Monotoring & Tips Plants

Pesticides in Your Garden

Pesticides in your garden

pesticides in your garden
pesticides in your garden

Use of pesticides

Pesticides are therefore the substances we use in the fight against various pests, including plants, likely to damage to the integrity of crops, crops, materials, objects or whose use is indispensable in certain places for reasons of hygiene and sanitation. The pesticide always poses risks to the environment and the health.

Chemical pesticides

Insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides are therefore manufactured for to kill living beings. Some of them are broad-spectrum poisons, who kill a wide range of organisms living. Others, more specific, do not aim that some species, for example, aphids. They are therefore more or less selective. Others, again, may affect species non-target: a chemical used to eliminate pests can also kill butterflies or bees. These are “broad spectrum” or “non-selective” products.

The usefulness of pesticides cannot be questioned in the context of control of pests that may threaten human health, or to improve and conserve food resources and even to protect the heritage (for example, control of marigold). But he It should never be forgotten that these products are “biocides”,
products that “kill” life. In addition, leached into the soil and trained to the water table, they can leave toxic residues. Pesticides are therefore products that are never harmless. They always contain dangerous substances.

What is pesticide?

Pesticides, as they are marketed, are composed of active substances (there are almost 500) and one or more several adjuvants to ensure maximum efficiency. These adjuvants, called “inert ingredients”, are sometimes more toxic the active substance (s) used in the composition of the products.

You Must Know

We distinguish pesticides for agricultural use and pesticides for use non-agricultural or biocides, the legal term. They are subject to regulations very precise as to their manufacture, their marketing,
their usage. Their placing on the market must be approved prior. In Belgium, it is regulated by the Royal Decree of 28 February 1994 for agricultural pesticides and the Royal Decree May 22, 2003, for biocides. A fundamental distinction is therefore made between agricultural pesticides and biocides.
The official and “more reassuring” term used in the legal definitions are “phytopharmaceutical product”.

Agricultural pesticides include plant protection products: insecticides, fungicides, acaricides, nematicides, molluscicides, rodenticides and a variety of products such as that inhibitors and growth regulators, products against the lodging of wheat, for conservation silage, disinfectants, wetting and adhesives and other products various.

Biocides are substances and preparations intended for use outside the agricultural field for:

• Combat or eliminate animals causing damage to products animals ;
• Prevent the decomposition of animal products;
• Treat materials and objects to combat or eliminate harmful animals, plants or micro-organisms in the
dwellings, buildings, means of transport, water swimming, rubbish dumps and sewers;
• Combat or eliminate, by the treatment of plants of soil or water, organisms that can cause diseases in humans or in animals;
• Fight the ectoparasites of small domestic animals.
The substances generally used in the garden belong to the category pesticides for agricultural use.
Products used to treat materials (wood fences, garden sheds …), for example, are part of non-agricultural biocides.

How do pesticides work?

According to their mode of action, by contact or by absorption, pesticides are classified into two groups. One speaks of action of “contact” when acting outside of the plant. The contact insecticide kills the insect directly product contact. If the insect lives in a curled leaf or protected by an anfractuosity of the bark, the product will not be able to reach it. It will have no effect more on insects or fungi that are already evolving in the heart of the plant tissues. Contact fungicides form a thin film on plants. These products, active until the rain has taken away protection, are mainly used preventively.

We speak of “systemic” action when the pesticides are transported directly to inside the plant by the sap. We use the systemic either directly into the soil where they are absorbed by the roots, either on leaves. The advantage of this type of product is that it is so transported in the set from the plant to the smallest branch or the smallest leaf.

Health effects

Acute or immediate toxicity results from:

• inhalation of vapors from solvents of the product, powders or liquids pulverized;
• Ingestion, especially by children, of a product or during siphoning, in putting his fingers in his mouth, eating or smoking a cigarette;
• direct contact with the skin or mucous membranes, by spilling product on hands, by contact with treated plants or surfaces, or by handling waste (flasks, boxes) that contained the product. The most common signs of acute intoxication are a headache, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, eye or skin irritation.

During intoxication

more severe, especially with organophosphorus and carbamate More serious symptoms are observed: abdominal cramps, diarrhea, sweating excessive, breathing difficulties, convulsions, and even coma.

Chronic toxicity

It results from repeated use of pesticides that are eliminated too slowly of the body or accumulate in fat. Business users from pesticides (farmers, arboriculturists) suffer, without always admitting it, headaches, loss of memory, impaired vision and sleep, dizziness, repeated infections due to decreased immunity.

Long-term effects

Some pesticides have carcinogenic, mutagenic effects (which act on the genetic material of the individual), can induce malformations or reduce the fertility and immunity. Epidemiological studies have found that professional users of pesticides, the increase of cancers and various congenital malformations. Indeed, pesticides pass the placental barrier and can affect the fetus and therefore the future of the child.

You Must Know

Pesticides for agricultural use and biocides are tested in a series of animal tests laboratory) to determine their toxicological and physicochemical properties. following the results, they are classified in categories of danger (very toxic, toxic, corrosive, etc …).

The absence of regulatory signs of toxicities on a product does not mean that it is devoid of danger! Active ingredients are tested separately while in a product there are several substances that can act in interaction (additive and synergistic effects, therefore multiplicative). Toxicological tests to evaluate the toxic effects of new molecules are still insufficient to ensure long-term safety.

Effects on the environment

Pesticides are generally intended for a quick and targeted effect. Fast, because it’s about saving a crop, a plantation. Targeted, because it must attack a defined parasite, the aphid, the slug, the mullet, the “weed”. In reality, it is not so often.


After a quick and perhaps punctual action, the pesticide often pursues its action. This is the “remanence”, that is to say, the duration during which it persists and acts in the environment.
Some products, “organochlorines“, have a remanence that can go up to 10 years and over.


After use, some pesticides may accumulate in living organisms and so focus all the way to along the food chain. It’s bioaccumulation. In the end, organochlorines are fixed in animal fats and human.


Over time, some species become resistant pesticides supposed to destroy them. This is due to the adaptability of nature. Thus, when a pesticide is used, resistant “pests” survive and end up, without competition, in conditions favorable to their multiplication. The effect sought by the use of the product therefore not achieved. It’s even the opposite effect that happens. The increase in doses the result also increases the effects of these products on the environment.

5. Effects on the environment

Pesticides are generally intended for a quick and targeted effect. Fast, because it’s about saving a crop, a plantation. Targeted, because it must attack a defined parasite, the aphid, the slug,
the mullet, the “weed”. In reality, it is not so often.


After a quick and perhaps punctual action, the pesticide often pursues its action. This is the “remanence”, that is to say, the duration during which it persists and acts in the environment. Some products, “organochlorines”, have a remanence that can go up to 10 years and over.


After use, some pesticides may accumulate
in living organisms and so focus all the way to
along the food chain. It’s bioaccumulation. In the end, organochlorines are fixed in animal fats
and human.


Over time, some species become resistant pesticides supposed to destroy them. This is due to the adaptability of nature. Thus, when a pesticide is used, resistant “pests” survive and end up, without competition, in conditions favorable to their multiplication. The effect sought by the use of the product therefore not achieved. It’s even the opposite effect that happens. The increase in doses the result also increases the effects of these products on the environment.

Water pollution

Used too much, at an inappropriate time, the pesticides can be leached by rainwater or watering,
be dragged by the runoff to the soil surface towards the river or in the ground to reach the water table. Some of the products will be absorbed by animals and soil microorganisms or will remain present in soils. All will be contaminated. It’s mostly the herbicides that are involved in the polluted
waters. Driven by runoff from rainwater, they constitute a danger to the aquatic environments of streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, and swamps.

They are very rich natural environments, composed of a flora and abundant wildlife if the environment is not polluted. The danger lies in the contamination of plant plankton and accumulation, in each level of the food chain, with deadly consequences for wildlife, insects and useful larvae, crustaceans, amphibians, and fish.

Pesticides that percolate through the various layers of land and rock are also likely to end up in groundwater aquifers where our drinking water is pumped for consumption. Elimination of pesticide residues in drinking water for distribution is difficult and the processes expensive are ultimately paid for by the consumer.

Soil contamination

On soils, the action of pesticides may also have negative effects. Microorganisms, who participate in training humus by decomposition of organic matter, can be killed. The biological activity of the soil disappears, soils degrade, the quality of the crops is affected.

Action on fauna and flora

Herbicides are therefore often responsible for pollution water, the destruction of the aquatic environment and the disappearance fishes. Insecticides and fungicides are particularly dangerous for beneficial insects, birds, and mammals. They can poison animals who consume the treated vegetation and the predators of these animals. Effects on decreased fertility of birds have been demonstrated. Useful insects pollinators are directly affected by some non-selective pesticides. The most sensitive species are affected first.

There are many species of plants that are very sensitive to herbicides. The irrational use of these impoverishes the flora and reduce biological diversity. Because he too often tends to “force the dose and to increase the quantity prescribed when the packaging of the product seems too small. Any profit for the producer at the expense of nature, environment, and health.

This is the reason why it is imperative to comply with the instructions for use of the product, the quantities to be used, the surfaces to be treated and the most favorable periods of use. Because he uses the products in places inadequate. So, the risk is great to see the herbicide carried to surface water when impermeable soils, ditch edges, slopes of garages, gravel surfaces or terraces. These products are quickly washed in the rain and dragged into the grids evacuation of water.

You Must Now

Before intervening in the garden! Ask yourself these questions:

Are the observed damages due to a parasite?
When does it become a nuisance for the garden?
The rose bush is home to a few aphids, is that good the moment to intervene?
No damage to flower buds, is it essential to spray?
Is there not a balance between the plant, aphids and their natural predators that are ladybug larvae?
Are chemicals the only one’s solution?
If your intervention is essential …
Start by treating less, give priority to alternative methods of a struggle then give up the use of pesticides completely chemical. That’s the goal every garden lover must be fixed. The quality of the garden will not be altered, the production either, on the contrary. And in practice, how to act?

Choice of plants and soil balance

Prevention: avoid the appearance of diseases and parasites on Plants is certainly the most effective way to fight. For that, you will take care to import, in your garden, only plants or healthy cuttings. At the nursery, eliminate from your choice the plants which seem suspicious to you. Choose also plants adapted to your garden.

The elements with respect are the quality of the soil and the sunshine. Badly adapted plants will often remain stunted and become easy prey for parasites. You will take care to bring an optimum nutritional balance to your plants. A poorly dosed fertilizer can induce imbalances in the development vegetation with weakening or excessive growth.

Identify those responsible for the damage

Before intervening when there is any damage in the garden, the responsible agency must be identified. Is it an insect, a rodent, a fungus, a mold or a bacteria? It’s not always obvious to determine the origin of the evil. For an accurate diagnosis, it will be always useful to have a sufficiently complete documentation. of the Specialty labs can also help you make a diagnosis.

Use the appropriate means

It is essential, before using any means of struggle, to estimate the damage that threatened plants can suffer. Some diseases can simply harm the aesthetics of the plant. It’s the case leaf fall or browning. Others will only produce very little or no damage to the flowers, fruits or vegetables that we consume and some diseases will go off over time or with a climate change.

Weeds: Not that bad!

Herbicides are intended to eliminate “weeds” from gravel surfaces, in cobblestones, between vegetable or flower crops. They are the first ones responsible for water pollution. Let’s start by renaming the “weeds”: let’s call them “spontaneous”, “Native” or “weeds”. This change of vocabulary will help us to better accept their presence as long as they do not adversely affect others cultures. We can even leave them a significant place in designing a garden more “natural” and by providing islands of wildlife in the garden.

These spaces will house plants and flowers whose beauty has nothing to envy to “exotic” species.
They will quickly become the refuge of insects, birds, small mammals which are predators of the “enemies” of the garden. Ladybird larvae feed on aphids, caterpillars are devoured by insectivorous birds, shrews eat larvae, worms, insects, the hedgehog rid us of slugs and some snails.

weeds are really bothering us, let’s put the spotlight the hoe, the hoe, and the digging fork. Some of these tools, including the use, has been improved, help us root out, to the root, the undesirable plant. On impermeable surfaces (pavements), it is possible to use thermal weeding.

To avoid the return of unwanted spontaneous plants, between crops, we can practice “mulching” or “mulching”. This consists of covering the spaces left free on the ground with materials organic that are not yet decomposed: cut pine bark, straw, dead leaves, partially dried grass clippings, crushed green garden waste, hedge trimmings, branches.

This mulching has many advantages: it prevents growth weeds, protects the soil from compaction and desiccation the temperature differences on the ground, keeps the humidity for a perfect biological activity of the soil. By decomposing slowly, he transforms himself in humus and thus restores the soil a natural fertilizer.

Replace pesticides with natural predators

Against the harmful insects of the gardens, one can practice the “biological fight”. It consists, in particular, in destroying pests by introducing their predators in the cultures or environments where they proliferate. Pesticides are therefore replaced by living organisms. The most common example used by the gardener is the use of the ladybug and its larvae to control aphids.

Biological methods of parasite introduction, in the natural environment, specifically targeting species that we want to get rid of locally, are now within our reach. The fight against slugs by the introduction
a worm (the nematode) that kills them is an example. Traditional recipes are many and varied and concern quantity natural products that are within our reach. Our goal is not here to draw up an inventory. The literature on traditional gardening abounds examples and tips. Good information is, however, necessary if we want to use these techniques wisely.

Promote natural predators that are the birds, the hedgehogs, the amphibians, but also the useful insects is an easy way to practice wrestling biological.

The natural auxiliaries of the garden:

Many are wild animals of our environment that can help us fight insects parasites of our crops. We must protect them and promote their presence in our gardens by bringing them a plant diversity and shelter. Biodiversity favors obtaining a balance between all the prey, plants and animals and their predators. Among these animals, birds play an important role. Insectivores, tits, warblers, picks, robins and many others are showing very effective allies.

In the garden, they are attracted by a diversification of shrubs and trees, and for some, by nesting boxes. Batrachians, frogs, toads, newts, salamanders get rid of us worms, flies, small slugs in slightly wetter areas from the garden or undergrowth. These animals, who spend part of their lives in water, are attracted by a pond wisely integrated into the garden and find shelter under an old pile of wood or a pile of stones.
The hedgehog rids us of a quantity huge slugs and snails. he must be careful to leave him a shelter under a pile of branches and dead leaves. Another insectivorous mammal, the shrew feeds on worms and larval insects.
At dusk, bats roam in search of insects flying. Care must be taken to provide them with rest areas or
provide them with nesting boxes. Among his allies, the gardener also counts a lot of insects. Ladybugs are us often the most sympathetic. There are several species. All are devourers of aphids. Some species feed also mealybugs. We must, therefore, favor their presence in the garden or introduce them by procuring them in garden centers.
Hoverflies are insects that strongly resemble wasps. he must learn to recognize them to protect them because they are effective Pollinators and their larvae are large eaters of aphids. Unlike wasps that have four, the hoverflies have only two wings. Like flies they are Diptera. At rest, they keep their wings partially open. In summer, there are many foraging on the flowers.


Give up the chemical and use “biopesticides”. This is called pesticides of natural origin. These are products that are manufactured from plants or parts of plants or from other organisms live as mushrooms, yeasts, bacteria, virus. Mineral pesticides based on copper, sulfur … also fall into this category of products.

Bio-pesticides are effective against many insects, plants or microorganisms harmful to crops. They remain nonetheless “killers” and “biological” treatments are not harmless. So in terms of toxicity in the natural environment, precautions should be the same for pesticides only for chemical pesticides. Pyrethrin, extracted from pyrethrum flowers (a variety of chrysanthemums African), is a very effective insecticide that acts by contact.
If it is not toxic to warm-blooded animals or to humans, it does not, however, distinguish between insects, also killing well the use as the pests. Do not use blends based on this product on aquatic plants or at the edge a pond in the presence of fish or amphibians. Nicotine is a very toxic product. Its use, therefore, requires great caution. Bio-pesticides are rapidly degraded in the environment, which is an interesting part of their use. They are effective but fleeting.

Do not confuse “pyrethrin”, extract of pyrethrum flower (Chrysanthemum roseum and C. cinerariaefolium), and “pyrethroid” substance manufactured by chemical synthesis on the model of pyrethrin. If some pyrethroids have properties similar to those of pyrethrins, it exists whose toxicity is proven for the environment and for man. Mechanical processes often make it possible to control the development of a disease or parasite.

Even fallen on the ground, stems and diseased leaves must be destroyed. Some parasites can spend the bad season there and be the nest of a new proliferation the following spring. Deleting quickly diseased parts and destroy them very often causes the development parasitic. Manual removal of insects or their capture by adapted traps different species can also be a means of effective against some unwanted invasions.

Integrated pest management

Integrated pest control involves combating the enemies of the garden through a combined use and reason of all existing means of struggle. In practice, we do not seek to destroy pests with plant protection products when their natural predators are present or when it does not pose a threat important.
The goal is to ensure that the parasite does not exceed a threshold of acceptable harm. If this is not possible, we will use chemicals but in limited quantities and only those that are least toxic to the environment, nature and the man. In integrated pest management, we do not intervene with phytopharmaceutical products only when the natural enemy is missing or unable to control totally the parasite or the disease or when there is no other way effective and economically acceptable control.

Organic Label

Organic farming At the same time philosophy and horticultural and agricultural technique, this culture mode makes use of natural mechanisms to ensure growth balanced plants and animals. The recommended methods are intended never to jeopardize either crops or living environments of these.
The use of synthetic phytopharmaceutical products is prohibited, as is the as chemical fertilizers. There are many books describing both the objectives and techniques used in organic farming.

For the unconditional ones of the pesticides

What if you continue to use chemical pesticides? Pesticides, diversified to infinity (more than 500 molecules and 2500 approved specialties), are available to all in the trade. It is you always free to buy and use them. Respect for health and the environment, therefore, means using these products taking note of the information contained in the leaflet accompaniment and following the precautions.
It is also desirable to implement some good practices: Equip yourself properly: waterproof gloves and boots, a combination adapted to the use of such products or, failing that, clean your clothes after a
treatment. There are also masks specifically adapted for use phytosanitary products.

Make your mix in a suitable place. That is, not over a sink or of a manhole. Prefer products ready for use. Perform the treatments in good climatic conditions. Avoid dealing if:
• the dew is too important,
• the temperature is below 5 ° C or above 25 ° C. Attention for some products the temperature requirements are higher (read the label),
• the hygrometry is less than 60%,
• the wind speed is greater than 10 km / h.
Avoid the presence of others around you during treatment.

1. Shell a label, read a leaflet Whether they accompany chemical pesticides or bio-pesticides, packaging deserves careful consideration. Warning, the labels are usually very small and the characters at the limit readability. Many of the products sold are so without the advice of a specialist. The label is always made with very small characters. This must not exempt the user from taking cognizance of the risks to health and to the environment described therein.

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