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Integrated Pest Management and Less-Toxic Products

Less-Toxic Home and Garden Products

Thank you for considering using less-toxic pesticides.  Pest and weed control can be done in a way that is safer for your family, pets and the environment. Residents have reported sucess at getting their landscape in balance where the pests control each other!

Why should we use less-toxic products?

  • Pesticides are considered high priority Target Pollutants in the Sacramento area stormwater discharges.This ranking was determined by the Target Pollutant Ranking system which measures the frequency and toxicity of the pollutants present in urban runoff.
  • It is estimated that private residents in Northern California are responsible for half of the pesticide applications in urban areas. This amounts to tens of thousands of active ingredients according to the Draft Pesticide Plan, Sacramento Stormwater Management Program.
  • Pyrethroids, a common ingredient in poisonous pesticides, are not very toxic to mammals but have been shown to be extremely toxic to certain fish species such as the fathead minnow, rainbow trout, brook trout, bluegill and sheepshead minnow.
  • Pyrethroids readily absorb to sediment particles commonly found in aquatic environments such as clay, soil and organic matter.
  • Pyrethroids can remain in the water column for weeks at a time, potentially impacting the local fish populations.
  • Folsom Hazmat disposes of thousands of pounds of residential poisons every year. Poisons are some of the most expensive household hazardous wastes to dispose of and they cannot be recycled. They are disposed by a process of destructive incineration. Using less-toxic products likely means that Folsom Hazmat will have less waste poisons to pick up. Note: Completely empty product containers can be placed in your blue recycling cart.

  • Poisons that are improperly disposed will likely leak out of the cans and trash trucks. Garbage trucks are not sealed from the environment. Liquids that enter the trash stream often leak out onto your streets.

    How do these less-toxic products work?

«Ant Baits: “Baits are insecticides mixed with materials that attract worker ants looking for food. They are a key tool for managing ants and the only type of insecticide recommended in most situations. Ants are attracted to the bait and recruit other workers to it. Workers carry small portions of the bait back to the nest where it is transferred mouth-to-mouth to other workers, larvae, and queens and other reproductive forms to kill the entire colony. Bait products must be slow-acting so that the foraging ants have time to make their way back to the nest and feed other members of the colony before they are killed. When properly used, baits are more effective and safer than sprays.” (From UC IPM website: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/GENERAL/urbanpesticideuse.html)

«Slug Baits: (Sluggo) Iron Phosphate baits, a less-toxic ingredient than the traditional metaldehyde (and therefore safer for children and pets), works by impairing the digestive system of snails and slugs.After a few days they stop eating and crawl to secluded places to die.

«Soap Spray: Soap spray can be directly sprayed on plants to eliminate a wide variety of pests such as aphids, earwigs, mealybugs, scale, spiders mites, etc.

«Orange, Mint, or Cedar Spray: Less toxic to use inside or outside, these work similar to conventional aerosol pesticides. They can be used to create a barrier to pests trying to come into your house or treat cracks and crevasses. Note: A lot of spiders, beetles and other insects (praying mantis or lady bug larva) eat pest insects so eliminating spiders and beetles can increase the amount of pests around. Most spiders are beneficial insects.

You can get more information about controling these and other pests by going to the Our Water Our World web site.

The Our Water – Our World program is a partnership between many different water pollution prevention agencies and stores that sell pesticides to the public. The goal is to help you manage home and garden pests in a way that protects the health and safety of your family, pets and the environment. Their website includes factsheets with less-toxic pesticide suggestions.

You can find less-toxic products at many Folsom hardware retailers. For more information on integrated pest management and less toxic products send us an Email.

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