There are more natural ways to prevent pest.
"Within 26 seconds after exposure to chemicals
such as cleaning products,
traces of these chemicals can be found
in every organ in the body.”
~ Environmental Heal Risks Affecting Your Children
I’m one of those people who LOVES a green lawn. I always have... odd as it sounds, as a kid, I’d ride my bike around the shoreline of Hyannis, MA and rate each yard I passed on a scale of 1-10, all the while dreaming of the day I had my own yard to tend. Sounds ridiculous. I had a creative, inquisitive young mind. Most every yard was between and 8 or 10, I mean they're all gorgeous. How could I one day have a lawn like that...?
If I rated my own yard on the standard I set as a child, I’d say it was about a 2 out of 10. Unacceptable in my book. It needed LOTS of work: more flower beds, stone bed boarders, stone walkways, flowers, perennials, herbs, roses, and more flowers and perennials...
I’ve never been more in tune with my garden than the past several years. After creating new beds with borders, I began growing veggies and herbs. When I ran out of space in the beds, I built wooden flower planters. I even made a wicking bed. While the flower beds looked nice, the grass was plagued with grubs: bare patches all over as if my lawn was balding.
Well, two years ago I was contacted by the monster TrueGREEN. A very nice elderly gentleman rang the doorbell asking if he could help me with my grass. I was already outside, and welcomed him into my garden. We toured the yard, I pointed out the problem areas I knew needed help, and he told me he could. He was very charming, and I took a liking to him.
When he told me he could get rid of all the weeds, and have my yard a plush 10, I immediately signed a full year contract with TrueGreen. I envisioned a bunch of people coming over, diligently on their knees pulling the weeds and tending to the bald areas with new seed. In my mind it was ideal! I knew the yard needed major help and I couldn’t do it all myself.
Welp, that’s not at all what happened. The guys in their big truck parked out front, drew a hose, and walked around the house spraying all sorts of who-knows-what all over the yard. Now, first let me say that it DID kill the weeds, though the dead weeds remained and I had to pull eventually bend over and pull it out myself.
But worse was the fact that NONE of the flower, herb or veggie seeds I planted sprouted. Not a single one! After three treatments I cancelled my yearly plan and sacrificed my payment to them. I realized the chemicals were not the solution I was looking for. I still had to pull my weeds anyway, and that wasn’t what I had in mind.
I’m hard pressed to find a landscape service that actually would come to my house and pull weeds, the old fashion way I know that it best.
Two years after these three yard treatments, my doggie began developing tumors in his body. Though he is otherwise very healthy, he has several "lumps" under his chest and at the elbow of one of his front legs. Even with visits to the Vet, we couldn't determine the cause. Until we found a bunch of research articles that suggests the chemicals in the yard could have affected him. Even long after the exposure. We believe the development of his tumors could be directly related to the chemicals used in our yard. Check out this article.
Since that experience with TrueGreen, we don't use anything toxic whatsoever in the yard. We use natural remedies to conquer the grubs, and pull the weeds manually. We’ve learned several great techniques of deterring pests from eating our plants and destroying our lawn. From companion planting to Microbial insecticides. Check out the suggestions below and see if they help you.
I wouldn't say I've achieved the heights of a 10-score for my yard, but I'm comfortable knowing I'm keeping my doggie and family safe by avoiding pesticides and toxic chemicals.
Another suggestion for preventing weeds from overtaking your yard is to pull your weeds early before they go to seed and spread throughout the yard. Now’s the time, get out there! And let us know how your yard is coming along. Send us pictures!
Managing pesticides: For detailed guidance on pesticide management see Guides to Pollution Prevention: Non-Agricultural Pesticide Users, United States Environmental Protection Agency, 1993, document EPA/625/R-93/009. This 58-page guide, which includes nine worksheets, is available from the National Center for Environmental Publications and Information, P.O. Box 42419, Cincinnati, OH 45242-2419. Fax: (513) 489-8695.
Protective Clothing When Using Pesticides: See BCERF Fact Sheet #21 on Avoiding Exposure to Household Pesticides: Protective Clothing that should be worn when using pesticides in home and garden.
Disposal: Call the manufacturer or contact your local government or sewage treatment facility. Also, many communities sponsor hazardous household products pick-up days. Check to see if containers are recyclable.
How to build a Wicking Bed...