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Agency Main Content
What has the Oregon Department of Agriculture done to address the bumblebee deaths in Oregon?
On February 27, 2015, the Oregon Department of Agriculture prohibited the use of pesticide products containing active ingredients dinotefuran, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and clothianidin on linden, basswood or other Tilia species trees in Oregon. The permanent rule supercedes pesticide product label language. This means that even if a pesticide label provides directions for use on linden trees or ornamental trees or similar sites, the product cannot be used on linden trees, basswood trees or other Tilia species trees in Oregon. See rule OAR 603-057-0388.
I want to know more about the product that has caused bumblebee deaths in Oregon. What can you tell me about it?
The pesticide that is involved in the 2013 incidents is dinotefuran. Dinotefuran is in a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids. Neonicotinoids are synthetic pesticides. For specific information on pesticide products, contact the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) at 1-800-858-7378.
How do I know whether I have the insecticide that caused bumblebee deaths in the pesticides products I use?
Every registered pesticide is required to list the amounts of all active ingredients on their label/packaging.
Can products with the active ingredients dinotefuran, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam or clothianidin be used on linden trees?
No. The Oregon Department of Agriculture has limited the use of products that contain the active ingredients, dinotefuran, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and clothianidin. Uses that are prohibited include any applications to linden, basswood, or Tilia species trees.
I have pesticide products that contain dinotefuran or imidacloprid, and I do not want to use them. How do I dispose of the product?
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.
I have more questions about the active ingredients, dinotefuran and imidacloprid and how I can use it. Whom do I contact to answer my questions?
The best way to contact the Oregon Department of Agriculture with questions is through email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Should I be concerned about my pets and I being exposed to products with the active ingredients, dinotefuran and imidacloprid?
The chemicals dinotefuran and imidacloprid are of low toxicity to humans and mammals. Both dinotefuran and imidacloprid are components of some flea/tick/mosquito control products as spot-on applications to cats and dogs. They are 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.
What should I do if I find dead bees?
If you find more than 50 dead bees in a single area, email the Oregon Department of Agriculture at: email@example.com.
I want to know more about the pesticides that I own. Where can I get information?
An excellent source for pesticide information is the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC).
The news media are calling ODA's decision on dinotefuran, thiamethoxam, clothianidin and imidacloprid a ban. Are all uses affected?
No, the Oregon Department of Agriculture did not ban the pesticides, dinotefuran, thiamethoxam, clothianidin and imidacloprid. What we have done is restrict the use of the product, through rulemaking, to help protect pollinators.
Are linden trees toxic to bumblebees?
There is research that some linden trees secrete mannose, a sugar that is toxic to bumblebees.
I've heard dinotefuran referred to as a systemic pesticide. What does that mean?
Systemic pesticides are absorbed by plant roots, foliage, or bark, and then are moved throughout the plant. They particularly are effective against insect pests that have piercing-sucking mouthparts, such as aphids, because the insect takes up the pesticide while feeding on plant juices.
What is a good way to protect bees and other pollinators if I need to use a pesticide?
Before you use any pesticide, you always should 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 also will tell you if the product is potentially hazardous to pollinators. Reading and following the label directions will minimize the risk to you and pollinators.
Can I use a pesticide to control a pest if the pest is not listed on the label?
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 (in most cases). Pests are listed on a label if the product has been tested on that specific pest.
What can you tell me about the neonicotinoid product, imidacloprid?
Imidacloprid is a synthetic insecticide with a broad range of uses. For more specific information about imidacloprid, contact the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC).
Has EPA done anything nationally to address the pollinator concerns with pesticides that are toxic to bees?
Yes. EPA has been working aggressively to protect bees and other pollinators from pesticide exposure.
Has ODA taken additional regulatory measures since implementing the temporary use restriction involving dinotefuran in June 2013?
Yes, on Nov. 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.
I was planning on using a dinotefuran, thiamethoxam, clothianidin or imidacloprid product on lindens. Since that use now is prohibited, what can I do?
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.
If I still have imidacloprid, dinotefuran, clothianidin, or thiamethoxam pesticide products with the old labels, can I still use them?
No. A new Administrative Rule was enacted on February 27, 2015, prohibiting any application of these active ingredients to lindens, basswood, or other Tilia species trees, by any application method. This ban covers all dinotefuran, imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam products, regardless of age.
Is ODA providing any other outreach regarding these new pesticide label restrictions?
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.
Why does it take so long to complete this bee investigation?
An investigation is a 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 U.S. EPA in regard to appropriate steps to prevent future incidents.
ODA is restricting the use of dinotefuran and imidacloprid in linden, basswood and Tilia species trees. How do I know whether I have one of these trees?
You will have to identify your trees. You can do this by going to the Oregon State University Landscape Plants website or you may contact your local OSU Extension Service Master Gardener Program or an arborist for help.
Can a Pesticide Apprentice or an Immediately Supervised Pesticide Trainee working for a public entity also be supervised by a commercial entity?
Yes. An Apprentice or Trainee can work with any fully licensed supervisor who is willing to take on the responsibility and training of the Apprentice or Trainee.
I am a Commercial Applicator with my own business. Do I also need a Commercial Operator’s License?
Yes, you do need a Commercial Operator’s License if you work for yourself or own your own business. However, if you are a sole proprietor, you only have to pay for the Operator License and not the Operator License AND the Applicator License. Corporations and partnerships need to pay for the applicator license and the Operator license.
I have a Commercial Applicator’s license with categories of Agriculture-Herbicide, Agriculture-Insecticide, Turf & Ornamental—Insecticide/Fungicide and Turf & Ornamental-Herbicide. Can I switch to a Consultant’s license?
No, you will need to take and pass the Consultant’s exam in order to apply for the Consultant’s license.
I have a Commercial Applicators license, but am unemployed. Can I still get my license?
Yes, you can have a license, but you cannot make applications unless or until you begin work with a business that holds a Commercial Operators license. You will need to contact the ODA’s Pesticides Division before you begin working for a licensed business. If you choose to work for yourself, you also will need to be licensed as a Commercial Operator.
I have passed the new soil fumigation exam in Washington state. Is there reciprocity for that category in Oregon, or do I need to take Oregon’s soil fumigation exam?
The new soil fumigation exam is an EPA-approved test. Reciprocity is covered for this category in Oregon if you have passed either the Washington or Idaho soil fumigation exam, so you do not need to take Oregon’s soil fumigation category exam. However, when you apply for the Oregon license, you will need to provide a copy of your Washington or Idaho license with proof that you passed the exam in the other state.
I own a landscape maintenance company and at times I make Roundup or other pesticide applications. Do I need a pesticide applicator’s license?
Not necessarily. A pesticide applicator’s license, Commercial Operator’s license, or apprentice or trainee licenses are not needed by individuals doing primarily landscape maintenance work if all of the requirements are satisfied. The requirements are: 1) Applications are to small residential lawns or gardens only; no applications can be made to commercial properties; 2) only general-use pesticides may be used; 3) no use of fuel or electric-powered sprayers or spreaders and 4) the use of pesticides is not stated in advertisements, contracts or invoices.
I work for a public entity and have a Public Applicator’s license. Can I be hired to make pesticide applications in my own time outside of work?
No, a public applicator’s license only allows a person to work for the public entity. If you want to make commercial pesticide applications for hire, you will need to be licensed as a Commercial Pesticide Applicator and/or Operator—and only make applications under licensed categories.
If a Commercial or Public Applicator with an active license also wants to get an Apprentice license to train in a category in which he or she isn't licensed, does this person need to take the Laws & Safety exam again?
No, if applicators are current on their license, they can apply for an Apprentice license without taking the Laws & Safety exam again. However, in order to maintain the license for the following year, they will need to complete eight recertification credits—of which four hours of credit must be “Core.”
What category do I need on my Commercial/Public applicator's license if I am making herbicide applications in restoration sites?
Restoration work does not fall neatly into a single licensing category, so the Oregon Department of Agriculture has instituted an Interim Guideline to address the issue of restoration work. Under the guideline, herbicide applications in all restoration areas may be conducted with either the Forestry category or the Agriculture: Herbicide category. Either category is acceptable. Herbicide applications to standing or running water will require the Aquatic category.
What license category would be needed to apply herbicides to the cracks and crevices of sidewalks or parking areas?
There are two potential options for this type of treatment. If someone predominately is making herbicide applications to turf or ornamentals, and the sidewalk/parking areas are part of those treatments, applicators should have the Turf and Ornamental-Herbicide category. If the applications are part of an effort to clear out an area for safety or transportation related concerns, and there are no ornamental applications—then an applicator should have the Right-of-Way category on their license.
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