Mosquito yard treatments

Asked June 4, 2019, 1:37 PM EDT

Do available mosquito repellents - natural or synthetic- for treating yards harm bees or butterflies? We want the latter and not the former. Does the method of use- avoiding flowers- make a difference?

Ingham County Michigan mosquito control

1 Response

Many of the mosquito repellents usually contain an active ingredient from a group of chemicals called pyrethoids which are man-made pesticides. Below is a link to a website with more details about how they are used and what happens when they are sprayed. http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/factsheets/pyrethroid.htm
If you purchase a mosquito repellent product, the active ingredient that you find on the back of the label can vary so I would recommend that you read the label carefully to see if there is any environmental hazard warning to bees and pollinators and follow the application instructions.
If using a spray, limit your spraying to early morning or early evening when pollinators are not out. Do not spray flowering plants. I am including another link to a Pennsylvania State University article about best practices for Pesticide Use.
https://ento.psu.edu/pollinators/publications/p4-best-practices-for-pesticide-use
And, I am including a link to a Maryland article about the products that can be used that do not contain toxic neonicotinoids which affect the nervous system of insects. Again, this list is by active ingredient that you will find on the back label of the product.
http://www.mdpestnet.org/help-save-our-honeybees-in-your-own-backyard/safer-alternatives-to-pollinator-harming-pesticides/

I know this is a lot of information but there is no easy answer so there are so many products and chemicals available. Hope that helps.