The Xerces Society is working to change how people use insecticides. Our publications translate complex science, so that farmers, agency staff, and policy makers can make informed decisions about pesticide use and regulation. We are pushing for warning labels on home products, so that gardeners know if the chemicals are harmful to pollinators. Our training courses for farmers, land managers, and citizens include ways to use fewer pesticides and to have a lower impact on the environment. Spraying wetlands to control mosquitoes has a major impact on invertebrates and we are working with agency staff to alter management practices to minimize the nontarget impacts. Also, we are working with the Environmental Protection Agency to develop a better risk assessment for chemicals that harm bees.

In order to reduce the impacts of pesticides on invertebrates, the Xerces Society also provides education and training on “Conservation Biological Control” strategies that integrate beneficial insects back into crop systems for natural pest control. For more information and resources on Conservation Biological Control, please click here.


Preventing Negative Impacts of Pesticides on Pollinators

Agronomy Technical Note No. 9: Preventing or Mitigating Potential Negative Impacts of Pesticides on Pollinators Using Integrated Pest Management and Other Conservation Practices. By Mace Vaughan, Giulio Ferruzzi, Joseph Bagdon, Eric Hesketh, and David Biddinger. This USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) manual provides NRCS state offices and IPM professionals with guidance on conservation strategies that can reduce the risk of pesticides to bees in farm landscapes (such as the establishment of pesticide buffer systems) Read more ...

How to Help Your Community Create an Effective Mosquito Management Plan: A Xerces Society Guide

This guide will help you learn more about mosquitoes and the diverse wetland communities in which they play an important part, and give you the resources and information you need to work for the adoption of safe, effective methods of mosquito management in the places where you live and play. Read more ...

Xerces and partners comment on proposed insecticide use in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor

The comprehensive comments are in response to the Washington State Department of Ecology’s proposal to develop an Environmental Impact Statement for use of the toxic neonicotinoid imidacloprid for the control of two species of native burrowing shrimp, Neotrypaea californiensis and Upogebia pugettensis, on commercial shellfish beds in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor. Read more ...

Beyond the Birds and the Bees

This report moves the spotlight from the risks neonicotinoids pose to bees to the impacts of neonicotinoids to invertebrates such as earthworms or lady beetles. The report provides a comprehensive review of published articles and pulls together the growing body of research that demonstrates risks from neonicotinoids to these beneficial insects. These risks occur particularly in agricultural systems, but are also found in urban and suburban ornamental landscapes. Read more ...

Xerces Opposes Bandon Marsh Spraying

The Xerces Society urges the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service not to spray Bandon Marsh NWR for the control of nuisance mosquitos because the treatment will harm wildlife, cause disruption to the refuge ecosystem and will likely not be an effective way to manage mosquitoes. Read more ...


The Wilsonville Bee Kill

On June 17, 2013, the largest native bee kill ever recorded occurred in Wilsonville, Oregon. More than 50,000 bumble bees died when 55 blooming linden trees were sprayed with the pesticide dinotefuran (also known as Safari) in a Target parking lot. This loss represents potentially hundreds of wild bumble bee colonies. Incidents like this one Read more …


Ecologically Sound Mosquito Management in Wetlands

An overview of mosquito control practices, the risks, benefits, and nontarget impacts, and recommendations on effective practices that control mosquitoes, reduce pesticide use, and conserve wetlands. By Celeste Mazzacano and Scott Hoffman Black. This report reviews current mosquito control practices in the United States, describes risks and benefits associated with different types of mosquito control—including Read more …


Neonicotinoids in Your Garden

Neonicotinoids are a group of insecticides that are used widely on farms, as well as around our homes, schools, and city landscapes. Used to protect against sap-sucking and leaf-chewing insects, neonicotinoids are systemic, which means they are absorbed by the plant tissues and expressed in all parts, including nectar and pollen. Unfortunately, bees, butterflies, and Read more …


Are Neonicotinoids Killing Bees?

A Review of Research into the Effects of Neonicotinoid Insecticides on Bees, with Recommendations for Action. By Jennifer Hopwood, Mace Vaughan, Matthew Shepherd, David Biddinger, Eric Mader, Scott Hoffman Black, and Celeste Mazzacano. A possible link between neonicotinoids and honey bee die-offs has led to controversy across the United States and Europe. Beekeepers and environmentalists Read more …


Farming for Pest Management

Habitat for Predators and Parasites. Published by the Xerces Society in collaboration with the Integrated Plant Protection Center. Many insects and spiders, as well as bats and birds, eat crop pests and weeds. Providing food and shelter for these useful animals can help suppress unwelcome pest species.This brochure illustrates how farmers can attract and retain Read more …


Organic Approved Pesticides

Minimizing Risks to Bees. By Eric Mader and Nancy Lee Adamson. By definition an insecticide kills insects; because it is an organic product does not mean it is less harmful. Selecting the least toxic option and applying with care are effective ways to reduce the effects on nontarget species. This 6-page guide gives an overview Read more …

How to Reduce Bee Poisoning from Pesticides

Deciding which pesticide product to use can be a complex process. This detailed guide, produced jointly by the extension services of Oregon State University, Washington State University, and the University of Idaho, offers detailed guidance on how to select and apply insecticides. Extensive tables list the toxicity to bees of dozens of chemicals and how long after application they remain hazardous to bees in the field. To view PDF, click here.


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Recent Publications
Wings magazine fall 2012
Wings Fall 2012: People and Insects

attracting native pollinators book
Attracting Native Pollinators

Conserving Bumble Bees
Xerces in the Headlines

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State probe of Portland bee deaths finds lethal dose of banned chemical

World’s Biggest Bumblebee at Risk of Extinction

Bumblebees in severe and rapid decline from climate change — study

Bumblebees Are Being Bumped Off by Climate Change, Scientists Say

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