Just the word pesticide is enough to trigger a negative response from a lot of people. With good reason, the word pesticide is often used in headlines, as a scare tactic to get you to read about the next big environmental panic.
The truth is that anything that kills pests, living organisms that occur where you don’t want them, is a pesticide. Undiluted white vinegar is a pesticide. It is not very effective, but it can be used to kill weeds, it will also kill tiny ants.
At Safeguard, we use naturally occurring mineral substances, vitamins, essential oils, and plant derived products – as pesticides. We also use synthetic materials based on those essential oils and plant derived products.
Vitamins we use as pesticides:
Vitamin d3 is used in rodent bait. This type of rodent bait is considered to be super safe around pets, and won’t kill raptors birds that might eat rodents who have consumed it.
Naturally occurring minerals we use as pesticides:
Fresh water diatomaceous earth is used as a health food supplement to clean out veins, arteries, and your digestive tract.
Silica Gel may help prevent the absorption of aluminum, and may have a structural role in connective tissue health, and is present in mineral water, and whole grains.
Boric acid is an antioxidant, and may detoxify heavy metals from the body, and is used as eye wash, and as a mild astringent.
Naturally occurring essential oils we use:
Linalool is a naturally occurring food grade ingredient found in tangerines, roses, lemons, lavender, cinnamon, chamomile and more.
Pyrethrins are naturally occurring essential oils found in chrysanthemums.
Rosemary, clove, peppermint, and germanium oil are all used as pesticides.
Synthetic materials we use, based essential oils and natural ingredients:
Pyrethroids are synthetic chemicals that are based on ingredients found in chrysanthemum extracts. The synthesized versions are much less toxic to humans, but more effective against insects. They don’t contain the mutagens present in the natural material, have much less odor, are way less likely to cause allergic reactions to people with allergies to plants, and last longer – allowing them to be applied every few months, instead of every few days.
Neonicotinoids are synthetic chemicals that are similar to the nicotine found in tobacco plants. The synthesized versions are much less toxic than caffeine to mammals, don’t contain the carcinogens, or mutagens present in the natural material, and last for a few months per application.
There have been studies that linked to neonics to bee deaths, and they may play a role, but evidence from a host of other studies show they may not be the real culprit.
Canadian farmers who grow canola oil in over 19 million acres in western Canada, where nenoics are used, report thriving bee populations.
Many of the studies which found links between bee mortality and neonicotinoids featured aspects like injecting the material at full strength into the bee’s brains, or spraying the inside of their nests with the chemical at full strength – both of which should have caused 100% mortality!
Many bee keepers are much more worried about the Veroa mite and the Tobacco Ringspot Virus than pesticides. In Australia where Neonics have been used for many years, there is no loss of bee populations. There is no Veroa mite either. The neonics are also known to be much less toxic to bees than the materials used before neonics were introduced.
At Safeguard, we don’t spray crops or trees. We treat homes and business to keep out ants, spiders, and crawling insects. We feel that all pesticides should be used with care to make sure that they’re not sprayed on crops in bloom. We do safety inspections before each application, looking for things to avoid, such as herbs, vegetable gardens, pet toys, and places that bees go to collect pollen or nectar.
The final word about neonicotinoids isn’t in, but regardless of whether they are banned from horticultural uses, they pose minimal threat to bees when applied properly around the exterior of a home.
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