Gardening is an enjoyable pastime and a satisfying one too. Whether you decide to grow flowers or vegetables, or simply like to keep a neat and tidy lawn, there is plenty to keep you occupied in the garden.
The satisfaction of seeing plants grow from seed or seedlings, of watching your own vegetable and fruit grow or simply appreciating beautiful roses or other flowers, is something that cannot be found anywhere else, and now is certainly the time to be getting out into the garden.
There is plenty you need to think about in terms of maintenance, too, and some problems that are universal where gardens are concerned. One of these problems is that of insects. Now, not all insects are bad for the garden – bees, for example, are essential for the pollination of many plants – but a good number can cause real problems and kill or damage plants. The general treatment is to use an insecticide, but which one do you choose?
Many insecticides are made from chemicals which, in certain circumstances, can be dangerous or harmful to children and pets. These are not favored by all gardeners as a result. Are there insecticides that are safe for use around children? The renowned publication Traditional Gardening says there are many to choose from, so let’s have a closer look at what they are and what you need to look for when buying your insecticide.
Which Insecticides are Safe?
Your vegetable crop is there to keep you fed, not the insect world, and it’s when growing veg that you are most likely to find insects causing damage.
They eat away at root crops and leaf crops – especially the latter – surprisingly quickly, so you need to keep on top of insect control as best you can. But, as we’ve said, you don’t want to use chemicals any more than you should, and especially those that are dangerous to children or pets.
So, what do you need to look for when choosing your insecticide? Rather than looking for harmful ingredients, we suggest going straight for those that lay claim to be chemical-free or harmless, and some are natural products. There is an insecticide names ‘Insect Dust’; this one is recommended for people with pets and children as it contains no chemicals. What it does contain is ‘diatomaceous’ dust. This is a by-product of diatoms which occur naturally and, without getting into too much detail, are entirely non-toxic except to certain insects that it will kill.
You might also want to have a look at Bug Buster-O. The active ingredient in this product is called Pyrethrin. This is also a non-toxic substance and one that does kill many insects, so your children and pets will be safe around it if they are supervised.
This one – as should always be the case – will not enter the watercourse as it biodegrades quickly, and while it is effective on many insects, some gardeners say it is not effective on common pests such as aphids. We suggest trying it out to see what you think.
These are just a couple of products that can be used where children are around, and there are many more. Before we finish, here are a few points to consider when you are using insecticides, even those that are claimed to be entirely safe.
Tips for Using Insecticide
Our first tip is an important one, and that’s to keep children out of the way of insecticides as best you can, even when they are totally safe. A young child may accidentally drink an insecticide if they find it lying around, and this can be dangerous. The same applies to pets. These products are for the use of adults only and should never be left in the open.
Even though these insecticides are safe for children and pets, once they have been applied to the plants, it is best to keep children, dogs, and cats away until dry. This is just a simple precaution. Keep your insecticides in a safe place out of the reach of children and pets.
Once you find an insecticide that works, stick with it, and you’ll enjoy beautiful crops of your favorite vegetables straight from your own garden!