If you only change one thing, moving away from using synthetic and unnatural insecticides will do a lot for your health, and that of the local ecosystem.
Why Organic Insecticide?
The big reason to use organic insecticide is that it is safer for you and your family. This is especially true if you are planning on growing your own fruits and vegetables – but even if you’re not it’s still a very good idea!
Look at it this way: pesticides are the only man made poison that we intentionally spray on food. That has to be a cause for concern right off the bat, right?
Pesticides are designed to kill all manner of insects and bugs, so it’s no surprise that they’re not exactly good for us either! Should these chemicals build up in the body over time, they can lead to headaches and nausea in the short term. In the long term, they can end up causing all manner of more serious issues.
Organic Insecticide and Your Health
If you’re planning on eating what you grow then, it really doesn’t make much sense to go spraying it with poison. Even if you’re not going to do that though, you’ll find that you can actually cause a number of health problems for you and your family just by handling it. And this is especially true if you’re someone who likes to lie back on the grass and smell the roses!
Meanwhile, insecticide can also cause damage to insects. Obviously that’s kind of the point, but it’s not just the “bad” kinds that insecticide hurts (not that such a distinction exists!). This will also hurt the good kinds – like wasps which help to eat aphids and pollinate your garden. Not to mention bees, which are actually now experiencing dangerously low numbers…
And killing off or wounding one type of insect or animal – even the ‘bad kind’ – can end up having knock on effects when it comes to the ecosystem. That’s because the bugs you just killed might well be the primary food source for another, important type of bug. Or for any other kind of animal that we need.
Then there’s what pesticides can do to the neighbor’s cat. You might not like the neighbor’s cat, but that doesn’t mean you want to kill it!
While pesticides might work well, they also take something of a ‘scorched Earth’ approach, which isn’t necessarily going to be good for your health or for the overall health of the environment. Conversely, using organic insecticides and organic pesticides will allow you to maintain a healthy garden without resorting to poisonous products.
How Organic Gardening Handles Insects and Pests
There are a wide range of organic pesticides you can buy online or in stores. The way most of these work is by using naturally occurring ingredients that are either toxic to insects (and not humans) or that simply deter them.
And this is where things get surprising – because actually you can use all manner of simple household items in order to drive away aphids and other unwanted pests. For example, a little vinegar is often thought to help keep aphids off of your plants! Meanwhile, if you use certain types of mulch you can use this to deter things like slugs. A great organic pest deterrent for slugs is mulch made from oak leaf or tobacco stem! This drives the slugs away but doesn’t kill them!
Another option is to start introducing predators into your garden. Of course we’re talking about animals and insects that naturally prey on the insects you’re trying to get rid of – such as slugs which might be eaten by birds. Another more common option is to create a ladybird patch.
In short, pests are annoying (hence the name), but there are kinder and gentler ways to get rid of them that will also benefit your garden and your health.