Michigan House Bill 4858

Because pesticides are one of the three factors in Monarch butterfly and pollinator decline, HB 4858—Michigan bill was introduced to save Michigan bees, butterflies and other pollinators. The bill seeks to ban Neonicotinoids from being used on public lands.

What Are Neonicotinoids?

(Neonics) are a group of insecticides that target the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in insect nervous systems. They’ve been around for over two decades and have become a common pest control method for agricultural producers.

Active Ingredients:

imidacloprid, clothianidin, acetamiprid, thiacloprid, dinotefuran, thiamethoxam, and nitenpyram.

Unintended Consequences

January 2016, the EPA confirmed that neonicotinoid imidacloprid is highly toxic to bees

WHY? Rather than simply coating the surface of plants, neonics seep into the plants and become systemic.

Systemic IS the Problem—The Plant Becomes Toxic

Systemic isn’t good—it means that the pesticide meant to kill the insect is absorbed by plants, making the plant itself toxic which includes: 

Nectar, Pollen, Fruit, and even the Foliage are Toxic.

This systemic problem continues as the plant lives or dies, the pesticide will poison the insects and more and then leach into our water, soil and be absorbed into the fish, birds and wildlife food chain.

Michigan is the Home of 460 Different Species of Native Bees & 450 Bird Species

It’s Killing the Birds: We have lost 3 billion birds and pesticides like Neonics is a contributing factor.

A single seed coated with a neonic can kill a field sparrow, and  a 1/10th of a treated coated seed can impair a bird’s reproduction.

It’s Killing the Bees: The US has lost ⅓ of it’s bees.

Sometimes called the ‘bee killing pesticide,’ neonics are often cited as one of the main causes of declining bee populations.

The Bigger Problem:

Neonicotinoids are so common that they are currently used as a preemptive measure for pest avoidance and reduction.

This toxic chemical has been and continues to be used for decorative plants as a preventative measure when there is no current insect problem.

The insecticide is being overused which can kill beneficial insects such as bees and other pollinators.

They were used for residential use.

Public Outcry—Big Box Stores React and are Helping Save the Pollinators

Consumers were outraged that what they thought were butterfly and bee friendly plants were actually poison.

Both Home Depot and Lowe's stopped selling neonic-treated plants by the end of 2019.
In 2019 Walmart, Costco and True Value announced that they phased out neonicotinoid-treated plants.

Reasons to Ban Neonicotinoids in Public Lands

  1. It would defeat the purpose if you are saving the pollinator insects and butterflies and killing them at the same time with Neonics spray and treated seeds.
  2. Managing the public landscape does not involve growing plants that feed people.
  3. Using this level of pesticide to protect decorative plants is unnecessary overkill.
  4. It supports pollinator insects, conservation and sustainability.
  5. It’s smart land management and good stewardship.
  6. Vendors could be unknowingly adding and integrating plants and trees treated with Neonics.
  7. Most Michigan cities probably don’t use the Neonics already as the people in charge have degrees in Parks Management or are Naturalists and know the dangers of pesticides and herbicides and want to keep the public safe.
  8. There is no need to wait and see like they did with DDT and Roundup when people and animals are being adversely affected.

You can read the bill here: Read the bill here:

If you agree, please contact your local representative and ask them to support this bill.

Link to the .pdf download of The Reason to Ban Neonics on Public Lands.