If you're dealing with a pest management problem in your home or garden, don't immediately reach for the pesticide and start spraying. Sure, using pesticides may be the easiest way to deal with your problem, but is it the safest way? Thankfully, pesticides are no longer as dangerous as they were in the past; if you do use pesticides, you won't find yourself dealing with chemicals as harmful as DDT. However, pesticides are not safe enough to be used excessively and liberally. If there is absolutely no other way to get rid of the pests plaguing your home or garden, go ahead and use pesticide with caution or hire an exterminator who knows how to do the job right. But before you get to that step, why not try some environmentally friendly pest management methods?
An Ounce of Prevention
An ounce of prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure in many cases, and this is especially true when it comes to pest management. The best thing that you can do to prevent pests from invading your garden is to keep your plants healthy. This includes providing plants with fertile soil, the correct amount of water, an ideal location and as much attention as necessary. Try to water your plants at night in order to keep the ground as dry as possible, and make sure to prune your plants on a regular basis. To keep pests out of your home, keep your home clean and dry; pests love dirty kitchens and moist environments.
The First Line of Defense
The first line of defense should be your bare hands. If you see a bug, kill it; if caught early enough, squishing pests by hand may do the trick. If it's too late for that, then you need to identify the pest in order to deal with it in the most efficient manner. Bring a sample of a damaged plant or one of the pests in question to your local exterminator or garden shop and ask for suggestions.
Before getting into the world of pesticides, try using something like horticultural soap. Most horticultural soaps are non-toxic and available at your local garden shop. If you don't want to spend the money, you can even make your own horticultural soap by mixing together a teaspoon of dishwashing soap and a gallon of water. Another non-toxic solution is to purchase a product that uses pheromones to capture insects. Pests are attracted to the pheromones, which are sexual attractants, in these products, and when they come to investigate, they get stuck on a sticky surface. Some exterminators specialize in environmentally friendly approaches; consider hiring one to get rid of your pests in the safest and most efficient way possible. For more information on non-toxic approaches and other environmentally friendly ways of dealing with pests, check out the rest of our site.