There are alternatives to pesticides for managing insects, rodents and weeds effectively without exposing your family to harmful toxic chemicals. If you have tried to manage pests without chemicals, including methods of exclusion, improved sanitation, monitoring population levels, then, and only then, should you consider spot treatment of a least-toxic pesticide. It is important that you weigh the risks associated with the use of a pesticide against the problems caused by the pest. Consider all your options carefully, being mindful that any chemical solution can have human and environmental health risks.
What is a Least-Toxic Pesticide?
A least-toxic pesticide is a pesticide that has low human and environmental health hazards. Many least-toxic pesticides are botanicals, essential oils or derived from other plant or natural mineral sources.
Beyond Pesticides maintains a list of products it considers to be least-toxic pesticides through its List of Products Compatible with Organic Landscape Management. View that page for a range of least-toxic options you may consider after cultural, mechanical, structural, and biological controls have been attempted and proven unsuccessful.
Least Toxic Control of Pests factsheets can be ordered individually by emailing Beyond Pesticides. Check back often as we are continually updating our factsheets that are available online. For more information on integrated pest management and utilizing least toxic alternatives, check out our Children and Pesticides page.