Keep Toxic Chemicals And Pests Away From Your Yard, Garden and Home

Buying organic fruits and vegetables at the grocery store is a step in the right direction towards protecting your family from the dangers of pesticides. However, if you are using flea and tick control for the family pets, and chemical pest control in your garden, you may still be exposing your family to dangerous chemicals.

"By their very nature, most pesticides create some risk of harm - Pesticides can cause harm to humans, animals, or the environment because they are designed to kill or otherwise adversely affect living organisms." - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The Natural Resources Defense Council is working to strengthen legal protections and reduce the dangers of pesticides. Acoording to the NRDC, from 2000-2008 California alone had over 7,600 reported pesticide poisoning cases that resulted in almost 200 hospitalizations. Half of these were from agriculture uses, and half from non-agriculture uses in homes, gardens, school yards, and golf courses.

Children are most likely to be vulnerable to pesticide poisonings, because they spend more time close to the ground or floor where pesticides are applied. Their growing organs and systems may be altered in long-term or permanent ways after exposure. A 1993 report on children and pesticides stated that "depending on dose, some pesticides can cause a range of adverse effects on human health, including cancer, acute and chronic injury to the nervous system, lung damage, reproductive dysfunction, and possibly dysfunction of the endocrine and immune systems."

A 2012 Duke study looked at an insecticide "synergist", added to many household insecticides such as flea and tick sprays, termite killers, tomato and vegetable insect killers, flying insect killers and more. This synergist, piperonyl butoxide (PBO), used to increase the potency of more than 700 insecticides, is just as dangerous as the chemical pesticides themselves. PBO is listed among the top 10 chemicals detected in indoor dust.

The testing showed that PBO disrupts a biological signaling system that is “critical in neurological development,” the researchers reported in the abstract of their paper, published in the May 2012 edition of the journal Toxicological Sciences. The disruption of this critical pathway “may be the molecular basis for profound developmental defects in children exposed in utero to PBO.”

“We were concerned when our study confirmed that PBO disrupted neurological development pathways – especially given the widespread use of this chemical in American homes,” said Wei Chen PhD, assistant professor at the Duke School of Medicine and an author of the study. “Our study demonstrates the need for additional research and evaluation of the safety profile of PBO as a pesticide synergist and the value of high- throughput screening in assessing the potential toxicity of chemicals.”

Chemical Free Pest Control Alternatives

Inside your home, be sure that things stay clean and dry. Keep kitchen counters clean, ripe fruit in the fridge, dishes washed and out of the sink, and floors vacuumed and swept regularly. Don't let standing water accumulate in or near the home, and use silicone caulk to seal off any cracks in baseboards, sinks, and cupboards.

In the garden, remove weeds by hand. Vinegar, boiling water, dish soap, and vodka are all reported ways to remove weeds from in the garden and around the house. Do you have a favorite way to kill weeds with a safe household item? Tell us about it!

Keep your pets washed and brushed regularly, and be aware of where you take them and what time of year it is. Natural flea and tick sprays can help keep your furry friend pesticide free.

Natural Bug Spray for the family can keep the pests away from you and your children during outside adventures, as well.

If flys, moths, wasps, fruit flys, fleas, or other uninvited guests have already made themselves too comfortable at your home, banish them with chemical-free lures and traps to keep your home and family safe.

Melissa Zimmerman, Live Superfoods


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