There are many kinds of garden and lawn pesticides on the market. Some are touted as ‘organic’. Does that mean that the others are dangerous? Is the green grass you are sitting on toxic? The quick answer is that, unless you are a grub, your grass is safe to sit on, but yes, the ingredients your pesticides are toxic and therefore potentially dangerous.
Pesticides are toxic – so they can be dangerous
- Garden and lawn pesticides are ‘biocides’. That means they have been formulated to kill living things. Used correctly, as prescribed and in the recommended concentrations, they are deadly to whatever pest or class of pests you are targeting.
- However in higher concentrations, they could be equally deadly for larger organisms – right up to your cat, your dog, your kid, or you.
- If your cat or dog decides to chew some grass right after you have sprayed the lawn with pesticide, it could make them very ill. However, after a while, the concentration of pesticide dissipates and you need not worry too much.
- Pets and children are the most vulnerable to toxins in garden and lawn pesticides. However, exposure to pesticide while pregnant can potentially cause harm to your foetus. Make sure to thoroughly wash all vegetables and fruit out of your garden before you eat them.
- Wear gloves and a mask when spraying pesticide and keep application to a minimum.
Toxic run-off from over-application of pesticides:
Too much pesticide can end up contaminating the soil and groundwater. It can also run off into streams and rivers. Although this problem is usually associated with agriculture, lawn pesticide might be reason why the fish in your Koi pond are dying.
This is also dangerous for pets that drink from puddles and ponds in your garden.
Safe storage garden and lawn pesticides
Of course it is important to store all garden chemicals safely – whether fertilisers or garden and lawn insecticides. Keep them out of the sun, and out of the reach of children and pets. A product that is safe to use or that may cause nothing more than minor skin irritation if you get it on your hands, can be very dangerous if ingested or inhaled.
Lawn pesticides are designed to kill bugs, so use them only when you have bugs to kill – and then maybe stay off the lawn while you are treating it. Otherwise, keep the chemicals in the garden shed – under lock and key.