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Threats to Pollinators

Habitat Loss:

The main threats facing pollinators are habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation. As native vegetation is replaced by roadways, manicured lawns, crops and non-native gardens, pollinators lose the food and nesting sites that are necessary for their survival. 

Migratory pollinators face special challenges.  If the distance between the suitable habitat patches along their migration route is too great, smaller, weaker individuals may die during their journey.

You can help by planting a pollinator garden.


The improper use of pesticides can negatively impact pollinators and their habitats. Pesticides include products, such as weed killers and insecticides, which are designed to prevent, destroy, repel or reduce pests such as insects, mice and other animals, weeds, fungi, bacteria and viruses. Pesticides are used in nearly every home, business, farm, school, hospital and park in the United States and are found almost everywhere in our environment.

By their very nature, most pesticides pose some risk of harm to humans, animals or the environment because they are designed to kill or adversely affect living organisms. However, at the same time, pesticides are useful to society because they are used to control or kill potential disease-causing organisms and insects, weeds and other pests.  Therefore, it is important to use these products only when necessary (rather than on a regular schedule), use the minimum amount required to be effective, and to target application so that only the intended pest is affected.

For steps to minimize the impacts of pesticides to pollinators

For more information on threats to pollinators, see the National Academy of Science’s Report - Status of Pollinators in North America



Last Updated: June 15, 2020