600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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March 20, 1998
Contact: Briggs Hall (425) 775-1311, ext. 108 or Russell Link (425) 775-1311, ext. 110

Improper use of insecticide believed responsible for dead waterfowl

SEATTLE --Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists today said improper use of the lawn insecticide diazinon may be responsible for the deaths of several dozen ducks in the greater Seattle area.

The birds are believed to have died after ingesting a pellet form of the insecticide while feeding on lawns in the Lynnwood, Bothell and Redmond areas, according to WDFW veterinarian Briggs Hall.

"All evidence points to diazinon as the culprit," Hall said. "We've had four separate reports from citizens, and evidence collected at several of the sites revealed the ducks had been grazing on lawns where pellet lawn products containing diazinon had been applied."

Diazinon is widely used to keep crane flies and other insects under control. The product is commonly mixed with lawn fertilizers.

Package instructions prepared by diazinon manufacturers typically caution gardeners against using diazinon, or any fertilizer containing the product, in areas where waterfowl and other wildlife may be present or come to feed, Briggs said.