An environmental group claims a new study shows neonicotinoids are being widely spread through the air and water, into hedgerows, meadows, rivers and ponds where they can damage a range of wildlife.
Buglife said the report by Scientists at the University of Sussex ’heightened the concern’ about the scale of environmental harm caused by neonicotinoids.
Studies show honeybees are collecting enough of the toxin to damage the productivity and reproduction rate of the hive, while many other caterpillars and bugs living close to arable fields are also exposed to toxic levels of the pesticide.
Matt Shardlow, chief executive of Buglife said: "Earlier this year a paper was published linking the decline of Monarch butterflies in the USA to neonicotinoids in field margins.
"The new University of Sussex research makes it clear that eye wateringly high concentrations of deadly insecticides have been frequent in hedgerow plants in the UK and it seems highly likely that this has been damaging the populations of hundreds of wild insects."
While planting wild flower field margains has been promoted by the Government as a solution to the pollinator crisis, Mr Shardlow said they do not help ’solitary bees, or provide nesting habitats’ due to the habitat being ploughed or sprayed off with herbicides before they complete their lifecycle.
He said: "The restoration of wildflower meadows to create corridors of quality pollinator habitats, as proposed and guided by the national B-Lines scheme remains the strategy most likely to halt and reverse the loss of pollinators and grassland biodiversity.”
This study comes a week after a Canadian study found high levels of neonicotinoids in the surface dust of arable fields and evidence that this dust blows into adjoining fields contaminating them and putting surface living predatory beetles at risk.