All Creatures Great and Small

Little known laws

This post below refers to laws in NM, but other states may have similar laws.

This is something that gets very little attention when it comes to applying pesticides and herbicides.  We have laws in New Mexico that protect horned lizards and some songbirds. It is  NM Statute § 17-2-15 and 17-2-13

2017 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 17 – Game and Fish and Outdoor Recreation
Article 2 – Hunting and Fishing Regulations

17-2-15. [Horned toads; killing, selling or shipping from state unlawful.]

It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully kill or to sell horned toads within the state of New Mexico, or to ship them from the state.

17-2-13. Songbirds; trapping, killing or injuring prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any person to shoot, ensnare or trap for the purpose of killing or in any other manner to injure or destroy any songbird, or birds whose principal food consists of insects, comprising all the species and varieties of birds represented by the several families of bluebirds, including the western and mountain bluebirds; also bobolinks, catbirds, chickadees, cuckoos, which includes the chaparral bird or roadrunner (Geococcyx novo mexicanus), flickers, flycatchers, grosbeaks, humming birds, kinglets, martins, meadowlarks, nighthawks or bull bats, nuthatches, orioles, robins, shrikes, swallows, swifts, tanagers, titmice, thrushes, vireos, warblers, waxwings, whipporwills [whippoorwills], woodpeckers, wrens, and all other perching birds which feed entirely or chiefly on insects.

These two statutes are very important.  When someone sprays pesticides around a home or business or in a general outside area, they are endangering horned lizards that may live in the area, and many of the songbirds listed above that feed insects.  The birds can eat dead insects killed by the pesticides and it may not kill them, but it will certainly compromise their immune system.  Herbicides containing Glyphosate, such as Roundup, can be deadly to lizards.  It will slow them down and can cause them to dehydrate.  When government organizations spray those herbicides on public property where horned lizards may live, they are willfully destroying horned lizards which are protected under law.  One definition of willfully is to do something with a stubborn and determined intention to do as one wants, regardless of the consequences.

Basically, what I am saying is that it is very important that all pesticide and herbicide applicators know all of the inhabitants of the areas where they want to apply insecticides and herbicides.  I would urge everyone that uses an exterminator to ask them if they are aware of all the songbirds, lizards and other animals in the area where they are spraying and can they guarantee none of them will be harmed.  If they are harmed, that is a violation of a law.




About askthebugman

I have been in the pest management industry for over 40 years. In that time I have used almost every pesticide available to control so-called “pests”. With this experience, I have learned over the years that the pesticides we use are far more dangerous than the pests we are trying to control. As a result, it has become a passion for me to improve the quality of life for humans and the planet, by assisting people to not only become more educated and aware of their environment – but also by learning to manage their home and business with a sustainable and healthier approach to tending to unwanted infestations of bugs. Please enjoy my blog posts, check out my publications, utilize my services, or simply stay in touch if you have a bug question…


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