A large number of households in our area employ “full-service” lawn-care companies that not only mow but also apply chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and “pest” controls. After speaking with representatives from several area companies I am quite concerned about these applications and hope we will collectively reconsider their use.
What is being applied?
All companies are applying multiple broadleaf herbicides. Nearly all use both 2,4-d and the newer (and much more toxic & drift-prone) variant dicamba along with either an auxin inhibitor or another class of herbicide
Some are spraying neonicotinoid insecticides such as imidocloprid
Slug-killing compounds are often used
And, of course, chemical fertilizers
Why is this a problem?
“Neonics” are persistent, highly mobile chemicals that are incredibly toxic to a wide set of insects, and both native bees and honey bees are very sensitive to them
As volatile chemicals, 2,4-d and especially dicamba both “drift’ from their application spot and form plumes that can kill plants & trees for hundreds of yards (according to MU research, some ag plumes traveled upwards of 1 mile and killed orchards in their path)
The chemical data sheets on these chemicals plainly indicate they are dangerous to humans and household pets, and remain problematic for weeks or months
Soil microbes are devastated by ag chemicals
Safety Sheets for chemicals used widely in St Louis:
Hopefully everyone will take a few minutes and read about the health and environmental effects of these chemicals and then stop using them.