Everyone today seems so quick to use chemical solutions to any problem they can find. Sometimes, this advancement in technology and science is beneficial to our lives and really is the best solution to a dilemma, but when it comes to insecticides, we should think twice. While they can be effective in killing off bugs, they are also highly effective in causing other damages that we might not consider when generously spraying the chemicals for both treatment and prevention.
How it Hurts You
Some people can have severe allergic reactions to insecticides, Some people experience difficulty breathing and/or irritation to the skin, nose, and eyes. The level of severity, of course, varies from person to person. Even if you’ve used pesticides before and have had no reaction, be aware of those around you; it could be the first exposure that your child, spouse, neighbor, or friend has had to the chemicals, and you don’t know that they won’t have a reaction.
Insecticides also contain toxins can build up over time as chronic poisoning to your body. Like it or not, the chemicals in insecticides will make contact with your body when you are the one applying them directly. If it’s a spray or aerosol type application, the particles from the spray spread very quickly over a wider range of space than you might expect or be able to see. You will likely inhale at least a small amount of the chemicals, and while it might be seemingly negligible, over time, with repeated exposure to these chemicals, it can be toxic to your body. Insecticide poisoning typically causes physical and neurological effects, including nervousness and anxiety, slowed movement, twitching and a general decline in overall health.
How it Hurts Others
Insecticide chemicals can very easily get into runoff and cause serious damages to local water supplies and wildlife. When soil that has been recently sprayed with insecticide is eroded or there are heavy rains after insecticides have been applied, the chemicals are mixed into the runoff. When they get into water supplies, they are significantly diluted, but those who drink water poisoned with insecticide runoff can experience chronic poisoning effects. Many chemicals in insecticides can kill fish . They also, naturally, can kill other insects along their path, which harms the local ecosystem, destroying a large portion of the food supplies for local wildlife that depend upon insects for sustenance.
How it Hurts Your Lawn
This is the part that makes it all seem a little counterintuitive. Yes, pesticides hurt your lawn, even though one of the initial reasons that you would decide to use pesticides was probably to eliminate pests that are harming your plants and grass. While it is important to control pest infestations, there are more natural and less toxic ways of going about it. The dangerous chemicals in pesticides that are applied to your lawn are sure to kill and harm more than just the pest you target. They will kill off many other creatures that live in your soil, such as earthworms, that are beneficial to your soil’s health. The organisms that naturally live in your soil are typically your grass’s first line of defence against pests and disease. By killing them off along with the pests, you are essentially making your grass more vulnerable and more likely to have further infestations, warranting further usage of pesticides. There are natural pesticides that you can make or buy, and many times the solution to pest control is to maintain better lawn care habits or introduce natural predators to affected areas.
Mike Piwonka is the CEO of The Grass Outlet, a family run grass sod provider in Texas. The Grass Outlet is dedicated to making Texas greener, one lawn at a time, and offers fresh St. Augustine, Bermuda, Zoysia, and Buffalo grasses straight from their farms at a reasonable price.
Photo Credit: Marc van der Chijs (CC BY-ND 2.0)
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