Winter is almost here and a number of home invading pests may be trying to make their way into wood piles and homes for shelter. But every land owner knows they have got to do something. Some may want to use strong chemicals which may make their way right into the soil. These chemicals directly harm the soil food web, which helps plants grow and maintain the lakes. When plants get sick and the organisms in the soil go anaerobic, nuisances arrive in the soil resulting in more problems. When pest control needs to be done it will not help to make things worse.
It is also important to have these soil organisms to maintain soil structure for the future of the lawn and to help it stay green and be more than lifeless dirt. Consider too, the risks involved with family pets and children who are exposed to these dangerous products.
It is important to appreciate every creature for its harmless purpose in nature. Doing some research on the internet I discovered some successful animal home guardians in the food web. A concerned homeowner should invite the avian predators of animals, to eat moles, mice, and rats. The answer to doing this is simple: build a nesting box. This means too that one must stop completely using the poisons which may make it to your animal home guardian. Hopefully, you will attract hawks, owls, or even bats which will eat the smorgasbord of the yummy little meals which need to be gone before heavy winter.
Promoting shelter for insect eating garter snakes may be useful. Just leave a scrap board down far enough away from the house. Remember that our only venomous snake in Michigan, the Eastern Massasauga Rattler, prefers the wetlands. The Michigan DNR recommends that such snakes are left alone and when people attempt to kill snakes or handle them untrained this is when they get bitten. Snakes often bite when they smell something like a deer or bird, which will harm them. Naturally, a snake should not bite humans if unprovoked or when these smells are not on you. Small beneficial snakes like the smooth green are easy and safe to handle, however, the DNR says their diet of insects make them vulnerable to pesticides. Snakes will eat mosquitoes and other insects or rodents too.
THIS IS NOT A PEST. Photo © Jim Harding
Insects will eat insects, not only birds. To control wasps some of these creatures will help:
- Praying Mantis
- Robber flies
- Hover flies
- Black Birds
Safer Brand, which sells organic garden products, says there are other birds too which control wasps. Bluebirds, woodpeckers, sparrows and wrens may eat wasps on occasion but these are not their go to diet. Begin with a simple bird feeder in the garden and supply water too. Water is a must since that will keep the thirsty bird out of the garden fruits and vegetables. Birds will also groom the garden and keep down the number of pests that will make their way into the home.
Take a look at these commonly used chemical products to control pests…
|• BASF™ Termidor™||• FMC Talstar™||• Bayer™ Suspend™ Polyzone™|
Looking at the Bayer MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) the reader can see that these products are not meant to be used directly on the water. An MSDS discloses certain toxicological information and hazards (including flammability, reactivity, special hazards, health hazards) about a product used off the shelf or in the workplace by a professional. Please do further reading on these products to assess the situation for the home, Google the title of the product and the MSDS, it’s very easy! Take a look at FMC Talstar. This is a professional pesticide. Included in the MSDS is this line, “Very toxic to aquatic organisms, may cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment.” Every MSDS should have toxicity studies and information on tests done in the environment, including bioaccumulation. All of these sheets should have easy to follow headings. Go right to the one about the environmental tests and impacts. Remember that all of these living things are interconnected, and continue to rebuild the natural structure in the lake. These plants and organisms keep the water filtered and pleasant.
If you have used one of these products there are some ways to fix the soil and it requires work. Just throwing chemicals on the lawn will not fix the impact. These too can burn the soil life, leaving it dry dirt or compacted. Try using a quality compost (not reduced waste) without weed seeds and pathogens which have been aerated (low odor) for at least 131 degrees for 3 days, which will help the right kind of soil life. Reseed it. Morgan Composting Inc. offers Safe Green Lawn compost which meets this requirement (10-0-4) and Healthy garden Granular (7-6-5). Morgan Composting has a remediation program which may be useful to remove the chemical toxins completely. They use Leonardite Ore which contains carbon to absorb the toxic wastes and provide a service which may afterward verify the chemicals are gone.
Remember, mankind has dominion over their own actions and can learn to live harmoniously alongside the natural dominions of the animals.
MSDS Safety Datasheet Links:
Links from Morgan Composting Inc.
Find Dairy Doo Brand Compost from Morgan Composting Near You:
Safe Green Lawn
Healthy Garden Granular
Other Links Related to this article:
(I recently read in Charles Wilber’s How to Grow World Record Tomatoes it is easy to hunt for moles by closing their tunnels when they move… Get the cat!)
Smooth Green Snake (Liochlorophis vernalis)