Experts warn against insecticides during “No Mow May”

Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 10:01 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - “No Mow May” participants are in full swing in central Wisconsin. The high grass and extra flowers have the local bee populations buzzing. Many experts say the initiative is much needed to help an already declining population.

“This spring is the first pollen that they have to really try to get stronger and get a good jump on the summer,” Wausau Beekeeper Charles Burger said.

“We should often keep our lawns, or as much of our lawns, long and blooming,” UWSP Biology Professor Jaime Hubbard said.

The longer grass isn’t only wanted by local pollinators, it’s also enjoyed by mosquitos and other insects that are considered pests.

“They’re going to be attracted to the nectar of the small flowers in your yard as well,” Hubbard said.

But before homeowners get out the insecticides, they should look for something less potent. You could be hurting the pollinators you initially wanted to help.

“Insecticides aren’t targeted towards mosquitos and they will kill other insects that are in your lawns and are in other shrubbery around your lawn,” Hubbard said.

Burger has seen first hand how deadly an insecticide could be with a local bee hive.

“He (neighbor) did spray a big plant that was in bloom and the next day we had thousands of bees dead outside our hives as a result from it,” Burger said.

In the winter, most bee keepers will send their hives down south. So poising bees aren’t only affecting the Wisconsin area.

“The bees that we have coming back to the area are also pollinating almonds as well as crops in Texas. Now they’re coming back, so you have to understand the plight of a local beekeeper. It has nationwide effects,” Burger said.

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