Village of Riverwoods

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Controlling Mosquitoes While Protecting Bees

July/August 2016


Having a healthy bee population is critical to maintaining a healthy ecosystem. For that reason questions often arise regarding the effect mosquito spray has on these important pollinators.

In order to promote outdoor comfort and help reduce the risk of mosquito borne disease, the Village of Riverwoods receives services from the South Lake Mosquito Abatement District (SLMAD.org) to help control mosquito populations. The District has adopted the Earth Right program for mosquito control which uses naturally derived products formulated to meet both the rigors of EPA approval and the standards set by the Organic Material Review Institute (OMRI) for use in organic farming and gardening. Using technology to reduce environmental impact, adult mosquito control products are applied between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active and when non-target species -- like bees -- are not present.

Some residents may choose to augment the existing mosquito control program with home-based mosquito treatments by independent contractors. Independent contractors often use “barrier treatments” that target mosquito resting/ harborage areas during the daytime, like brush and shrubbery using a residual product. Therefore, it is important for residents to be educated consumers. Questions should include: What products are being used? How do the products affect the environment? Do the products affect bees? How, when and where will the products be applied? To be pollinator-friendly, residents should take care to ensure that their contractors do not apply daytime mosquito treatments to owering plants, bushes or trees that are in bloom. In addition, applicators should be trained to identify when bees are foraging and not apply the products at those times.

With these sensible precautions, residents can ensure a comfortable yard while protecting pollinators.


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