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Daily News Archive
From June 18, 2002

Pesticides killing birds in Saratoga County, New York

''People should know that these pesticides they are putting on their lawns are killing the birds,'' said Saratoga County communicable disease coordinator Pat Willson.

Wildlife pathologist testing dead birds for West Nile virus found most birds die from pesticide poisoning, not West Nile virus. There has not been a West Nile positive bird since 2000 in Saratoga County, but there have been plenty of dead birds. Some birds appear to have been poisoned deliberately; others die from the overzealous use of pesticides aimed at bugs. Still others appear to fall victim to pesticides not used in years, such as DDT.

Local pesticide alternative advocate and garden store owner, Joe Nemec is not surprised at the poisonings, "people in the Northeast have a very low tolerance for bugs."

Although already detected in other New York Counties this season, no West Nile infected birds have been found in Saratoga.