Abstract Novel biorational insecticides are rapidly replacing more toxic, broad-spectrum compounds to control pests of ornamental plants. These new formulations are widely regarded as safe, effective, and environmentally sound with minimal impact on nontarget organisms. We tested several biorational and traditional insecticides for their ability to control euonymus scale, Unaspis euonymi (Comstock), and their potential impacts on the aphelinid parasitoid, Encarsia citrina (Crawford). Soil-applied acephate and foliar-applied pyriproxyfen exhibited superior control of euonymus scale, but also reduced numbers of surviving E. citrina. Imidacloprid failed to control euonymus scale and decreased parasitism by E. citrina. Thus, the potential impact of a pesticide on biological control is not necessarily predicted by its potential longevity, mode of delivery, or its toxicity to the target pest. Finding the best fit of a compound into an integrated pest management program requires a consideration of all these factors and direct study of effects on the natural enemies of pests.