Pesticides

16883685_mMany common pesticides used for pest control, indoor plants, and outdoor gardening contain toxic chemicals that can harm people, pets, and beneficial insects.[1] For example, the key ingredient in Bionide Fruit Tree and Plant Guard is Lambda-cyhalothrin, which has been associated with endocrine disruption and neurotoxicity.[2] More generally, pesticide exposure, especially during pregnancy and childhood, has been linked to a greater risk of birth defects, cognitive impairment,[3] breast cancer, autism, attention deficit disorder, and endocrine (hormone) disruption.[4] For example, exposure to insecticides during pregnancy can reduce a child’s IQ by 4-9 percent, depending upon exposure level.[5] Recent research also suggests that pesticide exposure may increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease.[6] Many insecticides and some herbicides are also lethal to honey bees, which we depend on for such crops as apples, blueberries, and cucumbers. Without bees, these crops would not exist.

General Tips for Organic Gardening and Non-Toxic Pest Control

  1. Use safe methods for weed control and landscape care. The Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP) provides fact sheets for managing various types of weeds without dangerous herbicides.
  2. Use safe methods for controlling indoor and outdoor pests. The NCAP also provides fact sheets for managing various types of pests without dangerous pesticides.
  3. When buying pest control products, choose organic-approved pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides that have limited or no impact on human health and the environment. The product will be labeled as “OMRI listed” (Organic Materials Review Institute).
  4. Use the table below to determine whether you need to take special precautions for bee safety when applying organic-approved products.[7]

 

Bee Toxicity of Organic-Approved Pesticides, Herbicides, Fungicides, and Bactericides

Organic-approved PesticidesBee Toxicity
Bacillus thuringiensis Btnon-toxic
Beauveria bassianahighly toxic: avoid use where bees are present
Boric Acidtoxic, but low risk of contact with bees if properly used
Cydia pomonella granulosisnon-toxic
Diatomaceous earthhighly toxic: avoid use where bees are present
Garlicnon-toxic
Horticultural oilstoxic, but low risk of contact with bees if applied only during late evening
Insecticidal soaptoxic, but low risk of contact with bees if applied only during late evening
Kaolin claynon-toxic
Limonenetoxic, but low risk of contact with bees if applied only during late evening
Neemtoxic to bee larvae, but low risk of contact with bees if applied only during late evening
Pyrethrinshighly toxic: avoid use where bees are present
Retenonehighly toxic: avoid use where bees are present
Ryania/ryanodinenon-toxic
Sabadillahighly toxic: avoid use where bees are present
Spinosadhighly toxic: avoid use where bees are present
Organic-approved Herbicides, Growth Regulators, and AdjuvantsBee Toxicity
AdjuvantsAdjuvants are non-toxic, except Pulse (organosilicone
surfactant), Boost (organosilicone), and Ethokem
(polyethanoxy alkylamine, ethoxylated tallow amine)
Corn glutennon-toxic
Gibberellic acidnon-toxic
Horticultural Vinegarunknown; do not apply directly to foraging bees
Organic-approved Fungicides and BactericidesBee Toxicity
Copperhighly toxic: avoid use where bees are present
Copper sulfatehighly toxic: avoid use where bees are present
Lime sulfurtoxic, but low risk of contact with bees if applied only during late evening
Sulfurhighly toxic: avoid use where bees are present

Source. The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. (2012). Organic approved pesticides.

 

Best Product Line: Safer Brand

Several companies produce organic-approved pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides, including Bayer, Monterey, Agra Quest, Garden Safe, and Safer Brand. However, companies differ in their overall commitment to organic gardening. Bayer, for example, also produces a synthetic pesticide that coats corn seeds and has been found to be highly lethal to bees.[8] In contrast, Safer Brand has created a diverse line of organic-approved products that have been certified by the Organic Materials Review Institute.

 

Curious About the Cost?

Feel free to view this product on Amazon.com by using the link below!

 


Safer Brand Products