Alternatives to Chemicals

Broadly defined, a pesticide is any product used to kill or control undesired insects, weeds, rodents, fungi, bacteria, or other organisms. The term pesticide includes insecticides, herbicides, rodenticides, fungicides, and nematicides.

Choosing the proper product is important to ensure that the pesticide effectively reaches the pest. Product selection depends on the pest, the plant, and existing climatic and environmental conditions.

Despite the great achievements in disease abatement made possible by pesticides, their use must be weighed against the possibility of adverse effects. Such effects include: secondary infestation, resistance, harm to wildlife, contamination of ground and surface water, and human health risks. To increase the benefits of pest control technology while protecting human health and the environment, knowledge of pesticides, pest management and the environment is essential. A widespread shift toward the use of less toxic pesticides reflects gardeners growing concern for the environment. But the search for acceptable alternatives is frustrating and only consumer power will bring these products to our stores. Pesticides must be used and managed with understanding and respect.

For detailed information on the least toxic controls, click on the following links: