Pesticides Impacts on Water Quality


Many pesticides are highly mobile in water. The same characteristic that allows the chemicals to move easily throughout plant tissue also contributes to their spread through watersheds where they can contaminate water sources downstream. Pesticide use has had a devastating effect on freshwater mussels, mayflies, dragonflies, and other aquatic invertebrates responsible for controlling pests and maintaining water quality. Recent efforts to control adult mosquitos through spraying of insecticides further impacts pollinators and aquatic life, and can be avoided through early action and planning.


How to Help Your Community Create an Effective Mosquito Management Plan: A Xerces Society Guide

By Scott Hoffman Black, Aimee Code, and Celeste Mazzacano This guide will help you learn more about mosquitoes and the diverse wetland communities in which they play an important part, and give you the resources and information you need to work for the adoption of safe, effective methods of mosquito management in the places where Read more …

Ecologically Sound Mosquito Management in Wetlands

An overview of mosquito control practices, the risks, benefits, and nontarget impacts, and recommendations on effective practices that control mosquitoes, reduce pesticide use, and conserve wetlands. By Celeste Mazzacano and Scott Hoffman Black. This report reviews current mosquito control practices in the United States, describes risks and benefits associated with different types of mosquito control—including Read more …

Responding to Zika

By Scott Hoffman Black, Executive Director As a parent it is heart-wrenching to see the photos of children in Brazil that have been born with microcephaly, and it is very worrying to consider that the steep rise in this birth defect may be caused by a mosquito-borne disease. The cause of these birth defects is Read more …

Report: Neonicotinoids in California’s Surface Waters

Neonicotinoids in California’s Surface Waters A Preliminary Review of Potential Risk to Aquatic Invertebrates By Sarah Hoyle and Aimee Code. This report demonstrates how the health of California’s rivers and streams are at risk from contamination from pesticide use. This report summarizes the state’s water quality monitoring data, provides an in-depth look at the latest research Read more …

Fact Sheet: Protecting California’s Waters from Neonicotinoid Contamination

by Aimee Code, Sarah Hoyle, Scott Hoffman Black, and Emilie Blevins. California’s waters are at risk from current uses of neonicotinoid insecticides. This fact sheet summarizes Xerces’ findings from our report, Neonicotinoids in California’s Surface Waters. It examines the risks to rivers and streams, as well as other ecosystems, and recommends that regulators take action Read more …

Scientists Urge Action to Protect Waters from Neonicotinoid Insecticides

On March 13th, 2018 a group of 56 scientists, including many prominent researchers studying the effects of neonicotinoids, sent a letter to California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) highlighting the threat neonicotinoids pose to the health of California’s waterways. The letter was prompted by findings from a 2016 Xerces Society investigation that were published in Read more …

Aquatic Conservation

Invertebrates live in every type of aquatic habitat, from streams and seeps to marshes and lakes. Aquatic invertebrates such as stoneflies, mayflies, mussels, and midges play critical roles in sustaining healthy aquatic ecosystems, and are at the center of the aquatic food web. The winged adult forms of many aquatic insects also provide a huge Read more …

Wings Fall 2015 (Vol 38, #2) Rethinking Pesticides

Fall 2015 (Vol 38, #2) Rethinking Pesticides Scott Hoffman Black, Rethinking Pesticides Thelma Heidel-Baker and Scott Hoffman Black, Pursuing a Thoughtful Balance in the Management of Insect Pests Celeste Searles Mazzacano, Mosquitoes, Wildlife, and People Aimee Code, Neonicotinoids: Silver Bullets that Misfired Conservation Spotlight: Monarchs and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Invertebrate Notes: A Read more …


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Pesticide Learning Center

Use the links below to learn about pesticide impacts and alternatives

IPI Database

Examining the impacts of pesticides on invertebrates, the IPI Database is a collection of summaries of recent research articles reviewed by our pesticide program staff. Most studies are focused on the effects that pesticides have on invertebrates, primarily pollinators and aquatic species. Visit the Database

Neonicotinoids and Bees


Now availaible as a revised and expanded second edition, our report examins the science behind the role these insecticides play in harming bees. Read More

Rethinking Pesticides


Our Fall 2015 issue of Wings is entirely devoted to discussing pesticide-related issues and implications across the landscape.Read More

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