ORGANIC ELITISM Wheeler’s Pest Control

By David B Wheeler

There is nothing worse than a holier-than-thou organic pest control operator or gardener who looks down on companies or people who are not following organic practices 100%. It is important to encourage the use of the most environmentally friendly products and sustainable techniques, but the occasional use of synthetic products does not make a company a bad company or wrong.

There is nothing more misleading than seeing the word "organic" on a pest control product label. Just because a pesticide is extracted from a plant or excavated from the ground does not mean that it is safe-for plants, people, soil, or the environment. Rotenone, one of the most toxic of the organic insecticides is still available in many stores, as are Bordeaux mix and copper sulfate, two fungicides that can make a garden soil poisonous to plants if overused. If you must use pesticides, then you owe it to yourself, and you garden, to educate yourself on which ones are the safest. Do not rely merely on the product label. Some of the safer and more effective organic pesticides out there are insecticidal soaps, Bacillus thuringiensis for insect from ants to roaches. Potassium bicarbonate is one for diseases. These pest control products aren't nearly as hard on the soil, on beneficial insects, or your health as other organic pesticides.

Just ask yourself a few questions about the organic pesticides products you use.

1. Is it good for the environment?
2. Is it a renewable resource?
3. Is it effective?
4. Is it safe?

In conclusion, just because a product is organic does not mean it is either effective, good or safe for the environment and you. Fertilizers such as guano, green sand, rock phosphate and peat moss are all called "organic" but they are mined and so are not renewable. What does the mining process do to the environment? Vinegar-based herbicides quickly kill the tops of weeds but leave the roots to regenerate and force you to use more products. Hot pepper-based insecticides repel insects but can be painful if they get into your eyes or in an open cut. Am I making my point?


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