Should I Stop Using Systematic Tree And Shrub Insect Control?

butterfly on butterfly bush

Q: I have been a big fan of systemic tree and shrub insect control. But I read that it’s bad for bees and butterflies. I use it on azaleas and camellias with great results. Must I discontinue usage to save the butterflies? 

A: In my opinion, and I think this is supported by research, there is very little imidacloprid translocated to flowers when the product is applied as directed (a ground drench). You could further minimize harm to pollinators by avoiding insecticide application for two weeks before blooms are present. As always, be sure you have correctly identified the pest and look for non-chemical controls before you use an insecticide.

  • Advertisement