My neighbors are fogging/spraying their yard for mosquitoes. Will that kill the pollinators in my yard?
The insecticides used in fogs or sprays used for mosquitoes or other biting flies can be very harmful to harm bees and other insect pollinators as well as other beneficial insects. The potential for drift to reach your yard will depend on the direction and speed of the wind. Depending on the insectide used, residue from the spray could remain toxic to bees foraging on exposed flowers or caterpillars eating the leaves for several weeks.
They are spraying for mosquitoes in my neighborhood. Will it harm my bees?
There are times when it is necessary to spray for mosquitoes to protect the public from mosquito-borne diseases as well as the nuissance the cause. With these programs, precautions are taken to avoid contact with pollinators, reducing but not eliminating risk to pollinators. Find out more by contacting your local mosquito control district. Most districts will have information about spraying available to the public and want to hear your concerns. In the Twin Cities seven-county metro area, you can get more information here.
How can I be sure my pollinator plants do not have harmful pesticides?
Even if you ask someone working where you buy plants if a particular plant has been treated with pesticides that could harm pollinators, they may not know. Often, treatments can be applied before plants reach the retail market. It is best to buy pollinators plants from producers who have committed to making sure that their plants are not treated with these pesticides. You can also start many pollinator plants yourself from seed. Seeds can sometimes come with pesticide treatments already applied to the seed coating, so be sure that you also trust your seed source.