The EPA has determined that the use of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, lawn and garden chemicals create a health risk to adults,
children and pets. Exposure to these harmful chemicals is reported to increase the risk of:
• respiratory problems
• liver and kidney damage
• birth defects
• learning, & developmental disorders
• behavioral issues
Harmful chemicals that should be avoided are found in pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. Pesticides are chemical products
used to kill pests particularly insects. Herbicides are chemical substances used to kill unwanted plants, i.e., weeds. Fungicides are
toxic chemicals that prevent and kill fungi.
Some healthy tips to keep in mind are:
Stop using garden chemicals . . . Lawn pesticides and fertilizers leach into drinking water and come into your home on shoes
The many natural products available at your local garden shop are better alternatives. Organic products include fireplace wood
ashes, grass clippings, blood meal, bone meal, aged manure, compost and seaweed.
Control pests and avoid using pesticides by introducing beneficial insects into your garden. Natural defenses include
ladybugs, bees, spiders, bats, toads, birds and beneficial soil organisms.
One ladybug eats as many as 5,000 aphids per year.
Reduce mosquitoes by putting a bat box in your yard.
Encourage insect eating birds by providing birdhouses.
Do not allow herbicide 2, 4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (ingredient found in agent orange) to be used on your lawn. Exposure
doubles your pets’ risk of canine malignant lymphoma and threatens your own health.
Vinegar and dish soap are common kitchen items that rid weeds and pests. Kill aphids by spraying soapy water on infested
plants rinsing with clear water.
To avoid herbicides use white vinegar to kill grass between patio bricks and spot spray on weeds in lawn – best results when
used on a sunny day.
Bacteria causes wilt, galls, rots, blights, or spots. Ways to minimize infection include washing leaves with soapy water or
spraying with a copper formulated product.
An effective spray is a mixture of:
1 gallon water +
2 Tbsp. dish detergent +
2 Tbsp. baking soda +
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
The Garden Club of America