The Consequences of Pesticides in Citrus Pest Treatment – and references

The Consequences of Pesticides in Citrus Pest Treatment – and references

An op-ed article I wrote for the Redlands Daily Facts, entitled “Understanding the Consequences of Asian Psyllid Treatment,” is being published tomorrow. It was prompted when I noted that articles were not mentioning the negative effects of the recommended pesticide treatments for an alarming pest that is attacking citrus trees. Some important background first: our area is resuming treatments for the Asian Citrus Psyllid, the bug responsible for devastating Florida citrus, which has made its way to Southern California. Most commercial groves have been treated. Now residents have the option to have their backyard citrus trees treated. Many of these points apply these common pesticides being used of other uses also.

Here are my main points after doing research on this subject, plus references are listed below: [Read more…]

Pollinator killing plants: questions to ask nurseries

Pollinator killing plants: questions to ask nurseries

I’ve been besieged with a lot of email petitions recently about  a pesticide called neonicotinoids (neonics for short), found in some plants sold by nurseries, which has been shown to kill bees, butterflies and other pollinators – so the word is definitely out. When pollinators visit the flowers or caterpillars eat the leaves of the pre-treated plant, they die. There’s a concern to humans too, as herbs also are being sprayed (see example below).  So what can we do? I received info from the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP) in Seattle WA, regarding questions people should ask their nurseries.

[Read more…]

Attracting Butterflies to Your Yard

Attracting Butterflies to Your Yard

I attended a local Audubon talk by Monika Moore on the experiences with her butterfly garden. In 2002 she started transforming the hardscape in her Fullerton, CA backyard into a butterfly haven, particularly  for Monarchs. I think photos tell the story better than words so will begin [Read more…]

GMO Food Concerns: Research to Ponder

GMO Food Concerns: Research to Ponder

It’s taken me awhile to write this one because it’s such a complex issue — and I wanted to better understand it. I still have questions but what I’ve found so far is concerning. And too many people are not talking about it. It’s the rising use of pesticide/herbicide use — and resulting problems — as more genetically modified (GM) are developed and used in agriculture.

The good news is here in California where I live, we will have the opportunity in November to vote on a Right to Know initiative regarding genetically engineered foods.   [Read more…]

Did you know: 1600 bee species in California?

Did you know: 1600 bee species in California?

I visited the Living Desert Museum in Palm Desert the other day and came across an exhibit on bees that stated the following fact:

There are over 1600 species of bees in California.

Now I find that amazing – 1600 out of an estimated 4000 worldwide. It went on to say that 100 different species were living around the plants growing in the exhibit. I asked Dr. Robin Thorp, entomology professor of University of California-Davis some questions [Read more…]

Pesticides Negatively Affect Human Health

Pesticides Negatively Affect Human Health

You’ve likely seen the headlines the last few days. In our local paper, the Los Angeles Times “Pesticides suspected in mass die-off of bees” (article no longer available online)  discussed mounting evidence that pesticides negatively impact bees. I’ve written two prior posts on the collateral damage of pesticides on wildlife – this one addresses human health effects. I think my aversion to pesticides started when my father would get out the can of Raid and spray it on the wasps attracted to our plates of food when we ate outside on hot summer days in Chicago. That led to many a battle between us. If he was still alive, I’m sure we would have a lively discussion on the mounting evidence. [Read more…]

Go Organic to Help the Bees

Go Organic to Help the Bees

One could say I’m on a bee kick. A number of my articles mention bees and despite being allergic to them – the last time I got stung I ended up in the ER, where I left with an epinephrine prescription for constant carry – they fascinate me.  Our native plants attract them, the hive under our neighbor’s roof (see photo) houses them, and now a new hive has begun in our palm tree down below. I’m in bee heaven. Then there’s the half dozen I save out of the pool everyday.  [Read more…]