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Monday, August 29, 2022

Spraying for Mosquitoes

What They Don't Tell You?

By Regina DeAngelo

Image: Earthwatch Institute at
Permethrin, the insecticide used by "pest control" sprayers, kills a lot more than mosquitoes. 

It also kills beneficial insects like bees and other pollinating flies. It poisons fish, toads, frogs, and other water animals.  

Permethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide. It was formulated to mimic a natural insecticide, pyrethrum, which is found in chrysanthemums. Permethrin is neither “organic” nor “natural.”

Most importantly, permethrin is highly toxic to bees and other beneficial insects. Our food supply depends on the work of these insects. "One of every three bites of food eaten worldwide depends on pollinators, especially bees.” (1) 

Bees are dying in alarming numbers. "Pollinator decline is a massive concern because of its impacts on food production, human health, and ecosystem functioning, including the capacity of plants to provide essential services such as carbon sequestration.”  (2) 

“A. mellifera pollinators are declining as a result of habitat loss, habitat degradation and other factors including pesticides, pathogens, parasites and climate change.” (3) 

Instead of poisoning our ecological systems, try using common sense, as recommended by Rhode Island DEM (copied from their website): 

- Clean your gutters and downspouts so that they can drain properly.

- Remove any water from unused swimming pools, wading pools, boats, planters, trash and recycling bins, tires, and anything else that collects water, and cover them.

- Remove or treat any shallow water that can accumulate on top of a pool cover. Larvicide treatments such as Mosquito Dunks can be applied to kill immature mosquitoes. This environmentally-friendly product is available at many hardware and garden stores and online.

- Change the water in birdbaths at least two times a week and rinse out birdbaths once a week. 

Quoted Sources:


(2) EarthWatch Institute

(3) The worldwide importance of honey bees as pollinators in natural habitats.

Other Sources:

Toynton, K.; Luukinen, B.; Buhl, K.; Stone, D. 2009. Permethirn General Fact Sheet; National Pesticide Information Center, Oregon State University Extension Services.

“Permethrin Facts,” U.S. EPA, August 2016.

Consumer Reports at