Best practices for residential properties

Protect pollinators when using chemicals

Neonicotinoids are a type of insecticide that is fatal to bees and other pollinators. If you have a problem with insects, try to remove them without using chemicals. Refer to the University of Minnesota Extension website for options or call the Master Gardener line at 612-301-7590 (English only) for free advice.

If you must use chemicals, use those without neonicotinoids that are safe for pollinators. Check the label for this information. Be sure to follow all instructions on the label while using the product.

Tips for safe chemical use:

  • Some chemicals may be used safely around pollinators once they have dried. The best time to apply these chemicals is after dusk when bees and some other pollinators are sleeping, giving the chemical time to dry before they awake. If the product is still wet, it will be harmful to pollinators that land on it.
  • Know your garden plants. If you have a plant that is vulnerable to pests and near plants that attract pollinators, treat the pest-prone plant carefully to avoid getting pesticides on other plants.
  • Apply chemical pesticides when flowering plants are not in bloom. Pollinators only feed on blooming plants.
  • Bring leftover chemical(s) to a household hazardous waste drop-off location
  • Empty chemical containers should go in the trash and not in the recylcing.

To learn more, visit the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the University of Minnesota Bee Lab and the University of Minnesota Extension.