Pesticide, Schmesticide (Integrated Pest Management)
The encyclopedia definition of a Pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest. The definition of “Cide“..Killer.
Now we need to think about that for a minute…Who exactly are we killing?
This blog was inspired by my having repeatedly seen neighbors with pest control services with friendly/green names that provide neither ECO friendly or green services. I am having trouble sleeping over it so I figured it would write a blog about it…The title of course is “tongue in cheek” as I believe that too many people are far too cavalier about the ramifications of the over-use of such chemicals. We need to consider a more viable form of “Green Garden Management”
We have to identify what we are accomplishing by using these mass murdering services before we can really make a change. I realize that in Texas we have some serious pest issues. One being Fire ants, and the other are rodent issues in our homes and attics. For almost every concern, there is an organic method providing the infestation is not too severe. Integrated Pest management is a “do the least harm” form of pest control. You rely on the knowledge of insects in the garden (knowing your allies) and a common sense approach to do the least harm environmentally. IPM is using chemicals only when necessary after all organic methods have failed, knowing that it is crucial to isolate the environmental damages of pesticides. Spraying a problem you do not understand, with a chemicals you do not know the effects of, in quantities you are unsure of, is not an option here.
One of the main concerns with the broad spray methods used outdoors is that you are killing off the beneficial insects as well as the bad. This is true with home use products as well as professional grade products. The fellow power spraying your outdoors with poison is not only affecting the pesky bugs, but they are also affecting the birds, butterflies, frogs & lizards (who are particularly sensitive to these chemical) praying mantis, Bees and other bugs that actually eat the bad bugs, and these sprays are hurting people,children and pets.
There is page after page of information about the long term effects of chemical use on our planet. All insects and plants perform a specific function. By eradicating any group of insects or plants by using a pesticide, the food source, habitat, or mating ground of another might be disturbed. In this way, our biodiversity is gradually diminished through the use of harmful chemicals and species are endangered.
Pesticides are also harmful to the wider environment. They can pollute rivers and streams, causing damage to aquatic life and the residues also pollute our source of drinking water. Because all pesticides contain ingredients that are toxic to a particular plant or animal, other living things are certain to be affected in some way. Indirect effects are common with pesticides, and many non-targeted plants and animals are harmed or destroyed each year. Studies show that pesticides can be a dangerous addition for lawn and garden care, on both big and small scales. Meaning we aren’t just talking about crop dusting, we are talking about the home use too. All that spray has to go somewhere right?
So what is the solution? Well…We are, we are the change the world needs to see. If each of us makes this one step towards educating ourselves on better alternative to “Pest Management” then our children will follow suit. Now I could give a full page of organic pest management solutions, but the truth is, that you aren’t going to remember it all, and I may not address your particular issue, so I will say that if you go to Google and type in say, Organic control for Ants, you will find dozens of solutions. There are also a whole host of fantastic organic gardening pest control books. One is “1001 All Natural Secrets to Pest Control by Dr. Myles H. Badar. The other is Howard Garrett’s “Organic Gardening”. I own several books and they have a wealth of information. I am also happy to say that you can buy the products needed at nearly any store now. Lowes has an organic section at the end of the chemical Isle (or as I refer to as “death row”). These products are labeled with the uses and directions. If Organics do not solve your problem, THEN, you bring out the big guns, as maybe the problem is larger than you can solve organically, but use the chemicals in moderation and use the least you can to solve the problem. Follow instructions carefully. If you hire a service, make sure the products they use inside and out are organic. I know one local service is Aztec Pest Control and I am sure there are others.
My very wise Mother often reminds me when I get weighed down by all of this, that if I move only one person to make a change, I have made a difference. I hope I have encouraged you to make small changes that will lead to huge changes to the environment in a positive way 😉 Then, Pass it on!!
Lisa’s Landscape & Design
“Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”
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