We sort of make a divide between ‘chemicals′ and ‘natural products′. This is actually quite strange, because everything can be reduced to its chemical ingredients. Not only that, but government organizations, such as America’s FDA, has to approve chemicals, whereas natural chemicals are completely unregulated.
For example, some insecticides are injurious to humans and animals and the label will say that, but you can read somewhere that deadly nightshade is good for something, collect some, use it and die. No-one but you is responsible for that. Therefore, never just presuppose that ‘natural’ means safe, because it most certainly does not, necessarily.
The label on a tin or box gives you a degree of safety. In other words someone has done the research for you and is frightened of being taken to court. If you use home cures, you are on your own.
A ‘natural’ insecticide called rotenone, is obtained from derris root. It is completely safe for humans, but it will kill fish. Like most substances, rotenone is lethal in large doses, but no-one or no animals are likely to eat that much of it
Sabadilla is a natural insecticide, which can cause irritation to the eyes and breathing in some people, but it is not dangerous. To be on the safe side, lock up your pets and wear a mask when dispersing it
Pepper can be used as an insecticide. Grind it up, mix it with water and spray it on insects or leaves. As we all know, dry pepper, especially white pepper can aggravate the eyes and nasal passages.
If you want to make your own pesticides, particularly termite killer, from tobacco leaves, you have to be very cautious. The vapours are toxic to mammals as well as insects. If you want to try using tobacco, which eradicates many insects, you ought to research the topic very carefully before you start.
However, there are many natural insecticides that are almost totally risk-free. Boric acid for instance. It will kill many insects, but it is only a little more poisonous to man that salt. Surprising, eh? Yes, salt is poisonous too, if you consume 52 kilos of it.
Diatomaceous earth is a completely safe pesticide that works by dehydrating the insect. It is very improbable that you will get yourself into a situation where diatomaceous earth could dehydrate you or your dog.
Things that smell like lemons, such as lemon juice, lemon grass and citronella are effective mosquito deterrents and are completely innocuous to humans and their pets. You can dab the essential oil on or sit near the plants themselves.
The neem tree is also fairly harmless to humans and other animals, although it is worth understanding more about this vigorous insecticide and anaesthetic.
All in all, you should be cautious when believing that ‘natural’ equates to safe. ‘Natural’ means rather that it is often cheaper and is less strong, which can be better for the environment, us humans and the animals that live with us.
Owen Jones, the writer of this article writes on quite a few topics, but is at present involved with Terro Ant Killer. If you would like to know more or check out some great offers, please visit our web site at Killing Carpenter Ants.