Protect Pollinators from Pesticides

Pesticides are not just a problem on agricultural lands. More pesticides are applied per acre in urban neighborhoods than on farmland. Exposure to pesticides can directly kill pollinators or impair their ability to fly, navigate, or forage for food. Pledge to stop using pesticides and encourage your neighbors to join your effort in creating a pollinator-safe community (for example, see what neighbors have accomplished with the Sabin Bee-Friendly Garden Tour).

Neonicotinoids are a group of insecticides that are used widely on farms, as well as around our homes, schools, and city landscapes. These harmful chemicals can be found in many common garden products and are particularly harmful to pollinators. Learn more about neonicotinoids and the brand names of common garden products that contain these chemicals here.

Learn more about Xerces’ pesticide program here.

Taking Next Steps

Attracting Native Pollinators

Xerces’ most recent book, Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies, is available to purchase from our website. The book is published in 2011 by Storey Publishing, North Adams, Massachusetts. Attracting Native Pollinators is coauthored by four Xerces Society staff members Eric Mader, Matthew Shepherd, Mace Vaughan, and Scott Black in collaboration with Gretchen LeBuhn, San Francisco State University. Read more.

How to Reduce Bee Poisoning from Pesticides

Deciding which pesticide product to use can be a complex process. This detailed guide, produced jointly by the extension services of Oregon State University, Washington State University, and the University of Idaho, offers detailed guidance on how to select and apply insecticides. Extensive tables list the toxicity to bees of dozens of chemicals and how long after application they remain hazardous to bees in the field. To view PDF, click here.


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Email us with your questions and comments about pollinator conservation.

Learn About Your Landscape:
Take Action!
Create pollinator habitat!

Sign the pledge and take action to help protect pollinators and their essential habitats! Learn more.

In Your Pollinator Garden

Get monthly tips for your pollinator garden. Learn more.

Plant Milkweed Seed!

Milkweeds support monarch butterflies, native bees, honey bees, and other beneficial insects. Search for sources of milkweed seed now!

Pollinator Conservation Resource Center

The Resource Center is where you can find regional information about plant lists, habitat conservation guides, and more. Learn more.

Long horned bee (Melissodes sp.) on sunflower by Mace Vaughan. Pesticide bottles by Matthew Shepherd. Sign in sunflowers by Celeste Ets-Hokin. Front yard garden by Eric Mader.