As a provider of commercial pest management services across North America, Copesan is dedicated to educating our clients, providing a common sense interpretation of pest-related issues, associated laws and their application to everyday pest management in their facilities.

Pollinator Health Concerns:

In the last few years, concerns about reductions in the populations of honey bee colonies and other pollinators have emerged on the regional and national level. A number of research studies have been published that suggest a variety of causes for the reduction in pollinator population over the last decade. Among those concerns is the conclusion that a class of pest management materials known as Neonicotinoids has negatively impacted pollinator health. To date, no study has been published that directly links any one cause to the trend of pollinator reduction, including the usage of neonicotinoid products in or near honey bee foraging areas.

Regulatory Response and Strategic Plan:

In May of 2015, the White House Pollinator Task Force published a 58-page National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey bees and Other Pollinators. Within this document, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discussed pesticides and their benefits to the protection of food and health, and focused on the separation of beneficial pollinators and pesticides in time and space. The EPA is embarking on a comprehensive assessment of pesticide risks to pollinators over the next 3 years – specific active ingredients and a set schedule have been identified within the Strategy. Further, EPA will work with States to develop and issue Pollinator Protection Plans.

Neonicotinoids and Pesticide Usage:

In combination with Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principles and practices that focus on non-chemical methods to prevent and control pests, some insecticides may be needed to eliminate pest problems. In all cases, pest management providers like Copesan seek to use insecticides that are effective without representing a safety risk to humans when applied according to label directions.

The neonicotinoid insecticides are relatively new, but have become very popular because they are effective for controlling a wide variety of pests (cockroaches, termites, bed bugs, ants, flies, etc.), and are low in toxicity to humans and other mammals. Some of the insecticidal active ingredients in the neonicotinoid class include imidacloprid, acetamiprid, dinotefuran, thiamethoxam,and clothianidin.

In the United States, federal and state law requires users of pesticides to read and follow label directions before and while applying a pesticide. Pesticide labels have specific directions and precautions, including where the product can be used.

The pesticide products commonly used by Copesan, including neonicotinoids, are not a threat to honey bees and pollinators and are traditionally applied indoors, often in crack and crevices and wall voids, per the label directions. They are never used on blooming plants where honey bees and pollinators might be exposed.

The Copesan Perspective:

Copesan supports increasing state enforcement of federal and state laws regarding illegal applications of ALL pesticides (not just neonicotinoids); specifically not following label directions and precautions.

Misapplications, whether accidental or deliberate, are an extremely serious violation and should be treated as such with stiff penalties incurred for the applicator including, but not limited to, suspension of the state license for a licensed pesticide applicator. Copesan would also support the introduction of penalties in the event an unlicensed pesticide applicator is the perpetrator of the violation.

Copesan does not support a complete ban on neonicotinoids as some municipalities and states have done or are considering. A complete ban would not allow the lawful, effective uses of neonicotinoids in pest management or the other non-related, beneficial uses of the active ingredients (e.g., oral/topical medical treatments for dogs and cats). Banning all neonicotinoids and all their uses would cause more harm than good, including the increased use of other control materials that are not preferred because of effectiveness and safety, and is not scientifically supported as the solution to the complex issue of pollinator health.


QUESTIONS: For specific questions or additional information, please contact Elizabeth Johnson, Director of Marketing, 800.267.3726 ext. 2223, or