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A series of compounds representing four major pesticide groups were tested for toxicity to beneficial insects representing four different insect orders: Coleoptera (Coccinellidae), Hemiptera (Anthocoridae), Hymenoptera (Aphelinidae), and Neuroptera (Chrysopidae). These materials included organophosphates (methidathion, esfenvalerate and phosmet), carbamates (carbofuran, methomyl and carbaryl), pyrethroids (bifenthrin, fenpropathrin, zeta-cypermethrin, cyfluthrin and permethrin) and the oxadiazine indoxacarb. Toxicity to coccinellid and lacewing species was assessed by treating 1st instar larvae with the recommended field rate of commercial products, and two 10 fold dilutions of these materials, in topical spray applications. Adult Aphytis melinus Debach and 2nd instar Orius insidiosus (Say) were exposed to leaf residues of the same concentrations for 24 h. ANOVA performed on composite survival indices derived from these data resolved significant differences among materials with respect to their overall toxicity to beneficial insects. Cyfluthrin, fenpropathrin and zeta-cypermethrin all increased the developmental time of the lacewing and one or more coccinellid species for larvae that survived topical applications. Bifenthrin increased developmental time for two coccinellid species and decreased it in a third. Indoxacarb (Avaunt® WG, DuPont Corp.) ranked highest overall for safety to beneficial insects, largely because of its low dermal toxicity to all species tested. Zeta-cypermethrin (Super Fury®, FMC Corporation) received the second best safety rating, largely because of its low toxicity as a leaf residue to A. melinus and O. insidiosus. Phosmet (Imidan® 70W, Gowan Co.) and methidathion (Supracide® 25W, Gowan Co.) ranked high for safety to coccinellid species, but compounds currently recommended for use in citrus such as fenpropathrin (Danitol® 2.4EC, Sumimoto Chem. Co.) and carbaryl (Sevin® XLR EC, Rhone Poulenc Ag. Co.) ranked very low for IPM-compatibility based on their relatively high toxicity to all species tested.