With the increasing demand for organic food continuing to shape the food industry, hydroponic gardeners could benefit in switching to organic pesticides in protecting their crops against unwanted pests. After all, biological pest and plant disease control "is the future" as a 2001 study on biological pest control in greenhouse systems has claimed.
Using chemical pesticides have long been a concern among organic farming advocates and health-conscious consumers, and they had reason to, due to a library of existing literature on the matter. Many studies have proven the link between degenerative diseases and long-term as well as short-term exposure to chemical pesticides, which may only manifest years after the exposure.
For example, the Toxins Action Center reported that scientists from the National Cancer Institute found that American farmers had alarming rates of cancer such as leukemia, Hodgkins disease and non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Children who are exposed to pesticides at home were also found to be twice as susceptible to brain cancer as compared with those who live in households that do not use pesticides, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry said in a 2009 study.
Chronic health problems also arise from minimal exposure to pesticides that make it to people's food and water supply. Toxins Action Center noted a 2007 study done by researchers from the Public Health Institute, the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and the California Department of Health Services that discovered a six times increase in risks for developing autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in children whose moms were exposed to organochlorine-based pest repellents. Organochlorine is an umbrella term for compounds that contain chlorine, carbon, and hydrogen. Organochlorine compounds are not easily broken down by the body and bind to fatty tissues.
Chemical pesticide manufacturers deem these claims alarmist and unfounded but the growing amount of research further proving the ill effects of using chemical pesticides on people have proven otherwise. Fortunately, local government agencies are listening in on the conversation, with many of them implementing laws that prohibit the use of chemical pesticides at home. Cities and counties in California such as Malibu, Calabasas, and Agoura particularly were the first to pass policies preventing residents from using chemical pesticides. Hopefully, many counties would follow suit.
Nature-Cide offers a 100 percent natural, pest control product line that effectively wards off pests that feed off crops and seek refuge in your home garden. Designed for hydroponics usage, Nature-Cide's formulation uses essential oils such as cedar oil, cinnamon oil to kill and stunt the growth of insects, mites and nematodes in hydroponic plants.
The pesticide works by penetrating deep in the parasite's membranes, inducing paralysis, which eventually leads to death. In insects, the pesticide works by prematurely causing them to shed their exoskeletons, effectively killing them. While it smells pleasant and is entirely safe to humans, the formulation is lethal to insects, worms and mites that could interfere with plant development. The formulation cannot kill rodents and snakes, however, but it is efficient in driving them away.
Combined with an integrated pest management system, hydroponic gardeners and farmers can use organic pesticides to prevent pests from destroying their crops, leading to more yields in organic produce yields. Who knows? This may even guarantee them a piece of the $30 billion organic produce industry.