Policy Update

Washington Becomes the 11th State Legislature to Restrict Neonicotinoids

May 14, 2024



NCEL Point of Contact

Justin Gulino
Conservation Associate


On March 28, Governor Inslee signed SB 5972 into law prohibiting the residential use of neonicotinoid pesticides. Washington is now the 11th state to legislatively restrict these chemicals for residential use, joining California, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

  • Why it Matters: Society relies on pollinators as they pollinate one out of every three bites of food, a $577 billion value. Yet, pollinators are declining at large percentages in the U.S. with neonicotinoids found to be a leading contributor.

Key Provisions

  • The bill restricts the sale of neonicotinoids to non-certified applicators and the application on ornamental plants, lawns, turfs, and other non-commercial uses.
  • The bill only allows use for a licensed application for tree injections or agricultural production.
  • Uses for lice and bedbugs products, wood treatments, and flea & tick medications are exempted from the ban.

Other State Action

Ten other states have legislatively restricted the residential use of neonicotinoids. Vermont, Illinois, Hawaii, and Connecticut are considering further restrictions for this session.

  • Vermont and Illinois are seeking to ban neonicotinoid-treated soy, wheat, and corn seeds in agricultural production. New York was the first state to ban these seeds in 2023.
  • Hawaii and Connecticut seek to ban residential and most non-commercial neonicotinoid uses.

Bill Sponsors

This bill was sponsored by Sen. Marko Liias.