A leading brand of home and garden pest-control products says it will stop using a class of pesticides linked to the decline of bees, reports NPR.
Ortho, part of the Miracle-Gro family, says the decision to drop the use of the chemicals—called neonicotinoids, or neonics for short—comes after considering the range of possible threats to bees and other pollinators.
The announcement comes on the heels of state legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly to restrict the sales of retail home and garden products that contain neonics. Other states are also studying pollinator health and considering action.
A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that neonics can negatively influence bee health and may make bees more vulnerable to mites and other threats.
Ortho has already begun to phase out neonics. The company says several of its top-selling products—including Ortho Rose & Flower and Ortho Tree & Shrub—will be reformulated by 2017. It will complete its phaseout of neonics in outdoor products by 2021.