The past decade has seen the rapid proliferation of mosquito control services in our community. These services typically consist of residual barrier treatments applied via backpack sprayers/foggers or automated misting systems installed in residential yards. Regardless of the delivery method, the pesticidal agents most commonly applied are pyrethroids, synthetic forms of botanical pyrethrin insecticides.
Pyrethroids, as a class, are the most widely-used insecticides for controlling mosquitoes nationwide. They do not discriminate between mosquitoes and non-target insects. Pyrethroids are highly toxic to bees and remain so for days after application. They also kill other beneficial invertebrates, including butterflies, moths, ladybugs, dragonflies, lightning bugs, beetles and spiders. In waterways, they are highly toxic to fish and other aquatic life.
Bee City USA®-Decatur, GA believes that the negative ecological impacts of the non-targeted, broad-spectrum insecticides commonly used in residential mosquito control are disproportionate to the threat – real or perceived – that mosquitoes pose. Foregoing the use of backyard pesticides is a vital first step city residents can take in order to help keep Decatur environmentally healthy and pollinator friendly.
Backyard Mosquito Spraying
Decatur Honey Bee Colony Kill (9/4/2018)
Georgia Department of Agriculture analysis determined this honey bee kill was the result of non-targeted exposure to pyrethroid insecticides commonly used in mosquito sprays, granules and powders including Bifenthrin (Talstar) and Lamda-Cyhalothrin (Demand CS, Cyzmic CS, Surrender CS, etc).
Pyrethroid insecticides commonly used in mosquito sprays carry this Federally-required Environmental Hazards caution.
Mosquito spraying/ fogging/misting services are commonly advertised and marketed by appealing to homeowners’ fears of mosquito-borne illnesses. In reality, the risks posed by mosquitoes to Georgians are low when compared to other health risks.