resources

    Review all of our Mode of Action documentation.

The IRAC MoA Classification

Jump to colour key


Modes of action are colour-coded according to the physiological functions affected. This informs the symptomology, speed of action and other properties of the actives therein and not for any resistance management purpose. Rotations for resistance management should be based only on the numbered mode of action groups.

  • Nerve & Muscle Most current insecticides act on nerve and muscle targets. Insecticides that act on these targets are generally fast acting.
  • Growth Insect development is controlled by juvenile hormone and ecdysone, by directly perturbing cuticle formation/deposition or lipid biosynthesis. Such insect growth regulators are generally slow to moderately slow acting.
  • Respiration Several insecticides are known to interfere with mitochondrial respiration by the inhibition of electron transport and/or oxidative phosphorylation. Such insecticides are generally fast to moderately fast acting.
  • Midgut Lepidopteran-specific microbial toxins that are sprayed or expressed in transgenic crop varieties.
  • Unknown or Non-Specific Several insecticides are known to affect less well-described target-sites or functions, or to act non-specifically on multiple targets.

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