lately I have been getting many door to door persons claiming to help me get rid of the bugs around my house...Mosquito Joe and Altera. "We will just push them further into the woods, We are using a non-harmful flower extract." I believe that service can be extremely harmful to our natural environment...destroying bugs is close to the bottom of the food chain for many of our birds, etc. and is leaching into the soil. Is what they are doing legal? Is it environmentally safe? Have there been environmental impact studies prior to and after their services have been performed????
You raise many valuable questions. We know of no impact studies.
The mosquito exterminators that have suddenly popped up in the past two years are using pyrethrum, permethrin or bifenthrin. They are required by law to tell you exactly what chemical they are using. It should also be on their website.
Though pyrethrum chemicals occur naturally in plants, they are toxic chemicals that affect the nervous systems of insects. They kill a very wide array of insects, not just mosquitoes. They cannot help but impact the entire food chain. It is not true that they are just a repellent that "pushes them away". Merely because it is made from a flower extract, does not mean it is not toxic. If it were not toxic, it would not work on mosquitoes. The wholesale spraying of these chemicals encouraged by this "new industry" of home landscape mosquito spraying cannot fail but to impact pollinators as well as the entire spectrum of insects.
Misapplication or misrepresentation complaints should be made to the Pesticide Division of the Maryland Department of Agriculture. Contact Dennis Howard. They should be responsive to complaints.