SHOP PRODUCTS
Houzz Logo Print
rosysunnygirl

Oh God, what have I done? Bayer product and dead birds

15 years ago

I decided to finally go ahead and spray the Bayer insect control for soil and turf, to try to fight my new midge problem. I struggled with the decision because I knew it would kill the earthworms I've worked so hard to cultivate, but I decided that fighting the midge was more important. I sprayed it about a week ago, and I've started to see gray and gray-green worms in my soil, so I know it worked.

Today, I saw something different in the garden. Next to Abraham Darby is a dead bird. The birds frequent my yard, I think, because of all the worms. We have a little birdbath for them, too. We try to make it welcoming. The last couple of days, I've seen some of the birds poke around in the beds like they usually do, then kind of sit there a minute like they're confused and then go off. I somehow thought that maybe they wouldn't eat these things, that they'd know they weren't safe...

But now I have this dead bird in my garden -- a first. And I'm wondering: Has anyone else who has used this product had a similar happening? Does this stuff kill birds, too? My husband tells me to calm down, I didn't murder this little bird. But I have this feeling...

Comments (44)

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Rosysunny -- Sometimes, birds just get old and die. That said -

    Tell us what the active ingredients in the product are.
    That make a huge difference, because, evidentally, there are different Bayer Advantage products.
    And they have different ingredients.
    If this is the one with Imidicloprid -- well, Imidicloprid IS highly toxic to sparrows and many other birds.

    Really, this illustrates why we must always be careful to read the entire huge swath of labeling information.
    Read all "caution" and "warning labels."
    Check on line.
    "Google" the active ingredients in a product before using it.

    THEN you'll be able to make an informed decision.

    Jeri

  • Related Discussions

    Dead bird........what kind? :(

    Q

    Comments (13)
    Ha! I thought it was a cardinal too! There was a dead snag in a tree top on my regular walk & I have thought it was an owl many times. I mean I know that it's there but I still check. Finally the snag blew down & it no longer looks like an owl. I kinda miss it!
    ...See More

    Dear Kitchen Gods: Can I have my white appliances back?

    Q

    Comments (58)
    I very much dislike stainless steel. As an accent, it can work well, but I always feel like I'm entering some industrial factory when I run into kitchens whose major appliances are covered in stainless steel. In addition, having had a Cuisinart drip coffee maker for several years now, which is mostly stainless steel (hey, an accent!) it is impossible to get the smudges, fingerprints and whatever else off it. I keep waiting for the thing to die a natural death so I can buy a new one. I prefer black, white, or certain colors (but for colors other than black or white, as others have noted, matching up the appliances is near impossible). My current major appliances are white, and my fridge, which is about five years old, has that yellowing plastic handle for no good reason I can determine. It's been yellowing noticeably for at least two or maybe three years. No sunlight really gets into the room, and I've never cleaned the handle with bleach. I use Simple Green or Method on it. In my upcoming build, I am going with black major appliances. I've had a brand new black microwave for nearly a year now -- it seems to be easy to keep clean, and I plan for it to move with me. The previous one was white, and at age 25 years of service, it had itself gone notably yellow. It did have something of a plastic frame. (I got rid of it partly for that reason, but mostly because I figured after 25 years of service, who knew what it was leaking...) The main problem with paneling major appliances in my view is the added expense that I'd rather put elsewhere into my build. (edit due to adding clarity on old microwave...) This post was edited by Artemis_MA on Fri, Feb 6, 15 at 18:12
    ...See More

    Oh my God, what have my neighbors done. Used MG Garden Soil..... ONLY.

    Q

    Comments (20)
    It's actually funny that this thread popped up last week. I went through a similar situation myself. Saw some neighbors doing something - or I should say about to do something - very ill-advised, horticulturally speaking, and sent them a friendly email about it. Saying I couldn't help but notice and didn't want them to waste their money. I didn't even want to be so bold as to walk over there while they were outside. No need to invade someone's "personal space". But of course I saw this weekend that they did exactly what I told them not to do, a few days after getting the email which they acknowledged. I won't go into details but it involved planting a some shrubs. I mean, WTF? That guy who has 100+ blooming BLEs like rhododendrons and camellias in his garden? Couldn't possibly know anything about them! (actually similar to ilovemytree's situation, but with a plant less forgiving than lilacs and they were making even more mistakes) It's safe to assume these days that people are just going to be willfully stupid and that there's nothing you can do about it, unless they are close friends or family. And even then...
    ...See More

    Teach me your ways, oh Laundry Gods and Goddesses

    Q

    Comments (49)
    techs recommend Maytag as they provide very good after market warranty should you need it. I made the horrible mistake of buying Electrolux after having Maytag for over 30 years. The washer shredded my king size comforter, a set of queen sheets and the dryer has been making a racket since day 1. They said that I should never have put a king size comforter to wash...but that's what they advertise and part of the reason I bought it. Electrolux blamed me for it all. They provide the worst customer care I have ever had. Their products are poorly designed. As an example, the racket made by the dryer is caused by lint blocking the blower fan. I remove all lint after every single load as I have always done. When the tech came, he said we have to take the machine apart every so often to remove lint that did not get caught by the screen. Who takes their machine apart?!!!! So I used a very long handled rubber spatula to squeeze it in that area to get excess lint out but still not perfect and back to the infernal racket. After multiple visits from a tech to "repair" this, the last tech put an extra thick felt around the lint screen to try to keep all lint on the screen. So far so good. The kicker is the letter I received from Electrolux stating that should this repair ever re-occurs, I will have to pay for it!!! Unfrickin believable!!!! So I asked the tech who provides best warranty service...hands down, Maytag. Lesson learned.
    ...See More
  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Sunnygirl, I also used a bayer product 2 years ago (3in1 granules) a few times before quickly stopping because of headaches and bugs dying around plants, beneficial ones also. Luckiliy there was a dicussion here about how very potent Bayer products are and it scared me fast.
    Don't beat yourself up too much, a few on this forum have had the same experience. These Bayer products sound similar to those old chemicals like DDT and Chlordane. Kill the grubs, bird dies after eating grub then animal that eats dead bird also dies and so on and so on. Scarry stuff.

    Jimmy

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    The other thing killing birds in the east is West Nile Virus. Check with your county health department (and they may ask what kind of bird it was).

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Ann's right. WNV has also made its way all the way to CA.
    :-(

    That said, this does demonstrate that the consumer must be alert, so's to make INFORMED decisions.
    The corporations aren't going to do it for us.

    Jeri

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    A lesson for us all. Sorry you had the experience but by posting it you have perhaps prevented many from making the same mistake. I for one have learned from this and thank you for educating me.

    Joy

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Usually if I'm going to spray an insecticide, I just spray the affected parts, not the entire bush or ground. But I don't have midge (knock on wood) so I'm not sure how they work.

    I doubt one spraying would kill birds. I had a problem with dead birds a few years ago (before I did any gardening) and I did bring one in the county office to be checked for WNV. It was being reported in my area, and a few people did die from it. So that is a possibility.

    Of course you are better off not spraying. But I have sprayed very locally and sparingly and not had a problem with birds.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I use Bayer products and have plenty of birds, blue jays, cardinals, robins, sparrows, black birds, and I even have worms. But thanks Jeri for posting that Ottawa site regarding information about Imidacloprid, very informative!

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    That is a hard lesson, indeed. I feel bad for you. It's good that you posted about it here; perhaps it will save some others.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi rosysunnygirl

    If you found a dead bird in your garden there are any number of things that could have killed it. It is not correct to suspect you spraying of imidacloprid being the cause. A dead bird is something that comes with having a garden with a birdbath and bird feed. It is sad but it is nothing we can control.

    I stay away from the pesticide soil drenches no matter what, I have decided to live with weevils and mostly use soap water and oil blends if aphids get too bad. My garden is mostly organic but I would spray if things really got out of hand.

    Spraying a systemic is effective against a lot of different pests and is much more local than a drench. It is still poison but will stay in the plant and effects on the environment is much smaller. Though it is not as long lasting as the drench.

    The safest pesticides in the garden are the pyrethroids like Bayer Decis. It sticks to the surface of the plant and needs to be sprayed both over and under leafs. I is very effective against midges, caterpillars and other insects that eats and sucks on leafs, and very safe for bees, soil and worms.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm confused, and probably wrong about this. Someone check me... The label for Decis (Canadian version, I didn't look at US label yet) says:

    TOXIC TO FISH AND AQUATIC ORGANISMS. Over spray or drift into aquatic areas must be avoided. This product contains a petroleum distillate that is moderately to highly toxic to aquatic organisms. Avoid contamination of aquatic systems during application. Do not contaminate these systems through direct application, disposal of waste or cleaning equipment.
    TOXIC TO BEES AND OTHER BENEFICIAL INSECTS. Avoid spraying when bees are foraging.
    Do not apply where streams, lakes, ponds or water used by livestock or for domestic purposes may be contaminated. Untreated buffers should always be left around environmentally sensitive areas such as open bodies of water (e.g. rivers, streams, lakes, ponds), wetlands, houses, and farm buildings. The depth of the buffer depends on the method of application. For ground application, leave a 15-metre buffer. For aerial application, leave a 100-metre buffer. If a 100-metre buffer zone cannot be maintained during aerial application, then application by ground only must be followed. In these cases the 15-metre buffer zone must be observed.
    Avoid application when temperature inversions are prevailing.

    link to http://BayerCropScience.CA

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks to you all for the additional info, alternatives to this particular chemical and the support! I was a mess when I left for work today, but you have helped me feel better. Thank you so much.

    I really do hope that when someone is battling midge or thinking of using this particular insecticide, they'll see this thread somewhere and be better informed about the possible consequences. I know that I will never use this stuff again. I wrapped up and tossed what was left. I've got a long way to go before being an Earth-friendly rose grower -- and I know nature can kill just like a chemical can -- but this has definitely given me some incentive to look at alternatives that might not be as harmful and consider what the things I use will do, other than just help me have pretty blooms.

    As far as the West Nile Virus being what killed the little bird, we'll never know. While I was here, my husband said he said a prayer over it, scooped it up and then threw it away. Our garbage truck is often late, but I doubt the bird will still be there when I get home. But if there are any others that turn up in the yard, I definitely will take them to the county to be examined.

    Thank you all again

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Oh man..I went to my nursery today and saw the local rose expert. I found out I have downy mildew on a new rose I got and am planning to return..But I showed her my rose leaves and she said I have saw fly caterpillars and she sold me
    Bayer advanced Rose and Flower insect killer. I have a bird feeder out and a birdbath. I am going to try and not use this again or dilute it.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    In a small garden we use a spray can, and spray one or more roses. We never spray the whole garden. It looks like you found guidelines for spraying large fields with airplane or other large scale sprayers. Decis and other pyrethroids can kill bees, and that is why you should spraying late at night after dark when they are not out. If the guidelines are followed Decis is probably one of the safest. It is not systemic, it stays on the surface of leafs and canes. The day after it will not harm bees, unlike some suspect is the case with imidacloprid. Sprayed-on pyrethoids will not show up in the nectar of the roses or other flowering plants. It is still a poison meant to kill bugs.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I have learned to avoid the systemics when I can for this very reason. We have the fuschia mite here and growers told me to go ahead and use systemics even at risk to the hummingbirds who visit the plants. The chemists at the company who make the systemic said it would probably make the birds sick. Please be careful. Parkinsons disease has shown up in agricultural workers exposed to such pesticides. I usually try everything I can and then decide if its really worth it to use the toxic stuff or can I get away with moving the plant to a less suceptible location or quarantine or some other option. I worry about exposure to pets and wildlife. The people at the garden center will say go ahead and don't worry, but the truth is, there are some things I am too scared to use even though they are legal to sell. Some plants I just don't grow anymore because I would have to spray with products that worry me too much.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    The most widely used applications for imidacloprid in California are pest control in structures, turf pest control, grape growing, and head and leaf lettuce growing. Other widespread crop uses are rice, grains/cereals including corn (maize), potatoes, vegetables, sugar beets, fruit, cotton, and hops. Target insects include sucking insects (e.g. aphids, whiteflies, leafhoppers and planthoppers, thrips, scales, mealybugs, bugs, psyllids, and phylloxera), beetles (e.g. longhorn beetles, leaf beetles, Colorado potato beetles, rice water-weevils, wireworms, grubs, and flea beetles), and others (e.g. lepidopterous leafminers, some diptera, termites, locusts, and fleas).

    When used for seed treatments, it is sold under the trade names Akteur, Amigo, Baytan Secur, Chinook, El Hombre, Escocet, Gaucho, Gaucho Blé, Gaucho CS, Gaucho Maícero, Gaucho MZ, Gaucho Orge, Gaucho Primo, Gaucho T, Gaucho MT, Gaucho XT, Genesis, Faibel, Ferial Blé, Férial Orge, Imprimo, Manta Plus, Monceren Extra, Monceren G, Monceren GT, Montur, Prestige, Prestige M, Raxil Secur, Seed-one, Sibutol Secur, Yunta and Zorro FS 236.

    When used on citrus, coffee, cotton, fruits, grapes, potatoes, rice, soybeans, sugarcane, tobacco and vegetables as an insecticide spray, it is sold under the trade names Admire, Confidor, Connect, Evidence, Leverage, Muralla, Provado and Trimax.

    It is marketed as Premise for termite control and Advantage in the US and Europe for flea control on pets. It is also sold under the trade names Merit, Admire, Confidor and Winner, as well as Hachikusan (in Japan).

    Advantage MultiTM (imidacloprid + moxidectin) Topical Solution is to be administered monthly, and when applied directly to your pet's skin, prevents heartworm disease, kills adult fleas and controls flea infestations, and treats and controls intestinal worms. The two active ingredients in Advantage Multi are imidacloprid and moxidectin. Imidacloprid has a high affinity for the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the post-synaptic region of the nervous system of fleas. The ensuing inhibition of cholinergic transmission in insects (i.e., fleas) results in paralysis and death. Moxidectin interacts with gaba-amniobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate-gated chloride channels. This leads to opening of the chloride channels on the post-synaptic junction, the inflow of chloride ions and induction of an irreversible resting state. The result is flaccid paralysis of susceptible parasites, followed by their death and/or expulsion.

    Well, my cat that just died had a steady "diet" of it in her vascular system for years. She was almost 21 when she died, but I don't think that is what killed her. She just got old.

    We also use it on our dogs and the one who died 2 years ago was more than 20 years old.

    Our persian is 13 years old and maybe it causes spoiled pets because he and the 1-year-old border collie are rotten.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    pat, that made me LOL. Even Sevin in a low concentration can be applied directly to cats and dogs to kill fleas.

    Let's have some perspective. Systematic just means that the chemical or substance enters the plants vascular system. It could be good or bad, depending on what the substance is. Miracle Gro could be considered a systematic.

    The main thing to remember is to use the product as directed and use as little as possible. Spraying one rose plant is not going to have an affect on your bird bath 10 feet away. Don't spray anything on windy days. Spray at the right time of day so the bees are not present. Use the correct concentration.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I learned something very interesting last night. I attended a meeting of our local Wild Ones chapter, and the talk given was on managing invasive weeds without chemicals. The alarming fact is that, among pesticides, nearly NO "inert ingredients" are required to be labelled by the FDA, but many of them are at least as toxic as the active ingredients, if not more so. Several are known carcinogens.

    So whenever you use an insecticide/herbicide your concern is ot only the labelled active ingedient, but the unlabelled "inert" ingredients. Inert hardly means harmless. And that is alarming to me.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Taoseeker,

    I am not trying to pick on you at all; I worry when someone on a widely read list puts out information that a pesticide is 'safe' because because these products are so potent and not eveyone reads all the instructions in a 20 page label and uses the product with care.

    The label info from my previous post is not specific to spraying from air. There are ground applications and aerial spraying recommendations in the instructions (as there are on most agricultural pesticides), that was in the general hazard statement about the product.

    In the section on the Canadian label about spraying ornamental plants to control thrips they include the instructions:

    "DO NOT apply within 7 days of harvest of flower crop."

    And in the US, it's not labeled for greenhouse or ornamental plant use.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    There's another dead bird today... not in the same place, but near where I transplanted a couple of yews near roses at the garden entrance yesterday. I wonder if the bird thought the disturbed soil would have better things to eat.

    I didn't get past him to get into the rest of the garden. I hope he's the only one. But I'm wondering how long this is going to go on, and how I can stop the birds from picking in my beds. Chicken wire? I just don't know. I do know that I don't want anything else to die and I really wish I had never used this stuff. I feel like my garden is a death-trap now.

    We will make sure it's not West Nile or old age or some strange bird disease. My husband will come home and scoop him up, and we'll take him wherever he needs to be examined. I live in an urban area, and I'm the only gardener for homes and homes. I highly doubt these deaths are the result of anything my neighbors are doing. Nothing has died (so far) in the front garden -- only in the backyard where I sprayed this stuff.

    I've called my county extension service for info on where to take the bird and what I can do in the meantime to prevent this from happening again. I am awaiting a call back (the person most knowledgeable about chemicals was on another line).

    I just can't believe this is happening.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Update from the extension office...

    The person I talked with said that as far as chemicals we use today go, Imidacloprid "is one of the safest." Apparently, there's another Bayer product similar to this one with an active ingredient that starts with a C (sorry, can't remember the name) that could be more problematic.

    The info about the chemical that I found online wasn't necessarily correct, she says. She's sending me this chemical info sheet through the mail that they use. Imidacloprid, she says, isn't really toxic to worms or birds (she'd never heard that, and the Bayer product book doesn't mention it) and won't take long to decompose. So she thinks all will be OK, and "if these birds are house sparrows, it's no real loss. We have too many. They're invasive, hate to tell you." (!!!)

    Also, I can take birdie one of the state DOE wildlife offices but there's very little chance they'll test him for West Nile because of funding constraints. He's not a crow or a raven or some other bird (blue jay, I think), either, so the chances are even slimmer that they'll test him. And, the nearest office is about an hour and a half away. Best to simply dispose of him.

    This is all so fruitless and frustrating! I find (at least) two dead birds in my yard -- I have no definitive proof as to what killed them and I can't get any! It could be West Nile, old age, or this poison that I introduced, or they just all of a sudden want to come here to die. I have the "expert" conflicting what I think I'm seeing in my garden (I know for certain that my worms are indeed dead!) and I don't know how long this is all going to last and what the toll is going to be or what I can do to stop it.

    Does anyone have any ideas for keeping these birds away (besides removing the birdbath, which will be done) and getting this crap out of my soil (can I just water a whole lot more)? Or even ways that I can just shield the beds (if that's even possible). I am open to any and all suggestions.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I am sorry that you are feeling so badly about this. But the only definitive way to know that you are not responsible is to take your behavior out of the equation. If you stop spraying poisons into your environment you can be sure that you were not responsible, otherwise...as you have stated...there is no way to know.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "I decided to finally go ahead and spray the Bayer insect control for soil and turf, to try to fight my new midge problem. I struggled with the decision because I knew it would kill the earthworms I've worked so hard to cultivate, but I decided that fighting the midge was more important."

    Sunnygirl, how bad was the midge that you would think spraying poisons more important than keeping the earthworms?

    I can't believe the response you received from the person at the extension office..."she thinks all will be OK, and "if these birds are house sparrows, it's no real loss. We have too many. They're invasive, hate to tell you."

    "Parkinsons disease has shown up in agricultural workers exposed to such pesticides."

    Appalling.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I can believe your extension office told you that. Here's the Sierra club fact sheet:

    fact sheet on imidacloprid

    I thought it was interesting that when it's sprayed to control spider mites, the infestation becomes worse in the long run because the beneficials are killed off. It will be interesting to see if the midge problem rebounds and is even worse...

    You could get some bird netting - the type thrown over fruit trees and grape vines - to keep the birds away. How big are your beds that need covered?

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    House Sparrows are not only invasive, they kill bluebirds and steal their nests. They are not native to the NA continent and are really considered a pest.

    sunny, I used the same product last year and did not have any dead birds. So unless you used it in way too high a concentration, I don't think this is what is killing the birds. Do you see any bugs around? Bees, flies, anything?

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I don't use Bayer products. In fact I rarely use insecticides. However in the past 4 years we have found dead birds (a Bluejay was one of the first) with no outward signs of trauma. An unusual occurance for us. The culprit has turned out to be West Nile. This year we have already had one confirmed human death due to West Nile. I think I read that West Nile is most prevalent in the tiger mosquito which bites not just at night, but also during the daytime so that there is really no safe time to be outside without slavering insecticide on yourself (something that I'm not all that comfortable with)........Bayer is not an unknown brand name in the box stores, so more then likely if everyone who had used it had had massive bird deaths it would have shown up on the radar screen by now (not just on some enviro web site). Trial lawyers, being what they are, would be jumping on the money band wagon to sue Bayer if they even had a hint of evidence. This is not to say that you shouldn't be wary of using insecticides (I am) but used properly and judiciously the ones that the EPA have ruled safe for the average homeowner are not as atomic as some would think (read: can't kill a Thrips worth a darn).

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Why not give out a call to Mike (our resident scientist here) who would have the answer if you addressed the question to him about chemicals?

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Where I garden, the question of pesticides does not even come to mind.

    An arm of Health Canada, called Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has the mandate of screening and approving all chemical agents that are to be sold as pesticides. Companies wishing to be licensed to have the right to sell any pest control products in Canada has to submit detailed information on the product, including all available data on health and environmental impact. Companies bulke at the onerous and costly task involved and more often than not, realise that there is no financial sense to go through the process just to be able to supply to residential gardeners. So, the stores in our Province is devoid of any pesiticides or fungicides, except from some age old presumably harmless remedies, i.e, sulphur, insecticidal soap.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    According to data quoted by the EPA, the LD50 for house sparrows and imidacloprid is 50 mg per kg of body weight (this is the lethal dose expected to kill 50% of a population of sparrows). This might be compared to the LD50 value for sodium cyanide and humans of 100 mg/kg. On a body-weight basis, imidacloprid is twice as toxic to house sparrows as cyanide is to humans.

    Assuming the body weight of house sparrows is about 1 ounce, the average lethal dose is about 0.3 mg of imidacloprid. Bayer's Complete Insect Killer for Soil and Turf contains 0.72% imidacloprid and is sprayed at a dilution of 1/2 to 3 ounces per gallon of water. Assuming the higher rate, this makes the spray solution roughly 0.02% imidacloprid. Approximately 1 mL of such a solution will contain the fatal dose for a house sparrow (0.3mg). In familiar terms, this amounts to 1/5 of a teaspoon of the spray solution.

    I'm a chemist and I can manipulate data, but your interpretation of the above is as good as mine.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    On a body-weight basis, imidacloprid is twice as toxic to house sparrows as cyanide is to humans.

    *** That's good enough for me. Birds and lizards are my best pesticides.

    To Spray Or Not To Spray. Your decision.
    But PLEASE -- before you spray, READ THE LABEL.
    Read the WHOLE label.
    "Google" the ingredients in the stuff, and make yourself knowledgeable about any side-effects.

    If you can't take the time to do that, you really should not use the stuff.

    Jeri

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Sunnygirl, how bad was the midge that you would think spraying poisons more important than keeping the earthworms?


    Midge means ... no blooms.

    And after all ... that's what we grow roses for.

    If there are no blooms, we may as well grow tomatoes.

    I went through a year (2006) with midge.

    It was no fun.

    I treated for it ... it hasn't returned.

    After a year with no blooms, you'll do what you have to to get rid of the midge.


    Birds die every now and then. I've had a couple baby sparrows die this years because they fell out of their nest ... onto my hot concrete driveway. Oh, and the cat gets one every now and then.

    I guess if I didn't have the driveway or the cat, ... there'd be more birds alive today.

    Whether we acknowledge it or not, we all make similar environmental compromises.

    When you find dead birds around your property, it means, more than anything else ... that your property attracts birds, ... sick birds, healthy birds, ... all kinds of birds.

    You always want to careful about what you put into the environment. But, of course, you killed grass and/or weeds ... to put those roses in in the first place.

    Sunngirl, hopefully this one year's application will take care of your problems.

    You can probably put your birdbaths, etc. back out next season.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    One of my better mathematics professors used to tell us that if a result seemed unlikely or implausible--or didn't make sense--that we should recheck our work.

    The idea that the government would allow something so toxic to be marketed seemed implausible.

    In that spirit:

    One ounce = 0.02834kg.

    Using 0.02834 as the coefficient for a one ounce sparrow and multiplying it against a LD50 of 50mg/kg one obtains a result of: 1.417, not 0.3mg as mentioned.

    The coefficient of this error is: 4.72.

    In other words, it would take about five times as much as was mentioned to actually kill a one ounce bird.

    Still though, we are not finished:

    The conversion for the .72% is not 0.02% as mentioned. It is, in fact, 0.0016. There's an extra zero in there for a 10x coefficient of error.

    Multiplying the two errors together generates a result of 47.2.

    47.2 * 1/5 of a teaspoon equals 9.4 entire teaspoons.

    Therefore, a one ounce bird would have to, in one sitting, consume 9.4 teaspoons of the mixture to die.

    This is unlikely.

    Thank You!

    M

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Well, nothing has died since the last little bird; this is a good thing. I'm so thankful to be growing in a (virtual) community with such great people. Thanks again to all of you for your insight.

    michaelalreadytaken and Mike: math has never been my strongest subject; I'm in awe of you guys. So I'll leave it to you two to figure out how much of this poison would kill one of my little feathered friends. The end result will be the same, though, no matter whether it's 1/5 of a teaspoon, 9 teaspoons or a cup and a half: This stuff is never coming anywhere near my garden again.

    Buford: I'm not sure what all is out there. I did a garden walk with my husband today before church (I'm scared to go out by myself now -- irrational fear, I know, but for the last couple of times I have, I've found something dead). I saw a moth flying around, but I wasn't really paying attention for other insects. I'll start keeping an eye out. I think one of the factors (assuming it was this chemical that's doing this) may have been that both of the birds died very close to areas where I had been digging (disturbing the dirt) recently. I'm guessing that if this stuff did kill them, they were attracted by the loose dirt and either ate something dangerous or were exposed to it. I used the hose-end spray attachment to apply this, but it's possible I lingered in some places longer than others. I honestly can't say. But there will be no more digging until the fall, when I hope all traces of this stuff will be gone. How soon did you start planting again after using it?

    Mexicanhat: Thanks for the suggestion on the bird netting. I've got a little more than 90 linear feet (I think) in beds in the back, and the beds range in width from 3 to 9 feet. Basically, it's both sides of my back yard with a little patch of grass remaining. I'm going to check at a feed store to see if I can find a few nets, and also put down another layer of newspaper and mulch on top of what I already have to make the dig a little deeper for them.

    aegis500 and Joanne: Joanne, what aegis said. Aegis, thanks so much for understanding. Joanne, it's just that I was trying to nip the problem in the bud (so to speak) and I was scared of what would happen if I didn't eradicate it ASAP. I agonized (truly) over killing those worms. They're creatures that, as far as I can see, don't harm anything and are only there to help. And, they're kind of cute. Before I sprayed, I stood over the dirt and apologized, asked God to forgive me for what I was doing. It was not an easy decision. But in hindsight, I think the fear was making me a little irrational and I took chances I shouldn't have. At the time, though, it seemed like it was boiling down to either the worms or the roses, couldn't have both. So I picked the roses.

    Collinw and Jeri, you're both definitely right. And this is something I hope everyone remembers.


    Maryl: Thanks for sharing your experience with your bluejays and West Nile. I didn't know that mosquitoes could be such a problem during the daytime, too (most of our mosquitoes seem to come out at night). I'll definitely remember the Deep Woods Off from now on. Or do you have a possibly less harmful repellent you like to use?

    Thanks again to all of you

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Michaelalreadytaken:

    The fatal dose of imidacloprid for a 1 ounce sparrow is 1.47mg, as you wrote, and not 0.3mg as I wrote. You are right and I was wrong.

    On the other hand.... If a 0.72% solution is diluted by dissolving 3 ounces in 1 gallon (128 ounces) of water, the resulting solution will have a concentration of (0.72)(3/128)%, which is 0.0168%, which rounds off to 0.02%, as I wrote.

    Maybe your math professor had a good point for both of us. At any rate, the average fatal dose of the spray solution for a sparrow would be about a teaspoon.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    The Avon product Skin So Soft that was almost an urban legend as a mosquito repellant many years ago appealed to me. I tried it, and it was somewhat effective during the day when only the Asian Tiger Mosquito is our main predator. I think AVON caught onto the fact that people were using Skin so Soft for other then smoothing wrinkles (or whatever it's original purpose was) and came out with a variation of it that was specifically geared as a repellant. But I haven't researched it that much, so maybe someone else can chime in. One of the myths about West Nile is that only children and elderly sick people are most affected by it. Not so. Active healthy people can be just as affected. If I must spray a chemical to work outside, I prefer to do it on my clothing, not directly on my skin....It's a jungle out there. Be careful.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Mike, .72% is not ".72," it's 0.0072.

    In that sense I'm wrong also because it makes for an error of 100x magnitude rather than the 10x I mentioned earlier.

    Thus 94 teaspoons rather than 9.4.

    :)

    Fortunately, it's the awareness of what's at stake that's most important and not the math.

    M

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Michael

    The concentration of the initial solution is 0.72%, which means 0.72 grams of imidacloprid per 100 grams of solution. If you like, yes, you can also say that is a concentration of 0.0072 grams of imidacloprid per 1 gram of solution. Either way, if you dilute this by a factor of 3/128 you end up with a solution which is roughly 0.02%, meaning 0.02 grams of imidacloprid per 100 grams of solution, or, if you prefer, 0.0002 grams of imidacloprid per 1 gram of solution.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    You guys are making my head hurt!

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    It does not look like you poisoned the bird. Even if you had, the starling is a major problem for the native Eastern Bluebird. I have an aunt who maintains a trail of bluebird houses. She is a member of the North American Bluebird Society, which is trying desperately to halt the decline of the bluebirds. I dare say that none of them would shed a tear over the death of one starling.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Sunnygirl, I'm sorry that I was so critical. I know you've certainly agonized over this, and I sympathize. It's a lesson learned. Who knows what killed the birds. It may have been a coincidence. I actually think I may have a few midges around in my garden...I will probably put down some black plastic around the bush and spray with neem oil and dish detergent. If it works, it works...if not...bye bye bush. It's things like this that keep me from taking roses too seriously. I think growing roses should be fun, not wringing your hands over mistakes and disappointments. I wonder if there are any roses that are immune to these horrid midges! If anyone knows, please step up. LOL.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Imidacloprid which is also known as Merit is the best little Japanese Beetle grub killer I know of. I had infestations that made me feel like my deck was a helicopter landing in Nam on a busy day. One day and those killers ate everything! Three years of that was enough to get me mad. This year we spread it on the lawn in late April and so far so good not a JB to be seen. (Yet, knock on wood).
    Birds like every other animal need food so if you lost one to Merit (which may not even be the case) don't be too upset about it. The surviving plants will feed others and nature will have its way of providing life to take up the time/space of any which have been lost.
    If you continue to feel badly or are afraid of the area where you sprayed/applied give it a good hose down. The merit should dilute even further and go deeper into the ground. An added benefit to your original use would be to get any nasty grubs that may still be there although they are probably pretty close to up and out by now.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Following up, a few months later...

    Things seem to be back to normal in the garden (thanks again for all of the advice and support). Nothing dead, and even a few new creatures -- a toad (must've come over from a man-made garden pond nearby) and a bunny (an unpleasant surprise -- living in an urban area, this is our first rabbit ever, in four years!). Birds are plentiful, and we're seeing a few goldfinches come by as the coneflowers dry up. I spent the summer enjoying the garden mostly from the inside... next spring will bring a clean slate and I can stop feeling funny about being out there (and about being here).

    Interesting, though: Like Hyta, I had not one Japanese beetle. Not a one. And I didn't spray anything besides all-season oil for aphids.

    Saw this in the newspaper today about more dangers from imidicloprid, this time about lingering dangers to honeybees:

    "Unfortunately, we are learning that Merit has some ugly side effects, namely causing what has been called colony collapse disorder, where thousands of honeybee colonies are disappearing for no obvious reason. Now we know that any plant that is treated with Merit and has blossoms that attract bees, those bees will receive a non-lethal shot of Merit. But it will cause them to lose their ability to find their way back to the hive. It also weakens the bee's immune system so the bee usually dies of some fungus or virus. ...

    "We yardeners can't deal with the bee problem in agriculture, but we definitely can take a look at how we are using Merit in our own yard. Some of the most effective and popular systemic insecticides for rose bushes have Merit as the main ingredient. Honeybees will always work over rose blossoms and so are exposed to a little bit of Merit -- enough to affect them badly."

    Provided the link for those of you who want to read more.

    (P.S. Maryl, I made sure to spray my clothes each time; thanks for the tip. And Joanne, now you must forgive me. I never have any e-mails about responses to a post. Still, please accept *my* apology for not responding sooner to say it's no big deal at all. :) )

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I took a Field trip today with My school to Bayer Environmental Company In Kansas City.
    Only to be informed that They test Pesticides on Japanese Quail, and then suffocate them after 14 days with CO2.

    Being a Junior in High School, I think that this is no Place to take a child under any circumstances.
    I had no Idea that they even did this!
    I was Mortified.

    A friend, and I wanted to take home every little Bird in there Just so they could live.

    -Just to let you know, So If your child has a trip to Bayer Environmental Company this is what they have to look forward to...NOT!

  • 5 years ago

    Yes, you killed the bird.

    If a product kills insects, earthworms, caterpillars, spiders it will kill birds too.

    Birds eat insects. The ecosystem is connected.


Sponsored
Ed Ball Designs
Average rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars30 Reviews
Exquisite Landscape Architecture & Design - “Best of Houzz" Winner