As a homeowner or a renter there is a common urge to maintain the appearance of the yard or garden of one's home, not just for beauty's sake, but for property value. With spring around the corner many people will soon go back to those enthralling joys of yard and garden maintenance. What many people don’t realize, however, is how much a little weed killer, Miracle Grow, pest killer can affect the wildlife and ecosystems around them.
When it comes to the yard, patches of weeds or insects can drive some people crazy. As a reaction to a yard full of weeds, the quick and easy thing to do is go to the local lawn and garden store for weed killer (herbicides) or insect killer (insecticides). After the eager green thumb enthusiast spreads the herbicide and insecticides all over the lawn: the resident wildlife such as grasshoppers, spiders, ants, beetles, worms, and other life can either absorb through fat solubility (which gets stored in the fat cells) or by water that the toxins have dissolved into.
Then the next animals in the food chain continue the cycle of life by eating the above listed wildlife. In reaction to the lower level life containing poison levels, the higher animals in the food chain will contain lethal levels of toxins. These pictures will help explain,
While many people believe that the chemicals are only targeting a specific weed or insect, an entire ecosystem is being damaged due to “bioamplification” or a ripple effect. For one recent example, “A chemical used to control insects and non-native birds is likely to blame for the deaths of hundreds of birds…as many as 700 birds in Australia have been found dead” for more on that news go to
In the United States, one example of a decline in a species due to insecticides is the Grassland-bird species. For more information regarding the Grassland Bird go to
Does this effect humans? Yes. The chemicals that are used in yards can be absorbed through the skin of your children as well as yours and become stored in your fat cells thus multiplying the levels of chemicals in your future children. For more information regarding how pesticides affect people go to
What can you do? Listed below are possible sites for recipes of organic pesticides and herbicides to try out instead of buying toxic. If you don’t like what you see, don’t worry, there are over 2 million other sites to try from. Or when you go to the local lawn and hardware store, Home Depot, for example, has a selection of organic herbicides and pesticides. However, going to the National Pesticide Information Center online at http://npic.orst.edu/ingred/active.html, or calling 1-800-858-7378 is highly recommended to know what specific ingredients to avoid.