I guess poking sleeping bears with sharpened sticks is one of my many character flaws; but as you know by now, I’m a knotty-headed daughter born to a clan of knotty-headed gardening women who didn’t have much interest in gardening for the pleasure and romance of living in harmony with Mother Nature, yaddah yaddah.
I guess I find that my thinking, philosophy, and opinion about organic pest control is somewhat out of step with the common wisdom held by others committed to the organic movement…<deep sigh…>
Brace yourself: I have to shoot from the hip about a number of things that sometimes put me at odds with other organic gardening enthusiasts. You generally won’t catch moralizing purists (and product marketers) acknowledging the following:
- Although most (not all) organic biocides are “safer” than their conventional gardening counterparts, they are by no means safe. Duh, they are poisons. If not utilized and disposed of properly, they are dangerous to human health, and to non-target species like beneficial insects, birds and fish.
- The use of organic biocides causes pest populations to rebound – thereby requiring regular reapplication of the chemical treatment – exactly the same way that conventional pesticides do;
- The use of organic biocides causes pest populations to become resistant – exactly the same way that conventional pesticides do;
- In any given garden, in any given year, with any single pest problem, organic pesticides have limited and unstable degrees of efficacy.
That’s right: a sho’ nuff truth. Sometimes, organic biocides work well. And sometimes they don’t. It seems to me that someone made a rude noise at the party. How can I possibly be the only person in the room willing to admit they heard it?