You can have a direct impact on the issue of pesticides and birds. Here are some of the ways you can help.
Hundreds of insecticide products on the market contain neonicotinoid insecticides that are toxic to birds and other wildlife. They are often marketed as products for ornamental plants in either nursery or home garden settings.
To avoid these products, look for these active ingredients: acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, imidacloprid, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam. Some of these same products go by several different distributor names, such as the Ortho™, Bayer Advanced™ or other brand names.
Inspect the label of any insecticide labeled as “systemic” for the presence of neonicotinoid active ingredients. Learn more.
Read our report, “The Impact of the Nation’s Most Widely Used Insecticides on Birds,” which reviews 200 studies on neonicotinoids including industry research obtained through the US Freedom of Information Act.
Also see our 2015 report on neonicotinoids found in the dining halls of the U.S. Congress. More than 90 percent of foods sampled contained the chemicals.
Instead of using toxic mouse and rat poisons such as d-CON, try alternative methods such as trapping rodents, using snap and zap traps, eliminating food sources, and rat-proofing buildings.
Visit our rat-and-mouse control collaboration, saferodentcontrol.org, which outlines safe and effective techniques for rodent control problems.
Herbicides such as Round-up, once thought relatively safe, are now known to be toxic to wildlife and especially to aquatic organisms. Wherever possible, steer clear of these toxic products.
Instead, to control weeds, try weeding by hand or using a variety of alternatives, such as vinegar, dish soap, boiling water, and corn gluten.
Our action alert page makes it easy to stand up for birds on important topics like pesticide use. Check to see what alerts are active now.
Visit our Bird-Friendly life page to find more ways to help birds through simple, everyday actions.
ABC’s media release on neonicotinoids and birds
Full report on neonicotinoid insecticides and birds
Media release on neonicotinoids and birdseed
ABC’s letter to birdseed manufacturers
Article about neonicotinoids in Bird Conservation magazine
Grassland Birds & Pesticides:
Grassland birds and pesticides media release
Grassland birds PLOS One study
NYT editorial on toxic threats to grassland birds
Sulfoxaflor media release
ABC letter to d-CON company
d-CON editorial, Bird Calls, February 2013
d-CON Power-brands shopping guide
Coalition letter to Calif. Dept. of Pesticide Regulation on second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides
Detailed comment letter to California Department of Pesticide Regulation
Incident Reporting and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act
Memorandum of Understanding, March 7, 2014
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