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3533Re: [beemonitoring] Mosquito Authority and bees

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  • askartie@...
    Aug 26, 2014
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      Ah, if only it were so easy as putting up bat boxes.  Unfortunately the whole "bats can eat thousands of mosquitoes in a night" is somewhat of a myth.  Sure, in a room full of nothing but mosquitoes you bet they will eat their fill - I probably would also if I were stuck in a room with nothing else to eat.  But in the real world there is a lot more to eat than just mosquitoes, and bats, being the smart mammals that they are, will go for optimal foraging whenever possible.  A nice noctuid moth is more like a piece of steak (or eggplant for you vegetarians), whereas a mosquito is like a piece of popcorn.  Given the choice, a bat will pick the steak instead of the popcorn whenever possible - more bug for the buck.  I still encourage installing bat boxes - they are fascinating mammals and great to have around, plus the bat boxes sometimes make great hymenopteran hideouts as well.  However, don't count on bats to solve your mosquito population problems.
      Meanwhile, on the subject of barrier sprays for mosquitoes using bifenthrin (and other related pyrethroids), yes these are toxic to bees and other pollinators.  Best practices would suggest that the applicator avoid flowering plants during the treatment, applying the barrier instead to the shady foliage where the mosquitoes seek harborage from the heat of the mid-day sun.  However, this is not a requirement of the label, and in the world of pesticide application, "the label is the law."  The gentleman was not in violation of any law by spraying the flowers.  Unfortunately, most people looking for barrier applications in their yards are not concerned about the non-target effects of the mosquito control application - to many of our neighbors, nature is a scary place and the only good insect is a dead insect.  Susan, when you meet with the franchiser, you might suggest that they avoid spraying plants that are currently in bloom and focus their efforts instead primarily on harborage foliage. 
      Michael “Doc” Weissmann, Ph.D.
      Chief Entomologist
      Colorado Mosquito Control
      7000 Broadway, Suite 108
      Denver, Colorado  80221 USA
      NEW PHONE: 303-428-5908 or toll free at 877-276-4306
      Cell: 303-944-9552; Fax: 866-929-1204
      E-mail: dweissmann@... or AskArtie@...
      Website: www.comosquitocontrol.com     
      -----Original Message-----
      From: treetops5@... [beemonitoring] <beemonitoring-noreply@yahoogroups.com>
      To: 'Susan Gitlin' <susan.mclaughlin@...>; beemonitoring <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>; 'ARMN' <armn@...>
      Sent: Tue, Aug 26, 2014 7:44 am
      Subject: RE: [beemonitoring] Mosquito Authority and bees

      Shooing might work for large bees that can easily be spotted, but the majority of native bees are more challenging to find, as they’re less than a ¼ of an inch. Also, have their staff been trained to recognize non-Apis looking bees?
      Logically it seems the most effective times to spray would be dusk and dawn. Spaying during these periods, would greatly reduce the chances of inadvertently covering most bee species with bifenthrin. From a practical standpoint though, home owners probably wouldn’t be too keen on having strangers ‘lurking’ in their gardens at those hours. If it’s a scheduled visit though, then .  . .
      How about installing bat houses instead?
      Lisa Kuder
      From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Susan Gitlin susan.mclaughlin@... [beemonitoring]
      Sent: Monday, August 25, 2014 11:51 PM
      To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com; ARMN
      Subject: [beemonitoring] Mosquito Authority and bees
      All -- Thank you for the messages thus far regarding the impact of anti-mosquito spraying on bees.  Please keep them coming!
      The company, Mosquito Authority, has confirmed that they use bifenthrin, which is known to be highly toxic to bees as well as to aquatic life.   Today someone told me that if a Mosquito Authority applicator sees bees, he'll spray the area with water to shoo away the bees, and then they spray the plants with the bifenthrin.  
      What are your thoughts on the effectiveness of the approach to protecting bees?  I'm dubious, but perhaps I should give them the benefit of the doubt.
      The owner of the northern Virginia franchise has offered to meet and talk this week.  I'd like to be as informed about this issue as possible before the meeting.
      Keep the info coming!
      -- Susan

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