In case you needed another reason to avoid pesticides, we’ve got another one for you: pesticides have been shown to increase the likelihood of children developing autism and other development disorders.
Researchers at the University of California-Davis over a 10-year period studied the medical records of 970 women and their children. They found that women who lived within a mile of an area treated with a high-dose of chemical pesticides (a golf course, pasture, park or roadside) while pregnant were 67% more likely to have a child with an autism disorder or other development delays.
This is the third study out of the UC system to show that chemical pesticides lead to an increased likelihood of autism in children.
As an alternative to chemical pest control, organics are available right alongside the chemical products in most stores, but often the best way to prevent insects from invading your lawn and garden is to have healthy soil.
Use compost to build up strong soil, rotate the crops in your garden (don’t plant the same thing in the same spot year after year), remove weak plants from the line-up (and plants that have evidence of bug damage), and keep foliage as dry as possible on your garden plants.
For lawns, often the biggest bug problem lies below the surface– grubs. Those white Japanese beetle grubs can be controlled organically with a treatment called Milky Spores. These living organisms are dangerous only to the Japanese beetle grubs– when used as directed, they won’t hurt any other beneficial insects, pets, people or turf. But they’ll keep your lawn grub-free for 10 years, and in some instances even up to 15 years! Why waste time and money with chemical grub treatments that only last six months, and will expose your family to toxic chemicals?
If you’re interested in having healthier soil, and work on fighting pests naturally in your garden, check out Good Sweet Earth’s Worm Compost. Or shoot us an email at office@GoodSweetEarth.com to discuss organic pest control with a Master Gardener or Turf Specialist.
Steve & Corey Veldheer are organic yard & garden specialists in west Michigan.