Neighbor's chemical use - how will it effect my plants?

Asked April 8, 2017, 1:35 PM EDT

Hi, I have a neighbor who use LOTS of fertilizers, sprays and insecticides on his lawn, trees, shrubs and plants. I will be planting a pollinator garden, and my concern is that the chemical he uses on his yard will get into the plants and flowers in my yard – killing the bees, butterflies, and beneficial insects. Do you have any advice on how far from the property line might be a safe distance to ensure the poisons don’t get into my plants (via ground or wind drift)? Any other information you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your help,

Harford County Maryland

1 Response

This can be a difficult situation. You would have to know what your neighbor is spraying or pesticides they are using.
All of our recommendations are based on IPM (integrated pest management), which always seeks the least toxic alternative for garden solutions. Basically monitor your plants and look for potential problems. Identify the pest, learn the life cycle, and the best time to take action. It is possible that beneficial insects may control the pest naturally.
If the shrubs are growing well and the pest problems are under control, then there may be no need to spray. It may be helpful to view our publication "IPM - A Common Sense Approach to Managing Your Landscape."http://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG62%20IPM%20A%20Com...

Perhaps you can share this publication with your neighbor and voice your concerns.
If you find out the pesticides your neighbor is using, you can contact the Pesticide Information Center for toxicity concerns. http://npic.orst.edu/
mh