How to get onto your area’s no spray list to protect your yard and bees from harmful pesticides.
Happy Spring! It’s that time of year when the birds are singing, the bees are buzzing … and the pesticides are being sprayed? Many counties, cities, and municipalities spray for pest management (particularly mosquitos) around the beginning of summer. But, as we have discussed in length here at simply.org, these pesticides can be harmful to the surrounding environment, pollinators, and humans (more information on the effects of pesticides is covered in our blog here).
The pesticides often used for citywide pest management include side effects as serious as cancer, while more mild effects include irritated asthma symptoms.
In many communities, some citizens make their living by either tending a self-sustainable garden or selling their produce to local and farmers markets – sales that are contingent upon the organic status of their produce and other goods. Citywide spraying can directly impact the livelihood of these citizens. Pollinators like bees, birds, butterflies, and more are severely impacted by these pesticides as well. Even chemical rich fertilizers used in city parks make populations of earthworms and other natural pest management microorganism entities almost obsolete.
Countless cities have started to adopt more eco-friendly approaches to parks and public lands, effectively outlawing the use of certain types of pesticides (particularly neonicotinoid pesticides). More information on cities who pioneered these ordinances, the steps they took, and the bans implemented can be found on our blog here.
But while these ordinances are going through necessary legislative steps, or whether they have not yet been started in your city or municipality, there are still steps you can take to ensure that your property, produce, and pollinators remain free from harmful citywide pesticide programs. ‘NO SPRAY’ signs can be obtained, officials can be contacted, and your name can be on records that indicate to the institutions responsible for the spraying that your house must be skipped. Therefore, the truck or other spraying mechanism will be turned off when passing your house. Getting neighbors involved can be very helpful, as this could result in your entire block remaining pesticide free. Pesticides affect humans, produce, and pollinators even more than we realize, and it’s time to take action as an engaged citizen against these harmful citywide practices.
In order to obtain ‘NO SPRAY’ signs, and be on ‘NO SPRAY’ lists, search for the department in your city, county, or municipality is responsible for organizing and implementing the spray(s). Many cities or states also have nonprofit or activist programs that can be joined as part of a larger movement against spraying of certain pesticides at all. It is prudent to both obtain the signs and call and contact the city/county/municipality you live in. Being thorough now can save a lot of environmental pollution and harm.
Please also visit www.driftwatch.org to sign up for the site which provides a dialogue (and signs) between various affected parties.
Please take a stand with us. Share in the comments below your experiences with pesticides, or if this article helped you take action!
For more information, please visit these sites: