Top Reasons Not To Use Pesticides
Our gardens get plagued with pests all season long. Insects not only cause damage by eating leaves, fruits and roots but open wounds on plants allow disease to enter. Virus, bacteria and fungus work their way inside and settle in to take over where the insects left off.
First instinct is to kill the pests. Many people automatically reach for a commercial pesticide.
Before you spray, douse or dust here are some points to consider.
• Pesticides are a temporary solution. Only the present invaders are taken out of the area. Pesticides won’t change the conditions that brought them to your yard or garden in the first place. If you don’t change it, they’ll be back.
• Pesticides are hazardous to human health. These chemical solutions attack mainly our lungs and nervous system. Hmm. isn’t that the way it kills the bugs?
• Children are often exposed to these chemicals in playgrounds and parks. Don’t forget that most children learn about their surroundings through touch and taste. They don’t hesitate to put things in their mouths.
• Pesticides are used widely in commercial agriculture. Remember to wash all fruits and vegetables. If you use any pesticides in your home garden a rain shower isn’t enough. You need to wash produce.
• In our quest for the perfect apple or blemish-free tomato we tend to forget about the farmers who use pesticides on a daily basis to satisfy consumer demands.
• Don’t forget about your pets. Rolling in chemically treated lawns or nibbling leaves can make your pets sick or worse.
• Runoff from yards, gardens and farms contribute to water and air pollution. Simply put, runoff affects wildlife. Streams. Rivers. Air. Food chain.
• What do you know about the amount of pesticides used in your community? What kinds, where and how much?
These are all points to ponder when you consider a chemical approach. What’s the alternative? We’ll talk about it next week!
Source: Journal of Pesticide Reform Summer 2006
Master Gardener’s Handbook