When dealing with pests in gardens, you can either choose to use chemicals or opt to practice organic pest control. Either way, a decision has to be made because pests can cause a great deal of damage if left unchecked. They can lead to the spread of diseases, and can consume and destroy vegetables and other crops. The natural way of controlling pests uses organic materials so that pest infestation is minimized or eliminated. Organic pest control is often the general term used for this methodology. In contrast, chemical pest eradication employs strong and potentially hazardous chemicals or pesticides to limit or destroy pests.
Pest control practitioners can use either one of these two techniques, or combine both methods to manage infestation problems. They also use the term “integrated pest management” to refer to this same methodology that simply means the combination of various pest control strategies to address comprehensively the problem at hand.
As in any resolution to problems, there are always the negative and the positive sides you need to consider when utilizing either of the methods or combinations you prefer. For this reason, it is of utmost importance to do research on what to choose. Bear in mind that it is not only the issue on pest control that is affected by your decision to use chemical or organic methods, but it may have longer term or unseen effects on your health and the environment.
Organic Pest Control vs. Chemical Pest Control
Here is a short guide that may help you decide on which method to choose:
Organic Pest Control Methods
Natural pest control methods are used to successfully minimize, control or eliminate pests without unwanted harm to humans, plants and other beneficial organisms, or even the environment. Often, this method makes use of other living things like vegetation and “the good bugs” to control pests. This is especially true in agricultural. An example of this methodology is the strategy of companion planting or planting different crops in close proximity to each other to drive the pests from damaging the main crop. Sometimes simply practicing plant rotation can also address the problem. Owning chickens and allowing them to roam around your plants can be a way of lessening pests, as the chickens eat the bugs. Some farmers also culture beneficial microorganisms and insects like praying mantis and ladybugs which are natural and effective solutions against pests. Spraying of homemade remedies for pests that are not chemical-based may also be included in the list of other organic pest control methods. What’s good about it is that it has very minimal or no harmful effects to human health as well as to farming, making its use safe to other organisms in the area as well.
The main advantage and benefit of organic pest control is that it does not destroy nature. Chemicals like DDT or other pesticides release poisons which can be detrimental to the environment or cause harm to other organisms in the area, whereas natural pest controls are generally safer. What’s more advantageous with this method is that after they are introduced to the environment, the effect lasts longer thereby reducing costs.
Chemical Pest Control Methods
Just like organic pest control, the use of chemical pest control in agricultural as well as in households has been in existence for a long time. It employs the use of harsh chemicals that quickly eradicate pests upon contact. These chemicals are either applied systemically (targeting areas on plants where pests live) or to the whole crop (such as aerial application). However, despite the fact that it is effective in large farms and plantations or even in household use, their use can have long-term effects on the health of people and animals living in the vicinity. In fact, some really serious diseases have been attributed to its use. But not only that, contamination of ecosystems, waterways, and death of living organisms within the area are but a few of the dangers these chemicals bring. Hence the use of pesticides should be done with extreme care and caution. It is true that they are easily accessible and give instant results after application, but there should be a delicate balance between addressing the present needs against its ill effects that will eventually take its toll on nature.
Agriculture and the use of pest control methods must be socially responsible, forward-looking, and environment loving. And organic pest control meets these challenges with flying colors.
Pests can be a real nuisance for any gardener, but because organic gardeners don’t use synthetic pesticides to control these pests, they have to put in a little more effort to protect their plants. Check out the posts below for more advice and information to get the most out of your organic garden.
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So why not give organic pest control a go – you may be surprised at how effective it can be.