Fears of the Zika and West Nile viruses have fueled a boom in backyard mosquitoabatement
services. But are these spraying or misting services harmful to bees?
Backyard mosquito control services often utilize liquid solutions containing Pyrethrins or
Pyrethroids. When used outdoors at low levels, they are safe for use around people.
However, according to the EPA these compounds are toxic to all insects and kill bees,
ladybugs, butterflies and other non-target species.
What’s the alternative? Remove sources of standing water where mosquitos breed.
Use “dunk”-style larvicides in birdbaths and ponds. Because mosquitoes are notoriously
weak fliers, keep air moving with a box fan when you sit outside. Apply bug repellents to
your skin. Don’t like DEET? Try organic repellents that contain Lemon Eucalyptus oil.
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