I’m looking for a spider killer that’s safe to use around a a small pond/lake, one that won’t harm the fish. Last year the owners of the lake had some fish die and they wondered if I was helping or hurting their weekend get-a-way with my spray…it turned out to be low oxygen, but they still want a bit more info on what’s being used and how safe this year.
I’m not sure what you were using or how you were using it that might have caused concern but in general, todays products are not capable of causing any kind of impact like killing fish unless you were to deliberately treat the water in which they reside. And even then the water would have to be a small body or quantity of water and the compound used would have to be a highly concentrated formulation. In the past, many actives were comprised of 50%+ active (things like Diazinon, Malathion, Sevin, etc.) but todays actives are so much weaker that you can find many with less than 10% active in their concentrated form. These same actives when mixed with water will be so dilute they’re not able to impact anything “en mass”. This insures the casual over spray won’t do any damage. But again, not knowing what you were using, where you were using it or how much you were applying makes it hard to judge if in fact you could have done any damage because it can happen.
That being said, it’s generally accepted in the pest control industry that one should try to avoid directly treating the shoreline of any body of water such as a pond, lake or river. This is so you will have a “buffer zone” or untreated area which can absorb any runoff or overspray. This zone can effectively decrease the chance of contamination and is a good practice no matter what you’re targeting or where you’re spraying.
Lastly, when it comes to spider control, I’m not sure what if any benefit you would derive from treating close to a pond anyway so I would stay clear of it altogether. Now if you’re applying granules in the yard and someone thinks it could be running off to the pond, this could be a legitimate concern. Most all common pesticides have what we call “environmental hazard” statements and in this section of most labels one can usually find the words “toxic to fish and birds”. This generic phrase has been used for many years and no doubt can make people both leery and worried about using anything with such a strong statement. Personally I believe this is why pesticides in general have a bad rap. And though it is true the old traditional products needed these statements to help avoid misuse or mistakes, one could argue todays products are not nearly as likely to cause such impact so at the very least these statements should be reworded or at least clarified. Regardless, they still exist and no doubt make many people afraid or paranoid of whatever is being used when pond, lake or stream water is close by. In the pest control industry, we’ve learned that when dealing with concerns like this exist on any given property, the best way to deal with said concern is to use something that neutralizes the objection.
So how do you neutralize the objection? Two products that both work and are safe to use in these sensitive areas include ECO GRANULES and ECO CONCENTRATE. These low impact, exempt products use food additives as their active ingredient and in fact do not contain the strong environmental impact statements on their label. You can use them safely in these sensitive areas and the Concentrate even has labeling that allows it to be fogged and sprayed along the water shoreline. The only way it could get such labeling would be if it could be used in said area safely. And it can be used this way for many pests including spiders, mosquitoes, flies and a wide range of pests.
In summary, if you are using any of the traditional products like the BIFEN GRANULES or the BIFEN SPRAY, you can most definitely use them safely around a pond or lake. But if there is a chance of run off or any other way that might cause contamination of the water, opt instead for one of the ECO products to eliminate this concern.
Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:
ECO Granules: http://www.bugspraycart.com/exempt/granule/eco-exempt-org-g-22-lb
ECO Concentrate: http://www.bugspraycart.com/exempt/liquid/eco-excempt-gal
Bifen Granules: http://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/granule/bifenthrin-g-25-lb
Bifen Spray: http://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/liquid/bifen