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Pollinator Protection FAQs

What has the Oregon Department of Agriculture done to address the bumblebee deaths in Oregon?

A. On June 27, 2013, the Oregon Department of Agriculture limited the use of products containing the pesticide dinotefuran, and prohibited its use on all plants.  The limitation is in effect until December 24, 2013.
Click here to see the temporary rule.
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I want to know more about the product that has caused the bumblebee deaths in Oregon.  What can you tell me about it?

A. The pesticide that is involved in these incidents is dinotefuran.  Dinotefuran is in a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids.  Neonicotinoids are synthetic pesticides.  For a list of Oregon dinotefuran containing products affected by the use limitations, click here.  For more specific information on pesticide products, contact the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) at 1-800-858-7378, or visit their website at: www.npic.orst.edu
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How do I know if I have this insecticide in the pesticide products I use?

A. Every registered pesticide is required to list the amounts of all active ingredients on their label/packaging.   If you look for the information it will look like this:
​Active ingredient: by weight​
​"active ingredient name" ​   XX%
​Other ingredients ​   YY%
​Total ​   100%
 The "active ingredient" that is currently subject to Oregon use limitations is called dinotefuran.  Products may have several trade names, however the active ingredient will clearly identify products with use limitations.
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Can products with the active ingredient dinotefuran be used?

A. The Oregon Department of Agriculture is limiting the use of 18 products that contain the active ingredient, dinotefuran.  Uses that are being prohibited include, but are not limited to: applications on landscape trees and shrubs, nursery and greenhouse plants, turfgrass, forests and agricultural crops.

Some products may specify uses that can still be legally made.  For example, indoor ant and roach control or as a topical treatment on pets to control fleas and ticks.
To see the rule limiting dinotefuran uses, click here.
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I have some pesticide products that contain dinotefuran and I do not want to use them.  How do I dispose of the product?

A. If you have a partially used container of product, it should be disposed of at an approved hazardous waste facility or event.  The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality regulates hazardous waste.  To find out about local collection events or permanent collection facilities, visit Oregon DEQ's Hazardous Waste website:
http://www.deq.state.or.us/lq/hw/
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I have a business that carries dinotefuran containing products for retail sale.  Can I still sell these products in Oregon?

A. Yes, you can still legally sell the products in Oregon.  However, the Oregon Department of Agriculture is limiting where the products are applied.
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I have more questions about the active ingredient dinotefuran and how I can use it.  Who do I contact to answer my questions?

A. The best way to contact the Oregon Department of Agriculture with questions is through email at: pestx@oda.state.or.us
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Should I be concerned about my pets and me being exposed to these products?

A. The chemical dinotefuran itself is of low toxicity to humans and mammals.  Dinotefuran is a component of some flea/tick/mosquito products as spot-on applications to cats and dogs.  It is also contained in some products/baits for ant, roach, and fly control in the home.  Labels on these pesticide products have precautionary statements and first aid directions to prevent and treat any exposures to the user.  For more information contact NPIC at: 1-800-858-7378 or visit their website at: www.npic.orst.edu
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What should I do if I find dead bees?

A. If you find more than 50/100 bees in a single area, please contact the Oregon Department of Agriculture at : pestx@oda.state.or.us
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Are linden trees toxic to bumblebees?

A. There is research that some linden trees secrete mannose, a sugar that is toxic to bumblebees.
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I want to know more about some of the pesticides that I own.  Where can I get information on pesticides?

A. An excellent source for pesticide information is the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC).  Their website address is: www.npic.orst.edu and their telephone number is: 1-800-858-7378.
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The media is calling this a ban.  Are all uses affected?

A. No.  The Oregon Department of Agriculture did not ban the pesticide, dinotefuran.  What we have done is restrict the use of the product, through emergency rule-making, to help protect pollinators.  All applications to plants have been restricted.
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I've heard dinotefuran referred to as a systemic pesticide.  What does that mean?

A. Systemic pesticides are absorbed by plant roots, foliage, or bark, and then are moved throughout the plant.  They are particularly effective against insect pests that have piercing-sucking mouthparts, such as aphids, because the insect takes up the pesticide while feeding on plant juices.
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What is a good way to protect bees and other pollinators if you ned to use a pesticide?

A. Before you use any pesticide, you should ALWAYS read the label completely.  The label will tell you what plants or sites the product can be used on, how much to use - and how to use the product safely and legally.  The label will also tell you if the product is potentially hazardous to pollinators.  Reading and following the label directions will minimize the risk to you and pollinators. 
To learn more about pesticide labels, contact NPIC at: www.npic.orst.edu
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Can I use a pesticide to control a pest if the pest is not listed on the label?

A. Yes.  You cannot use a pesticide on a site or crop that is not listed on the label, but you can use the product on pests that are not listed on the label.  Pests are listed on a label if the product has been tested on that specific pest.
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Have there been any new bumblebee incidents in addtion to the June 2013, Wilsonville and Hillsboro incidents?

A. Yes.  ODA received many calls from the public regarding potential bumblebee deaths after the June 2013 incidents in Wilsonville and Hillsboro.  ODA’s follow-up on the calls generated two additional incidents regarding linden trees, dead bumblebees and pesticide use.​

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Is the active ingredient dinotefuran associated with the two new incidents?

A. No. The pesticide product that is under review in the two new incidents is called imidacloprid.
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What other information can you provide about the new incidents?

A. While ODA's pesticide use investigations are ongoing, there is limited information on the incidents.  The two new incidents involving dead bumblebees and linden trees were brought to ODA's attention in August 2013.  Both incidents were in the Portland metro area.  ODA's investigation into these incidents will try to determine if the pesticide product applied is related to the death of the bumblebees.
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What can you tell me about this other neonicotinoid product, imidacloprid?

A. Imidacloprid is a synthetic insecticide with a broad range of uses.  For more specific information about imidacloprid, contact the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) at 1-800-858-7378, or visit their website at: www.npic.orst.edu​
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How many bumblebees were killed in the new incidents?

A. The number of bumblebees killed in these two incidents was significantly less than the number of bumblebees that were killed in the Wilsonville incident.
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Were bumblebees directly sprayed with the pesticide in the new incidents?

A. No. In both cases the pesticide applications were made to the soil around the linden trees.  The linden trees were not in bloom at the time of application.
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Will ODA proceed to establish temporary rules to restrict the use of products containing imidacloprid?

A. No The potential imminent hazard was drastically reduced or eliminated based on the absence of flowers that would attract bumblebees.  The number of bumblebees impacted in these new incidents was significantly less than the Wilsonville incident.  However, ODA continues to evaluate the pesticide use practices and the active ingredient imidacloprid and potential impacts to pollinators.  ODA anticipates the pesticide use investigations involving dinotefuran and imidacloprid should be completed no later than December 24, 2013.

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Has EPA done anything nationally to address the pollinator concerns with pesticides that are toxic to bees?

A. Yes.  EPA has been working aggressively to protect bees and other pollinators from pesticide exposure.  For more information on their efforts go to:

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Has ODA taken any additional regulatory measures since implementing the temporary use restriction involving dinotefuran in June?

A. Yes. On November 12, 2013, ODA notified pesticide product registrants that as a condition of annual registration for 2014, dinotefuran and imidacloprid products offered for sale or distribution into Oregon will require an Oregon specific statement prohibiting the application of the products on lindens, basswood, or Tilia species trees.
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How will this Oregon specific pollinator statement affect me as an applicator? 

A. There will be a specific restriction in the Directions for Use section of labels prohibiting the use of the products on linden, basswood and Tilia species trees in Oregon.  You will need to read the pesticide label on the product in your possession completly to determine if it can be used on these trees.
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I was planning on using a dinotefuran or imidacloprid product this season on lindens.  Since that use is now prohibited what can I do?

A.  You will need to find an alternative product with a different active ingredient.  You can use the Pesticide Information Center Online (PICOL)​ database to search for products, or you can contact the Oregon State University Extension Service for advice.
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If I still have some imidacloprid or dinotefuran pesticide products with the old labels, may I still use them?

A. No.  A new Temporary Rule was enacted on June 26, 2014, prohibiting any application of these active ingredients to lindens, basswoods or other Tilia species trees, by any application method.  This ban covers all dinotefuran and imidacloprid products, regardless of age.  The Temporary Rule is in effect until December 23, 2014.
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Is ODA providing any other outreach regarding these new label restrictions?

A.  Yes, ODA will be providing brochures to help homeowners and pesticide applicators.  We will also be updating exams and study materials, as well as providing training modules for a pollinator protection program.
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Has ODA drawn any conclusions in the dinotefuran and imidacloprid pesticide investigations from this last summer?

A. ODA has not reached any conclusions that it can yet make public.  We anticipate that the case reviews will be concluded by mid-December, 2013.
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Why does it take so long to complete an investigation?

A. An investigation is a very complex legal process that must balance the rights of all parties involved.  This investigation involved gathering and analyzing physical evidence as well as interviewing multiple individuals and gathering scientific data on the products involved.  The ODA is reviewing the case reports to determine the legal foundation for any enforcement actions.  The ODA also worked with the US EPA in regard to appropriate steps to prevent future incidents.
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ODA is restricting the use of dinotefuran and imidacloprid in linden, basswood and Tilia species trees.  How do I know if I have one of these trees?

A. You will have to identify your trees.  You can do this by going to the Oregon State University Landscape Plants website at: http://oregonstate.edu/dept/Idplants/​
or you may contact your local OSU Extension Service Master Gardener Program or an arborist for help.
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