So, should you use natural or synthetic pesticides? Some pesticides have less dangerous chemicals if they are considered natural. This doesn’t mean that all synthetic ones are harmful, or that all natural ones are safe. Before deciding to use a certain pesticide, make sure you research its safety.
And today, we’re going to go in-depth about some of the pros and cons concerning the use of both natural and synthetic pesticides. After all, you want to choose the best pesticide to suit your needs, while still making sure you are using a product that is both safe and effective.
Natural Or Synthetic Pesticides: Which is Better?
Defining which product is “better” can be really difficult when choosing any kind of pesticide. When choosing a pesticide, you have to ask yourself what better looks like for you. For example, you may need to go with natural pesticides if you are planning to cultivate an organic garden.
Or if you need immediate relief from pesticides, a fast-acting synthetic formula might be better for you. But in recent years, so-called natural, or “organic”, pesticides have been growing in popularity. This has caused a real spike across the natural pesticide market. Everyone seems to be getting in on the action.
Natural And Synthetic Pesticides: The Major Differences
Mainly, they are extracted and synthesized through different methods. If a product is natural, it is either extracted directly from the ground, plants, or animals. If a product is synthetic, that means that it is cooked up by artificial means in a laboratory. However, this doesn’t necessarily make natural pesticides better than synthetic ones by any means.
Pesticides: Are they Harmful?
Yes, they are designed to kill animals. Be very sure of how harmful they are, they can and will cause serious illness, even death if not handled correctly. Always treat pesticides with the utmost respect. It’s very important to make sure you choose something that is safe, and this will depend upon the product and the chemicals used. Do not sacrifice your health in order to just get a product that is more readily available, or cheaper.
Your choice of pesticide may also be depending on whether or not you have children or pets. Both could be harmed if they got into and consumed certain chemicals. If you have a child or pets, make sure you research the pesticide you are purchasing is safe for them to be around. Otherwise, you might end up having to make a trip to the emergency room, or the emergency veterinarian.
When you go to use any pesticides, make sure to use precautions. Wear goggles, use gloves, prevent contact with your skin, and don’t breathe anything in. Keep the number of the local poison control center on hand in case of an emergency.
Natural | Organic Pesticides: What are they?
This class of pesticides can also be called “organic”. As we said before, these products are derived from the ground, plants, or even animals. While they have been heavily promoted in recent years, you might be wondering what the pros and cons of natural pesticides are.
Natural | Organic Pesticides: The Benefits
By using natural pesticides you are really securing a way to stay “organic” and even reduce what is probably an ever-growing carbon footprint. In general terms pesticides created from natural means are much more friendly to the environment. This means you will be more likely to go “green” if you are using natural pesticides versus the use of synthetic ones.
There’s always the health angle, as the use of natural pesticides is healthier for you, your pets, and your children. This is especially true if you are using pesticides on a vegetable patch or fruit trees and bushes.
Going green is not just an opportunity to feel good; it’s now a consumer demand. If you are trying to maintain a reputation for your business that you are “going green”, you can started by using pesticides that nature provides.
Surprisingly natural pesticides work better over the long run because pests are less likely to develop a tolerance to them. This means that over a long period of time, these pesticides will be more effective than ones pests have developed a resistance to.
A really interesting and important aspect is that natural pesticides will contribute to the health of your soil, a fact that results in better overall plant growth. It may also mean less chances of contamination. This is a big part of why natural pesticides are considered a solid step in the direction of going green.
Natural | Organic Pesticides: The Downsides
As with everything we do, there’s always going to be aspects of a process or product that needs careful assessment, and that may well involve a conclusion that sees something in a negative light. Organic pesticides are no different; here are some of what we consider to be the downside of these products:
Unfortunately, due to the relatively high costs of these products, many people who want to use only natural products may not be able to afford them. This is partly why the use of synthetic pesticides is still so prevalent.
It is true that some natural products may be much less effective than synthetic ones, but this largely depends on the ingredients used in the pesticide and its level of concentration.
They certainly take longer to deliver their promise. Using natural pesticides can take much longer for them to work than with conventional synthetic products. And with the delay, you might see an increase in pests during this time.
These natural chemicals may not be as strong as their laboratory-grown counterparts, so this means that you may require more knowledge to properly use them. This is so you are able to make sure they are effective enough to work.
As of yet there are only a limited number of manufacturers who are producing natural pesticides; however, the market is beginning to see more products produced by major players in the pesticide industry. Although this bodes well for the future it must be said that -- in all honesty -- many people simply do not have the opportunity to buy them as they are not stocked in any where near the volume as synthetic pesticides are.
CAUTION: It is of the utmost importance that you realize that not all organic compounds are harmless. Far from it! They can be just as dangerous as synthetic ones. Thus, be aware that just because a product is labeled “natural” it does not make it automatically safe for humans, pets, or the environment. Before using a natural pesticide always be sure to do an in-depth research of the chemicals contained within it. Absolutely carefully read and consider any warning labels that you see on any product that you are thinking of purchasing or using.
When using natural pesticides, you should take any of the same precautions that you do with synthetic ones. And as always, call your local poison control center if you accidentally consume or breathe in any natural chemicals. KNOW and PRACTICE basic emergency procedures.
Synthetic Pesticides: What are they?
Synthetic pesticides have been seen, and in some senses deservedly, as bad and nasty. Yet, it is important ask as to if they really deserve it. After all, without them global food production would be nowhere near as high as it is now. So, let’s take a closer look.
Synthetic pesticides: The Benefits
If there’s one thing about synthetic pesticides they are usually readily available in most any supermarket. So wherever you are, you can pretty much guarantee that you’re within easy purchasing distance of a pesticide. They can also be bought online.
Synthetic pesticides are designed to be fast, and they are. Once you’ve sprayed or otherwise applied them the results you’ve been looking for will be delivered in no time at all.
These chemicals are made to be powerful, they are very strong and act as such, this means that once you use them, you can generally consider your problem solved as long as the brand is reputable.
If your budget is tight, and whose aren’t these days, then you may want to consider buying synthetic pesticides. Produced at an industrial scale and sold globally they are cheaper than their natural alternatives.
As there are so many brands of synthetic pesticides existing you will have much more choice. This readily allows you to compare products in order to make the best choice for both you and your budget.
With a seemingly countless number of brands of pesticides on sale this actually ensures that synthetic pesticides protect cover more kinds of pests than natural pesticides do.
Synthetic Pesticides: The Downsides
Here are the downsides -- some of which are extremely serious -- to using synthetic pesticides:
Many synthetic chemicals have been known to cause significant health problems to human beings and other mammals, birds and amphibians. Some chemicals that were originally used are now considered so dangerous that many governments have banned their use. Always be sure you wear protective gloves, clothes and where needed, a mouth mask and/or goggles. Always avoid getting any chemicals on your skin and never breathe it in.
Contamination is of major concern, not just of you, your family and others and even buildings, but of soil and water resources in the immediate area. Contamination is a serious issue that must be carefully avoided where synthetic pesticides are concerned. If you have a well for your water, you may want to reconsider alternatives to synthetic pesticides. You absolutely do not want to contaminate your and other’s drinking water. It can have terrible consequences including serious illness and even death.
Pests can build up a tolerance to certain chemicals; this means that the longer you use these particular pesticides the more you have to use and even some cases they will become less effective. This also opens up the possibility that certain pests will come to be completely immune to certain chemicals and simply carry on as though you hadn’t just spent your hard earned dollars on trying to get rid of them.
Although it very much depends on which chemical you are using synthetic pesticides can pose a threat to the environment, and in o way really contribute to any policy that sees you wishing to “go green”. Some of these chemicals are anything but environmentally friendly.
Any other animals in the surrounding area where these chemicals are used are also open to harm, they could potentially be seriously injured, made ill or even killed by exposure to synthetic pesticides. Dogs and cats are difficult to keep out of things, and they also have more sensitive systems that human beings.
How To Safely Use Pesticides?
Throughout this article, I have loosely mentioned some of the precautions that you should take when you are using either natural or synthetic chemicals around your home or business. Since this is a very important subject, I’ve decided to give you a few additional tips for safety:
Never Underestimate Safety
Take safety precaution extremely seriously. Pesticides are dangerous; after-all they are designed to kill animals. Never underestimate safety: Keep pesticides under lock and key, away from inquisitive children and pets. Keep the local poison center number at hand, know how to get there, their opening hours and alternative medical centers. Make sure you never put yourself in a position where you consume or breathe in any of these chemicals.
Keep Them Outside
It’s important to note that the majority of these pesticides are for outdoor use only. This means that you should never use them inside your house. Doing so may increase significant health risks to you and your family, or even your pets.
When Using Pesticides Go Professional
If possible, you should either get trained up and/or licensed or, alternatively get the professionals in. Don’t underestimate how dangerous and harmful these chemicals are.
Always Read the Instructions: Twice
Make sure you read all of the safety instructions included with the specific pesticide you have bought. Many of these products will list safety instructions on the package. After reading them carefully, read them again.
Read up on Local Ordnances and Laws
You don’t want to be violating a local ordinance of any kind. Certain areas may ban certain chemicals, or they may stipulate that only trained professionals can apply pesticides in the area.
Never Handle Any Chemicals Without Protection
You should consider wearing gloves if possible. Wear goggles to protect your eyes, and invest in a mask to go over your mouth and nose. After all, you don’t want to breathe any of this stuff in.
Never Think More Is Better
Don’t add more of any substance thinking it will have a better effect. Always follow the instructions, they’ve been tested and produced by professionals and scientist, they know the correct dosage!
Never Consume Pesticides
Never ever eat or chew anything while applying pesticides. This increases the chance of getting something toxic inside of your mouth. Never put anything you’ve used to apply chemicals in or near your mouth or eyes or skin. Ever.
Keep Flames Away
Never smoke or vape around pesticides, this is an absolute no. Many chemicals are flammable and react violently to heat from both naked flames and hot surfaces, materials. Don’t smoke or vape.
Children and Pets Must be Kept Safe
To keep children and pets safe from harm when you applying pesticides, keep them away, and inform children where you have sprayed or placed any dangerous chemicals. Instruct them about how dangerous they can be. For toddlers, always spray or place chemicals in places they cannot reach.
Don’t Assume That You Are Eliminating Any Risks Just Because You Use Natural Pesticides
Above all, don’t assume that you are eliminating any risks just because you use natural pesticides. Natural doesn’t automatically mean safe, and letting your guard down could be a risk to your health and safety.
Remember: Stay safe at all costs when applying pesticides! Eliminating insects and other pests should never come at the expense of your, your family’s or others health and safety.
The Wrap Up
Throughout this blog we have covered both the benefits and downsides to both natural and synthetic pesticides. We hope you now have a better understanding of the issues related to them and the differences that they present when using them. Now armed with an extensive insight you can choose the product and approach that best suits you and your needs. If you feel that you still can’t decide, talk with others who have gone with either choice, you also contact us if you’re unsure about anything. We’re always here to help!
Yet, and this is really important, there’s no avoiding the fact we are all exposed to far more toxic chemicals than our bodies are equipped to handle. Whether these chemicals come from the natural world or are created in a laboratory is one factor that we can control. But what’s the difference? When it comes to fending off pesky bugs, does it matter whether you use natural or synthetic pesticides in your garden? As it turns out, it makes all the difference in the world in regards to your health and the health of the planet.
Again: What are Natural and Synthetic Pesticides?
Remember natural pesticides are sourced from nature. They are present in plants and animals as an evolutionary tactic to keep predators away.
Synthetic pesticides, on the other hand, are created first in laboratories and then manufactured in factories. They do not exist or come from the natural world and are typically designed to target a specific type of pest, rather than simply trying to keep them all away. Although this makes them much more effective in a short time span they are much more likely to build up as toxins in other animals, the environment and us.
The Dangers of Powerful Synthetic Pesticides
When used correctly, both natural and synthetic pesticides keep gardens productive and free from damaging insects. However, there are some real concerns with how all types of pesticides are used today.
While it would be easy to believe that all synthetic chemicals are bad and natural ones are good, the truth is more nuanced. Concentrated levels of any pesticide in the ecosystem can spell trouble. For example, excess levels can enter the water system and impact the reproductive systems of fish and amphibians to alarming levels, and there’s little telling what the long term impacts on humans could be.
Remember: Natural is Usually Better But Not Always
Any chemist will tell you that there is no difference between natural and synthetic pesticides and that the effect they have means it makes no difference where they were sourced. Though too much of any pesticide can cause problems, the truth is that natural sources tend to be the best way to go for both the health of the environment and the health of your body.
As it turns out, there are many natural pesticides around us that we can use that are simply safer to be around than synthetic ones. They are less likely to build up in our bodies or the environment, and natural biological systems like decomposition tend to do a better job of breaking them down. As an added benefit, natural-based pesticides won’t cause insects to develop resistance as fast as synthetic ones, meaning that they will be effective for far longer.
Natural Insecticides That Deliver
When studied individually some pesticides are simply less harmful to our family, pets, others and the environment. The three natural pesticides below have been thoroughly tested by scientists and have been found to be some of the best possible forms that you can use to keep insects in check while also keeping both your body and the environment as healthy as possible.
Neem Oil: Extracted from the nut of the neem tree has long been used in traditional medicine. It makes an effective pesticide because it stops insects from eating crops and has extremely low levels of toxicity to mammals, making it safe for use around the home, office and garden.
Tobacco: Though obviously bad for your heart and lungs it actually has a lot of benefits when it comes to stopping pests. By simply mixing it into your soil you can say goodbye to root-damaging worms, fungus gnats and centipedes, just to name a few. So long as you stay away from the substance yourself, it can do wonders for the health of your plants and thus in turn you, as who doesn’t love flowers?
Cedar Oil: Distilled from the wood and needles of the cedar tree this oil has a wide range of benefits, including the capacity to keep insects away. Simply purchase a cedar-oil based insecticide and spray small amounts where you are having problems. Cedar oil is toxic to many insects, and the oil’s strong aroma is usually enough to keep most bugs away.
As with anything where there’s seemingly endless amounts of information choosing the right kind of pesticide can be a real minefield. Though some pesticides are worse for the environment than others, your smartest option is to stick with all natural pesticides that have been proven through extensive testing to be safe to use for both you and the environment.
A Final Word
It’s probably best to accept that nothing is ever completely chemical free. It can be a difficult conclusion to reach, but unfortunately absolute everything contains some chemical or another. The only difference between natural chemicals and synthetic ones are where we source the chemicals from, and the term “Chemical Free” is most definitely a marketing ploy to try and convince consumers to buy products that are “chemical free” and thus make us feel “better” about going green.
Believe it or not, and this may come as a shock, organic farmers still -- by-and-large -- still use pesticides. However, they will by nature only use pesticides that are considered organic. They will not in any way or from use synthetic pesticides. Organic pesticides are the answer they reach for when wanting to control pests, they will not go near any that have been mixed up in a laboratory.
No matter the kind of pests that are invading your life, we have it covered. Explore the site and find all the answers you need. Our Pest Removal FAQ has articles about getting rid of every kind of pest you can imagine. And if you still have questions, contact us: We’ll do our very best to help.
For example, if you’re having problems with birds check out this page. Got a termite problem? Click here. Whatever your pest problem, we have detailed information that will help you tackle the issue head on with clear, easy to understand steps that work.
Hello, my name is Chris and I am a pest control expert. Got a question? Worried about insects, rats, bats? Well, worry no more, sit back, relax and read our site as my team and I share everything we know about pest control with you.
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