A sad tradgedy concerning over 25,000 bumble bees dead in a parking lot in Orgeon was traced back improper use of pesticides.

Here is a letter sent to all of Utah State extension from an Entomologist and a professor from Utah State concerning the matter:

You may have already heard this news, but if not, I wanted to make you aware of a large bumble bee kill in Oregon.  The insecticide Safari (dinotefuran) as was applied as a foliar treatment to linden trees in bloom to control aphids.  Please get the word out to your clientele of the danger to bees of applying insecticides to trees/plants in bloom.  This was a misuse of the product because the label was not followed. 
Thank you,


Diane G. Alston

Entomologist and Professor
Utah State University
5305 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT  84322
Voice: 435-797-2516

The EPA notified OPMP this morning regarding a large bumble bee kill in Oregon involvinga landscaper using a pesticide to control aphids in linden trees at a Target parking lot.  EPA has been notified that as of last night (8pm ET), the State of Oregon has issued a 180 day “don’t use” moratorium on the product.  The investigation is ongoing. This event indicates a need to remind users of pesticides about the absolute importance of reading and following the label – and to pay particular attention to WARNINGS.  While this was not a result of an agricultural application and was an urban use, the EPA has asked if OPMP can work thru the land grant system to get the word out through extension and education offices to reinforce this very important message to the agricultural community.  EPA is contacting their stakeholders.
With agricultural production in full swing all across the country, OPMP requests your assistance through outreach and education to remind all users of pesticides of the importance of following the label.  This helps to ensure good pest management while protecting wildlife, their habitat, and the environment.  It is especially important that urban gardeners and homeowners, who may not be as familiar with the content of the label, have access to this important information.  We are requesting your assistance in communicating this information to your communities.  Information could include the following:
Use of any pesticide in any way that is not consistent with label directions and precautions is illegal. It may also be ineffective and dangerous. The basic steps in reducing pesticide risks are:
·         Choose the form of pesticide best suited to your target site and the pest you want to control:
o   First, identify the problem correctly and then, choose the least-toxic pesticide that will achieve the results you want and be the least toxic to you and the environment.
o   When the words “broad-spectrum” appear on the label, this means the product is effective against a broad range of pests. If the label says “selective,” the product is effective against one or a few pests.
o   Read the label before buying the pesticide, read the label before mixing or using the pesticide each time, and read the label before storing or disposing of the pesticide.
·         Determining the right amount to purchase and use: do not assume that using more pesticide than the label recommends will do a better job. It won’t.
·         Find the signal word—either Danger, Warning, or Caution on the pesticide label. The signal word tells you how poisonous the product is to humans.
·         Choose the form of pesticide (aerosol, dust, bait, or other) best suited to your target site and the pest you want to control. Certain formulations work better for some pests and/or some target areas than others
·         Using the product safely and correctly:
o   Never apply pesticides outdoors on a windy day (winds higher than 10 mph)
o   Wear protective clothing, don’t smoke or eat
o   Mix and apply only the amount you need
o   Watch for negative effects on wildlife (birds, butterflies, and bees) in and near treated areas. If you see any unusual behavior, stop using that pesticide, and contact EPA’s Pesticide Incident Response Officer
·         Store and dispose of pesticides properly.
o   Follow all storage instructions on the pesticide label.
o   Always store pesticides in their original containers, complete with labels that list ingredients, directions for use, and first aid steps in case of accidental poisoning.
State and local laws regarding pesticide disposal may be stricter than the federal requirements on the label. Be sure to check with your state or local solid waste agency before disposing of your pesticide containers.