Given that Earth Day is around the corner, we want to encourage our readers not to use pesticides and insecticides on their lawn or in their home unless absolutely necessary. Not only are they bad for the environment, but they are bad for your health, your childrens’ health, and your neighbors’ health. As the bumper sticker goes, I’d rather have brown spots on my lawn than carcinogens in my bloodstream – or something like that. Instead, first consider some of the more natural alternatives to pesticides, fertilizers and insecticides such as those found on Gaiam’s Natural Home and Garden section.
However, despite our best efforts to stay “green” and environmentally conscious, sooner or later we’re all pestered by pests and reach the bottom of our rope. Whether it’s ants in the kitchen or weeds in the vegetable garden, pests can be annoying and bothersome. So how do we use pesticides safely? When and how should pesticides be used?
Luckily, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published a booklet intended to help answer these questions. The questions have no single right answer, but Citizen’s Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety by the EPA gives the information you need to make informed decisions. You should be able to control pests without risking your family’s health and without harming the environment.
The major goals of this booklet published by the EPA are to help you understand the following:
-What steps to take to control pests in and around your home
-What alternatives to chemical pesticides are available, including pest prevention and non-chemical pest controls
-How to choose pesticides and how to use, store, and dispose of them safely
-How to reduce your exposure when others use pesticides
-How to choose a pest control company
-What to do if someone is poisoned by a pesticide