Several people have asked me for a bigger, easier to read version of the list of garden bug-killing and bee-harming sprays (and compost/soil drenches) which contain the polluting chemicals known as neonicotinoids (‘neonics’ for short), which has been shared widely on Twitter.
So here it is, as a PDF, which you can click on to download, and print out to share with your gardening family and friends, your gardening/horticultural club, the supermarket manager down the road, a gardening magazine editor, your local radio station, staff at your nearby garden centre, perhaps even your MP. There are endless possibilities to shine some much-needed light into the spin-ridden darkness.
All of these products are freely available, in their deceptively cheerful packaging, from just about anywhere that sells things (search Amazon for ‘bug killer spray’ and up they’ll pop).
The products on this list all contain neonics (either acetamiprid or thiacloprid), because only three neonics have, for the time being, been banned from products we can buy and use in our gardens and allotments.
All neonics affect insects and other forms of life in some way. They were, after all, designed by people in white coats to kill wild, living things. Their big problem is that they get everywhere. They invade the roots, stems, leaves, buds, flowers, pollen, nectar, fruits, tubers, seeds of any plant they are sprayed onto. Whatever eats or sucks the sap of that part of a plant imbibes some neonic, and is at best weakened and disorientated, at worst killed. We’ve barely begun to scratch the surface of what happens to other wild, living things (ourselves included) which might then eat something that’s eaten neonics.
Russian roulette on the patio, anyone?
To understand why neonics are man-made, synthetic poisons that don’t respect garden fences, please read my article ‘Toxins without borders’ (it was a finalist for the 2013 Garden Media Guild Environmental Award).