Protecting Pollinators from Insecticide

As we wind up what I’ve been thinking of as “Pollinator Month,” I wanted to share two fact sheets from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst about the role insecticide use may play in colony collapse disorder, about the names of some of the insecticides you should be aware of that contain ingredients that might harm pollinators, and about ways you can minimize death to the pollinators if you do choose to use insecticides–because let’s fact it, all insecticides kill, even the organic ones. That is what they are designed to do.

And while I realize we all do not share the same ideologies (here again, what a boring world we’d have!), we do owe it to our pollinators to at least try to minimize their deaths. They are feeding us after all.

So without any more sermons, here are the links to the fact sheets on protecting bees and other pollinators from insecticides, and to grub control in lawns.

The one that to me is a more valuable resource–at least in the short-term–is “protecting bees and pollinators.” Not only does it name specific products to look out for should you wish to avoid damaging pesticides, but it also names the active ingredients in the products–the neonicotinoids–so that if you get to a store and you’re not quite sure whether or not something has one of the “bad for bees” ingredients in it, you’ll have this information available (if you can happen to remember the complicated names or you’ve put them in the memo section of your phone.)

Names of products change–sometimes yearly. Active chemical ingredients are much slower to change. And besides, since we all carry around little computers in our pockets anyway, we can always “google” the new chemical and discover whether it’s a new neonicotinoid or if it’s something else.

The grub control fact sheet–because it still talks about milky spore which is really ineffective in my part of the country–I hope it works in yours–is less helpful. But it does give other suggestions for chemical controls. I don’t have a grub issue thankfully–or thanks to my birds. My next door neighbor lost his entire front lawn last year. We lose nothing–and yet I do see grubs in the beds. Provide a habitat for the birds. That’s all I can tell you, folks. There’s no other explanation–that and the fact that we are organic and have a working ecosystem. Hmm.

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