Chemical Pesticides? Can they be used on Veggie Plants?

TIKI 77 tiki77 at aol.com
Sat Aug 8 18:45:39 EST 1998


The fact that you are reluctant to use chemical pesticides shows that you are
conscientious and concerned about the environment and your own health,  however
Chemical pesticides have, can, and will be used to control insect pests on
agricultural products. If these chemicals are used properly and judiciously
they can provide very safe control of pest species. At the cranberry bog I work
at we practice "Integrated Pest Management"- which basically means that we
don't just go out and blast chemicals without good reason. Pesticides like
Diazinon are neurotoxins- they kill insects quickly with contact or ingestion.
They are very toxic to fish, mammals, birds, amphibians, beneficial insects,
and YOU. The first thing you ought to do is look to see what exactly is eating
your vegetables. Grouping everything that is small and creepy crawly as a "bug"
won't help. Many beetles, spiders, moths and bees may be beneficial insects in
your garden. Some eat other insects or pollinate your flowers. When you spray
or dust with a neurotoxin you may end up killing all your beneficial insects.
You haven't specified what part of the country you are in, but many common
pests can be caught inside sticky traps with chemical baits. Since you're going
to eat the veggies, you should observe a period of at least a week with
diazinon(longer or shorter with other chemicals/formulations/weather
conditions/etc. follow the labeling on the pesticide container) before picking 
and wash the vegetables well before eating. No matter how hard you try, you
will never be able to eliminate all the pests in your garden, so consider all
the other factors first and remember that you are doing this for a hobby and
losing a few veggies to the bugs isn't the end of the world. There are plenty
of people who would disagree with me and say that completely organic growing is
the only way to go, but for the average backyard farmer a few well timed
applications of pesticide each year will result in less loss to pests.

Best of Luck.

Jay Cruz



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