The Environmental Protection Agency has banned 12 pesticides known to be harmful to bees and potentially harmful to humans.
Judy Braiman lives in the town of Pittsford and has cut all pesticides out of her lawn. She is watching what local municipalities have been doing to keep their lands green. “We did reach out to them last year, we told them how we feel about pesticides,” said Braiman. “We gave them the information.”
She is now concerned about new bans of pesticides by the EPA, focused to protect valuable insects threatened by these chemicals. The three main concerns are Azoxystrobin, Bifenthrin, and Imidacloprid. These all fall under the umbrella of neonicotinoids.
“That particular class of pesticides, or insecticides, create bee colony collapse,” said Braiman.
We called nearly a dozen municipalities in Monroe County and they are working to reduce use. We did not hear back from Monroe County. The Village of Honeoye Falls said they use certified pest control companies. Tony LaFountain, Supervisor or the Town of Penfield said they have not used any of these chemicals since 2013.
Bill Smith at the Town of Pittsford told us they have never used these chemicals as far as he knows and just recently took a pest management course. Smith said they have 1300 acres of land in which they use less than one bottle of round-up.
“What is acceptable in a lawn has changed,” said Brian Eshenaur, Senior Extension Associate for New York State Integrated Pest Management Program at Cornell University. “These products are being voluntarily removed by the registrants, the companies that produce them.”
Spot treatments and over-seeding are other commonly used techniques that help reduce unwanted and invasive plants.
While the manufacturers no longer will make any banned product, they can still sell any leftover stock. The total ban for sale and use will go into effect on May 20, 2020.