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Organic Lawn Care Saves Whales

by Gabby Hyman, All About Lawns Columnist

Studies by researchers at Texas A&M University show that toxic levels of pesticides such as toxaphene, DDT, and chlordane are in the tissues of beluga whales swimming in Arctic waters. That's a long way from where these man-made insecticides were sprayed on the ground. It means that what we spray on our lawns to kill bugs in the continental United States may be killing animals thousands of miles away. DDT and PCB, researchers say, have an extensive reach through the air.

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If you're looking for non-toxic insecticides for use on your lawn, there are plenty of alternatives available at most organic lawn care shops and online suppliers. For example, you can buy a spray that drives off aphids, Japanese beetles, whiteflies, fire ants, earwigs, and caterpillars that is based on a lemon extract. A different manufacturer produces lawn and garden spray that repels ticks, fleas, ants, grasshoppers, pillbugs and mosquitoes. The turf spray contains organic materials that insects hate, including sesame oil, thyme oil, and clove oil.

Organic Pest Control for Lawns

You can also buy organic lawn care repellants that drive away pesky critters without pumping toxins into the air and water table. One manufacturer offers a spray of wax with a hot cayenne pepper base that sends rabbits, gophers, and hedgehogs into the night after a tall glass of water. Have raccoons, deer, or hares? You can buy an organic lawn spray with a garlic powder and safflower oil base that may sound appetizing to us, but sends other creatures away.

For those with pesky Japanese beetles in the lawn, try organic turf inoculators of milky spore, a disease that wipes out beetles at the grub stage without poisoning other insects, birds, pets, or farm animals.


About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys, GoTo.com, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.

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