There has been a growing trend over the last few decades for individuals and companies alike to go green or be more environmentally friendly, and there has also been a sentiment among consumers that organic products tend to be healthier or safer. In addition, the pest control industry has responded by innovating in product development, material selection, and methodologies to create safer pesticides for gardening hobbyists.
The difference between organic and synthetic pesticides is very important because for a pesticide to be labelled as organic, it must contain only naturally occurring substances as opposed to substances synthesised in a laboratory. And because of this, organic pesticides are generally safer to the environment, humans, and other living things, save for the pests in question.
The Issue with Synthetic Pesticides
Synthetic pesticides are compounds produced through an industrial process. They are commonly used in commercial farming to control and kill pests. Some are also used in home gardens and landscaping. The issue with the use of synthetic pesticides is the fact that they are manufactured from potentially harmful chemical compounds.
There are numerous concerns about the effects of synthetic pesticides on the environment, with studies conducted on the harmful effects of these chemicals on the environment, as their side effects are seldom limited to just the control of pests and often affect other organisms and the ecological balance. As these are bioaccumulative substances that do not degrade easily, they can remain in the environment for a long period of time. Once these pesticides get into the food chain, it becomes concentrated in the predators. For example, if a fish eats an insect, then the fish will eventually die, with its body containing high levels of such chemical compounds. The harmful effects of such chemical compounds on humans at low doses remain unclear, but as time passes, there has been mounting concern about the harmful health effects these chemicals can pose.
Are Organic Pesticides Safer for my Garden?
Organic pesticides are manufactured from things found in nature that can be utilised to control pests. These include plant-based oils and extracts as well as mineral-based compounds. Because they are manufactured with natural substances, organic pesticides are low or non-toxic to humans and other organisms. They also tend to degrade faster than their synthetic counterparts. All these factors make organic pesticides the best option for pest control, as they are safer for the environment and less costly than synthetic alternatives. One good example of an organic pesticide would be Neem Oil. A powerful organic pesticide produced from seed extracts of the Neem tree; Neem Oil is known to control the growth and behaviour of insect pests. Additionally, Neem oil can work as a fungicide as it prevents the germination and penetration of certain fungal spores into leaves, most notably powdery mildew.
The Benefits of Using Organic Pesticides
There are dozens of reasons why people choose to use organic pesticides in their home gardens. Here are just some of the many reasons why you might want to consider doing so.
Firstly, it is kinder towards the environment. By going organic you reduce pollution, and don’t introduce new chemicals into the soil, plants, and ultimately, your food. Health is another big reason for choosing organic. You will find there are growing concerns about the way we are exposed to the chemical compounds used in farming and gardening. And by going organic, you can reduce exposure to harmful substances that can be found in synthetic pesticides. Going organic also helps you have a much more holistic gardening experience. You will see your plants grow and develop naturally, without having to worry about toxicity levels. There are lots of great products out there to help even the most beginner gardener kickstart this great hobby.
Prevention is Better than Cure
Ultimately, pesticides should only ever be used as a last resort. A healthy plant is far better equipped to deal with pests than a sickly one. Maintaining good soil conditions is also essential to keeping your plants healthy and strong. If an issue does occur, try to identify what kind of pest it is before acting on it. Many common plant pests can be dealt with easily without the use of chemicals. Diseased plant material can be cut out and disposed of properly. When all else fails, choose the most effective, least toxic pesticide to do the job, which would be an organic option. And remember, always read, and follow the instructions on the product label before using! If you’re looking for something, GreenSpade’s neem oil is a popular choice among gardeners.