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Friday, October 9, 2015

Imidacloprid a Problem for Pollinating Insects?

Q. Do you recommend using imidacloprid in the grass to kill grubs? Does it harm pollinators? What would you advise?

A. That particular chemical is suspected of possibly damaging pollinators. Nothing has been conclusive about it but logic tells us that if we have a systemic insecticide that can persist in a plant for 12 months that it is possible this chemical may be in flowers, pollen or nectar. We just don't know.

For this reason I tell people if they are going to apply it to plants that bloom then apply it immediately after they have finished blooming. I also tell them that it is safest to use on plants which do not have flowers that attract bees. Lawn grasses do not attract bees so I don't consider that to be a problem for pollinators.

Even though it is labeled for fruit trees, I would not personally use it on fruit trees if I am planning to use the fruit. If I were to apply it to fruit trees or any ornamental tree that has flowers that attract pollinators, I would not apply it until after bloom until we have more conclusive evidence that it is not a problem with pollinators. That's what I am currently recommending regarding this product.

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