What is an Organic Pesticide
So what is organic pesticides? Well, in pesticides as with all chemistry organic means a compound that contains carbon. So obviously something that doesn’t have carbon in its structure can’t be called organic. To make things easy the chemical/pesticide industry has classified most common insecticides into families such as Organochlorines, Organophosphates, Carbamates, and Pyrethroids. The first three being organic lines and the last being inorganic. Let’s take a look at some organic pesticides. By far the most known Organochlorine is DDT which you could say its effects on nature started the environmental movement. Organochlorines were made illegal and were replaced with Organophosphates and Carbamates. An example of a Organophosphates would be Sarin Nerve Gas. Yes, DDT and Sarin gas are both organic. Does that make Saddam Hussein a hipster using an organic gas when he gassed the Irani people, Probably not?
Are Organic Pesticides really safer?
The fact is, pesticide companies have tests done to decide their safety and then the Department of Pesticide Regulation makes sure they show that information to the public. Organic pesticides isn’t a concern of the DPR. The DPR makes sure all materials are rated for safeness by LD50s. An LD50 is a standard measurement of acute toxicity that is stated in milligrams of pesticide per kilogram of body weight that represents the individual dose required to kill 50 percent of a population of test animals. Basically, the higher the LD50 the safer the product is and vice versa. So now that you’re informed you can check the safety of products you use or are exposed to by others by the material’s LD50 and the next time someone tells you something is safe because it’s organic, doubt that. Everything must be considered on an individual basis. Traffic Pest Solutions always uses the safest most effective products for its clients by making informed and educated decisions.
Tradition Pesticides often are the Best Choice
Okay, then what does Organic mean on a product label? Doesn’t that mean no pesticides were involved with the product? No, it means the manufacturer pays an “organic agency” to have their product accredited through that agency and the manufacturer has obligations they have to meet for the accreditation. Yet somehow the agencies seem to be very flexible if they are going to lose a client for failure to pass their exam. Traffic Pest Solutions services many organic certified locations and all of them allow any legal pesticide as long as you practice integrated pest management or IPM first. UC Davis defines IPM an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, change of cultural practices, and use of resistant varieties. Pesticides are used only after monitoring indicates they are needed according to established guidelines. That’s a nice way of saying try to remove the problem without insecticide first then apply if needed.
So with all things considered organic pesticides are not always the safest choice.
by Jason D March
Owner and Operator of
Traffic Pest Solutions We are Santa Clarita Valley’s local pest control company.