Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Is Non-Toxic Pest Control the Best Way to Control Pests?

Non toxic pest control is increasing in popularity in the world of organic gardening. As a matter of fact, more and more organic gardeners are intrigued on how to get rid of their pest without using chemicals pesticides.

The chemical definition of organic simply means “containing carbon” and therefore true “organic” pesticides are some of the most toxic pesticides in the world and fortunately, they are slowly being banned because it affect the environment especially garden water in a negative way. But in this article, organic pesticides means those allowed in organic gardening.

Baking Soda Is A Non-Toxic Pest Control For Certain Fungal Diseases

For example, baking soda has been used successfully for many years to control powdery mildew, blackspot, and a few other fungal diseases. It worked pretty well on my organic roses, and University trials have confirmed its effectiveness.

A solution of 0.5-2% (approx 1-5 tablespoons) of baking soda per US gallon of water is generally recommended for non-toxic pest control. Start lower though, as 2% can hurt the leaves in some cases.

Efficacy is greatly improved by adding an equal amount of dish or insecticidal soap, or an equal amount of horticultural oil. The main benefit of these seems to be that they help the baking soda solution stick to the leaves, so I have been inclined to use unsulphured molasses instead, which actually provides some nutrition to plants. Either way, be sure to use products without chemicals.

So using the baking soda is okay for a non-toxic pest control, but the problem with so many organic gardening bloggers and authors focusing on moving from chemical pesticides to organic pesticides is that they’re not recognizing the root cause of the pest problem and fixing that instead.

To look at the root cause of the problem, we first need to see why humans eat plants...

Why Do Humans Eat Plants?

We humans (and other animals) prefer plants that are healthy and full of nutrients. We love to eat vegetables that is why it is not a surprised that most beginner gardeners choose to have a organic vegetable garden.  Sure, us humans seem to have lost a lot of our ability to differentiate between a healthy plant from a not-so-healthy plant, but animals are still very good at it and they choose the healthy stuff.

Even farm animals, who haven't exactly been bred for intelligence, will often choose organic, non-genetically modified feed over the other stuff.

But this gets really interesting when we look at why insects and diseases eat plants, which shows us what is wrong with non-toxic pest control.

No comments:

Post a Comment