To the editor,
In response to Jennifer Smith’s garden column (Journal-World, April 4), I’m sorry, but if trees could talk, they would say “don’t spray me with pesticides — the woodpeckers were working just fine.”
According to Beyond Pesticides.org, even the supposedly low-toxicity pesticide permithrin “is toxic to all insects” meaning that “both beneficial insects and pests are affected. In some cases, predator insects may be susceptible to a lower dose than the pest, disrupting the predator-prey relationship.” Birds that eat the insects are affected as well. The makers of the product call this pesticide “extremely toxic” to wildlife.
Smith also mentions bifenthrin as an option for killing borers. Beyond Pesticides says that scientists are particularly concerned about this pesticide’s effect on birds as it bioaccumulates, or builds up in their tissues, affecting not only them but also other creatures that might feed on them.
I appreciate Smith’s concern for Lawrence trees, but as the old saying goes, “Don’t remove a fly from your friend’s forehead with an axe.”