Green living means giving up using chemical pesticides in your yard and garden, where your family and pets spend time. Chemical pesticides alter neurological and reproductive systems of animals, and exposure is linked to various conditions in humans, from breast cancer to aggressive behavior, according to a 2000 report in the "Western Journal of Medicine" (see References 3). Avoiding chemical pesticides ...
Organic gardens are free of chemicals and have a rich diversity of organisms. If you're new to organic gardening, controlling pests without chemicals might seem daunting. But by encouraging beneficial organisms and practicing certain cultural methods, you can control pests naturally through creation of a balanced and diverse ecosystem.
Using organic pest control in the garden is eco-friendly and ensures you have produce free of synthetic chemicals. Organic methods of controlling pests, such as removal by hand and organic pesticides known as biopesticides, are less harmful than conventional methods. Biopesticides usually only target specific pests, which is less likely to harm wildlife, and they generally decompose quickly (see References 3). A ...
Prevention is the first defense against pest infestation in the kitchen. Proper sanitation and house-proofing are chemical-free measures for controlling and deterring mice, ants, cockroaches and flying insects. If you still encounter pests, try organic or less-toxic control measures before resorting to spraying or dusting chemical pesticides throughout your kitchen. (See References 1)
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Weeds are nothing more than plants that take advantage of unused resources in areas cultivated by humans. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a good garden, landscape or crop management program, rather than a chemical pesticide, is the first step in effective and environmentally conscientious weed control (see Reference 1). Proper management and organic methods offer varied benefits over chemical pesticides, including increased biodiversity, improved soil nutrition and structure, and protection of ground and surface water (see Reference 2).
While bewildering numbers of organic products and home remedies exist to repel garden predators, a few "old reliables" are continually mentioned as insect and animal pests deterrents. Among them are red pepper sprays and powders, made from extracts of the hotter members of the Capsaicin family. Organic sprays and powders that use red pepper extracts are available at garden centers, but simple home methods may also deliver the power of red pepper to your organic garden.
Different species of termites may require specialized eradication treatments, but pest control experts can use safe, organic treatment options for many termite colonies in existing buildings. Infestations in new construction may be prevented simply by using lumber treated with environmentally safe processes. (See References 1)
Pavement ants tend to invade homes in the winter in search of food and water, though they can enter at any time of year (see References 1). Environmentally friendly methods of removing them can take more time than commercial pesticides, but a well-rounded approach will eradicate and prevent infestations.
Whether they result in ants in the kitchen, mosquitoes in the backyard or aphids in the garden, pest infestations irritate every homeowner. Before you reach for that can of bug spray, consider that pesticide toxicity is a real danger that causes serious health problems. Long-term exposure significantly increases the risk of developing liver and nerve damage, cancerous tumors and reproductive disorders. One of the most dangerous delivery systems is high-pressure fogging, because you inhale toxic chemicals that are then readily absorbed into your bloodstream. (See References 5, pages 4-5) Organic pest control is an ideal alternative to the poisonous concoctions in commercial pesticides, because natural products are biodegradable and safe to use around children, pets and plants.
Effective organic insect control for potato production, as with all organic production, requires attention to management practices. Because organic practices prohibit the use of chemical pesticides, fertilizers and genetically modified varieties, farmers and gardeners rely on nature's cycles and natural systems, such as crop rotation, biological controls and plant-based insecticides. (See References 2)
New Jersey has endeavored to maintain the quality of the environment by establishing best management methods for soil conservation. In 1976, the Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Act became law. The act regulates how construction sites are managed to prevent storm runoff and pollution from compromising soil stability. It also provides a framework for protecting natural resources through strict mandates, education and assistance agencies.
A freshly paved or poured driveway provides a smooth, even and appealing surface for your family's cars. With the passage of time, however, asphalt and concrete can crack and begin to break down. When they do, weeds inevitably take root in those cracks. Commercial herbicides kill them easily enough, but for environmentally conscious home owners there are more ecologically sound methods for controlling weeds.
According to the National Institutes of Health, microscopic dust mites and their wastes are among the most potent human allergens. (See Reference 1) When inhaled, they cause the familiar sneezes, full sinuses, and itchy, watery eyes that allergy sufferers know all too well. While antihistamines can alleviate the worst of the symptoms, prevention and the use of organic repellents can also help minimize your misery.
Soap seems like it shouldn't be a complicated product, but commercially-produced soap often contains a long list of unnecessary synthetic ingredients. Some of these commonly used ingredients, such as triclosan, are actually toxic. (See Reference 1) In addition, synthetic fragrances may also cause dermatitis, hormone disruption or respiratory problems; organic herbal soap is a much healthier choice. Making your own soap is not that difficult if you start with with an organic soap base. You may even wish to make an extra large batch and give some homemade organic soaps as gifts.
Organic pest control methods generally exploit the specific strengths of the plants and the specific weaknesses of pests, rather than applying chemicals to which pests can eventually become resistant. Solid cultural practices and resistant plants are augmented with attack methods provided by nature in a sometimes precarious balancing act that can be upset by a neighbor's use of chemicals or a lapse of attention on your part. It may take a bit of trial and error to find the perfect combination of techniques that work for you. However, correctly applied organic methods result in a crop that is arguably healthier, safer and more flavorful than its less labor-intensive counterpart.