A new chemical compound was tested for its insecticidal activity against several major insect pests. The compound, called "flufenerim", has a core pyrimidine structure and an unknown mode of action and showed potent activity against the sweet potato whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), the green peach aphid Myzus persicae (Sulzer), and the African cotton leafworm Spodoptera littoralis (Boisduval); however, it did not show any activity against two thrips species: western flower thrips Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) and tobacco thrips Thrips tabaci (Lindeman). The compound was relatively potent against the three tested pests and caused mortality rates that reached up to 100% at concentrations under 10 mg of active ingredient (ai) L(-1). The action of the compound was very fast, and mortality was observed within 48 h after exposure of the insects to treated leaves. A unique characteristic of this compound is its very short residual activity, which approximates to 4 days after application under laboratory conditions and to 2 days under outdoor conditions for both B. tabaci and S. littoralis. Although this new compound's mode of action is yet unknown, its rapid and potent action against sap-sucking pests suggests that it acts on a very important target site in the insect body and possibly could be applied very close to harvesting.