Do pesticides applied for control of carpenter ants affect honeybees and other pollinators?

Asked May 31, 2019, 1:57 PM EDT

My house is surrounded by mature trees with a lot of fallen wood lying around. The house had a carpenter ant infestation 10 years ago and I contracted a pest control company for regular control visits which have been 100% effective. I recently began planting lots of native and other species of flowerrs and shrubs that attract polinators ( out of concern for the plight of honey bees in particular) and see a notable increase in the diversity of these insects in the garden. My question is (1) do the carpenter ant control pesticides negatively affect other beneficial insects, such as honeybees? and (2) If there is a negative effect of those pesticides on beneficial insects, are there any alternative, ecologically sound measures for control of carpenter ants that don't have such a negative effect ? -- that I could discuss with the pest control supplier? Thanks for your help Jacqueline

Clackamas County Oregon

1 Response

Thank you for your question, Jacqueline. The first question to ask of your applicator is ‘what chemical are you using?’ There is not a ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to insecticides. Some kill everything breathing; others are species-specific. Some have no residual effect; others last a long time. By gaining the knowledge of what chemical has been/will be applied on your property, you can determine which you want to be used their, based on their characteristics. Write back!