Edmonton Native Plant Society
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Why Would a Person do a Thing Like That?
Posted on July 7th, 2011

In reaction/response to Gerry Filipski’s Gardening column in the Tuesday, June 27th’s Edmonton Journal on mosquito control promoting the use of Doktor Doom Residual pesticide, Cherry Dodd and Judith Golub have written the following to express their opinions:

We'll be the first ones to admit that the mosquitoes have been horrendous this year. It reminds Cherry of the days before the 10 year drought when she had to put on a rain suit complete with hood to go out and pick her raspberries.
“I looked pretty funny standing in the hot sun in my rain suit, but it sure was mosquito-proof.”
But, bad as the mosquitoes are this year, we still don't understand why a garden "expert" would do a thing like that - why he would spray his whole yard, every tree and bush and plant with a deadly insecticide to kill mosquitoes, and of course, any other insect unlucky enough to be in the yard. Insecticides don't discriminate. They kill bees, butterflies, ladybugs, dragonflies, lacewings and all the other beneficial bugs that hang out in yards.

And why did Mr. Filipski think that, because he didn't spray the flowers, he wasn't killing bees. Didn't this man do any research at all?  Native bees are solitary and don't use hives, so at night they find a cozy spot to sleep in a plant or shrub - deadly behaviour for the bee if the plant has been poisoned. This particular insecticide, Permethrin, is so long lasting that it can still be active after 40 days. Since bees travel several km a day, just one poisoned habitat will affect a great number of bees.

Leaf-cutter bees cut out a section of leaf to roll up and insert in a hole to lay their eggs in. Dead leaf-cutter bees; dead larvae. Permethrin is extremely toxic to cats who may chew sprayed grass, or lie on it, then ingest the poison by cleaning their fur.
What about the effect on your kids and grandkids running around outside on a beautiful summer’s day, getting this chemical on their skin and breathing it in?
Also, the toxic insecticide sprayed all over the plants in his yard has now been washed into the sewer system and is making its way to the river. Doktor Doom Residual insecticide is lethal to fish, frogs and other water creatures. It's definitely not a good substance to send to the folks downstream either.

We are getting very tired of Gerry flogging Doktor Doom products in his column. Does he not realize the influence he has on, and the responsibility to, his loyal gardening public?
How many innocent gardeners rushed out to every greenhouse and hardware store looking for this product after his column was published?
If Mr. Filipski is on the Doktor Doom payroll, then the Journal should not be publishing his column. On the other hand, if the Journal pays him, then he should not be promoting Doktor Doom.

* the Greenland Garden Centre website specifically says " do not use Dr. Doom residual on plants"
* EPA website -  ‘...require applicators to wear double layers, chemical-resistant gloves, and PF10 respirator.’
* Permethrin is highly toxic to honeybees, fish, and aquatic invertebrates due to disruption of sodium channels.
* Cats exposed dermally to some permethrin products may experience hyperexcitability, depression, ataxia, vomiting, anorexia, tremors, or convulsions. Symptoms can begin within a few minutes or up to three days after the exposure. If symptoms are severe and untreated, they may result in death.
* Permethrin is a long lasting insecticide. Some studies have shown that permethrin is active after 40 weeks. 

Why risk using noxious chemical treatments to repel garden pests and insects when safer alternatives are at hand?

Here is an article on home remedies:

(This is the original article from the Edmonton Journal, Tuesday, June 27, 2011 that
concerned us:

Q: Do you have any suggestions for dealing with the mosquitoes this year? I can’t even manage to get out into my garden they are so bad!
A: I was born and raised in Edmonton and have never seen the mosquitoes this bad. My wife and I were out taking my son and daughter-in-law’s dog for a walk last week out in Spruce Grove and my wife counted 40 on my back alone. A friend was telling me how he saw a white van turn grey with mosquitoes at a red light near Beaumont.
Going outdoors has been a challenge to say the least, and gardening has been almost impossible. I will let you in on a tip that has worked for me in the past and I will be using again.
I know the mosquitoes rest under leaves so I sprayed the underside of shrubs, hedges and trees in my yard with Doktor Doom Residual insecticide. I have a hose bib on the shady side of my house and going in there to get the hose is like doing a D-Day invasion of mosquitoland. They all hide in the grass and wait in ambush so I sprayed the grass there as well.
The Doktor Doom is non-selective and will kill all insects so I always avoid spraying the product onto flowers to avoid harming bees. (Our emphasis). This application really works. The last time I did this I actually had a peaceful time working in the yard for a change. It lasted for a few days too.)

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Diane McKen - July 14th, 2011 at 1:19 AM
1. All bees live in hives, are social and have queens, workers, and drones.
Actually, only the social honey bee (Apis mellifera) builds and lives in hives. Very few bees in North America are social and live in colonies; one other type that is social is the bumble bee. Bumble bees have queens, workers, and males, but they are only active from early spring until fall. Queens start a new colony each year in the springtime, and the colony builds up throughout the year then tapers off with the decline of flowers in the fall. They don’t live in elaborate hives, but build a more free form colony typically in abandoned rodent holes. Most other bee species are solitary, which means they do not live in colonies, and for the most part, are not social creatures. The female does all the work of building a nest, collecting nectar and pollen to provide provision for the young, and laying eggs. Solitary bees build their nests in a variety of different substrates. Most nest in the ground and burrow in soil to build their nests. Some bees are cavity nesters, which means they look for preexisting holes in wood, hollowed out plant stems, empty beetle holes, and even wooden blocks with holes drilled in them to build their nests.

Seems that these rants from Cherry and Judith have a lot of unsubstantiated facts in them. I used the Doktor Doom and as we have seen next to no other bugs all year except ants and aphids-which I also cured with Doktor Doom House
Diane McKen - July 14th, 2011 at 1:29 AM
Why do bees deserve special attention this year? Well, we are still losing our honey bees at an alarming rate. No one yet has pinned down the cause of the massive die offs, but pesticides seem to be one of the main culprits.

Seems that you have been beating up pesticides for quite sometime-this is a quote from you a couple of years back.

In fact bees are dying off at alarming rates due to a mite that is now being treated with an insecticide to save them.

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