Our mission at SMARTSENZ® Integrated Pest Management is to reduce the chemical footprint of our industry though innovative and sustainable solutions, so we ask the question:
Is it time to stop using pesticides?
This question may seem a bit strange coming from a pest management company, since you may think that using pesticides is our bread and butter. However, using pesticides and successfully managing pests is not necessarily the same thing.
With the enormous innovation at our fingertips in this present age – you can control pests without pesticides. This process is called Integrated Pest Management (event though the current definition allows for pesticide use as a last resort).
So, what do pesticides do?
The terms ‘pesticide’ includes a variety of products, such as insecticides, rodenticides, and herbicides. These products are created to control specific types of pests/ living organisms and disease carriers.
And how does this affect us?
Over-time, living organisms build up resistance against the products we use against them. Ultimately, making the products ineffective. To counter this, manufacturers must constantly create stronger pesticides.
Stronger pesticides = more harmful risk to our bodies, pets, homes, animals and the environment.
Another major issue is that pesticides are readily available for anyone to use ‘when’ and ‘how ‘they want. Since consumers don’t read the label/ follow the directions and don’t realize the enormous risks associated with the product, we endanger our world further.
What Pesticides do to our bodies
Once in the body, pesticides can cause harmful or lethal effects after a single episode of exposure (i.e. they are acutely toxic) or they cause harmful effects over an extended period of exposure (i.e. they are chronically toxic).
Acute effects include a sore throat, eye/skin irritation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, loss of consciousness, extreme weakness, seizures and even death.
Chronic effects include Parkinson’s disease, asthma, depression and anxiety, Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and several types of cancer.
Infants and young children are more susceptible than adults to the toxic effects. Farmworkers and the elderly are also more vulnerable.
A recent article posted in ‘Beyond Pesticides’ (*link below) stated that American citizens are petitioning for congress to “address the ongoing threat of Covid-19 by eliminating toxic pesticide use” because of the evidence that COVID is making them more vulnerable to the effects of pesticides (especially vulnerability to diseases). From the enormous amount of literature showing how pesticides are harming us, this should not surprise us.
What pesticides do to our animals
Pesticides are created and manufactured to stop the growth of/ kill unwanted plants and animals (pests). So, any animal coming into direct contact with a pesticide (in its toxic dose) will most likely have negative side effects. Many active ingredients of pesticides disrupt hormones in animals and change their behavior and their ability to reproduce. This is serious if the pesticide affects a non-target living organism (a living thing that the pesticide was not intended for)…even leading to extinction of a species!
Unfortunately, animals are not only affected by pesticides through direct contact (primary poisoning). They can be affected by secondary poisoning as well.
What is secondary poisoning?
1. Death/ poisoning as a result of exposure to pesticides that have built up in their ecosystem (e.g. fish in poisoned lakes)
2. Death/ poisoning as a result of consuming poisoned animals/ animals with pesticides in their bodies.
What pesticides do to our environment
Pesticides contaminate all facets of our environment. From the air we breathe, to the ground and water we use to survive.
What we think
It is time to think about why we use chemicals, and how we can possibly reduce that use.
Many people use pesticides because they are so readily available to them. We should not allow pesticides to be sold so easily in shops. Because of the disastrous consequences of pesticides, users should be trained in the method of use, the quantity, the timing (this is very important) and the disposal thereof.
Perhaps we need to re-evaluate the need for pesticides altogether. In the innovation-driven world we live in today – there are already non-pesticide solutions for pest management…and more are coming.
It is a win-win situation if we reduce our pesticide use.
1. People will be healthier and less susceptible to illnesses,
2. The environment and its animals will have a chance to regenerate and perhaps thrive,
3. Pest management companies will be able to employ and upskill more people on integrated pest management methods,
4. The list continues…
Join us in the fight against the overuse of pesticides. Each decision you make has a ripple effect. Make the decision to use integrated methods instead of falling back to the easy, ‘high quantity spray’ of toxic chemicals.
For more information click here.