Many people want to use products in their gardens that are safe around children and pets as well as effective. Organic pesticides are often considered safer than non-organic pesticides for the environment, people and animals.
Organic pesticides are made from naturally occurring ingredients. Non-organic pesticides are created synthetically.
Organic pesticides are used by professional flower and vegetable garden businesses that want or want to keep their organic certification and by home gardeners who want a natural alternative to non-organic pesticides.
"Organic" does not mean non-toxic. It is important to read and follow the directions for each organic pesticide. A drawback to organic pesticides is that they usually have to be reapplied numerous times, possibly making a larger impact on the environment than a conventional, non-organic pesticide that is used less often.
Organic pesticides are available in a wide variety of applications. Insecticidal soap, powdered bacteria such as Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) and pyrethrins, which are chemicals derived from plants, are organic products commonly found in most garden stores. These pesticides are used to kill insects on contact and to keep them from reproducing in gardens.
Organic pesticides are a good idea for any gardener if used properly. Although the pesticides are labeled "organic," proper safety gear and application rate must be followed for best results.
- "PLoS One;" Choosing Organic Pesticides Over Synthetic Pesticides May Not Effectively Mitigate Environmental Risk in Soybeans; Christine A. Bahlai et al; June 22, 2010
- University of California San Diego: Bacillus Thuringiensis
- Cornell University Cooperative Extension, Pesticide Management Education Program: Pyrethrins
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Pesticide Safety Education Program: Integrated Pest Management
Amy Jeanroy has been a freelance garden writer since 1995. She is the author of "Canning and Preserving for Dummies." As a journalist, she has been published in "Waterside Weekly," "Steuben Courier" and "Caprizette." Jeanroy is a member of the Garden Writers Association and the Herb Society of America.