Some of the reasons I don't spray pesticides ...

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Oh god I'd love to have a greenhouse with a population of newts wandering about in it! Were they Oregon roughskinned newts? I've kept a few in vivariums, they get really tame.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

Cretin.
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:) i never ever once used any chemical spray, including those which :) are called "natural" like pyrethrin. to me, ANY substance which can kill :) 6-leggers, will also kill 2 and 4 leggers!!! Yet 16 years in the field and have never seen the case :/
:) anti-pesticide fantatics of the garden world.....LET US JOIN TOGETHER!!! only if it is a news group with "organic" in the title :) J/K we likes the diversity....Can't we all just plant along!!!
Lar. (to e-mail, get rid of the BUGS!!
It is said that the early bird gets the worm, but it is the second mouse that gets the cheese.
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Larry Blanchard wrote:

The problem is the same. The more pesticide that's used, the more resistant the insects become. That is the main reason for the development of IPM. The commonly used pesticides lose their efficacy after a while. They're running out of pesticides that are toxic enough to kill bugs, but not people.
EV
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i, too, have a fatal allergy to yellowjackets and hornets; but i also know if you spray for them, you are also taking the terrible chance at killing the bumblebees, the honeybees, and other beneficials. what "I" do is to carry my epipen EVERY WHERE i go AND i also underwent the 5-year venom programme at my local hospital, which means...i still have to go to a hospital after i've been stung, but only to get a heavy duty inhale of oxygen and a 2 hour look-see to make sure my throat doesn't clog up.
all in all, it was worth spending 2 hour segments of my time for 5 years rather than spraying for a bugger who's been on earth way longer than human beans.
p.s. you are wasting your money by hiring orkin or any similar killer company because 1) yellowjackets usually overtake an older existing mole or vole home and therefore it is quite maze-like; and 2) the yellowjackets will just move their queen to another hole and make that their home. how many holes can you hire someone to spray...and kill???

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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net said:

Don't know about Orkin, but I will put in a good word for some local pest control guys. We had a tiny baby at home and *several* yellowjacket nests near the front and side porches. Something *had* to be done.
Called a local pest control guy (not someone from the big chains). Watched him through the front window while he smoked the nests, raked them up and into heavy plastic bags, sealed them up and hauled them away. It was worth every penny I paid him just to see that. (He remarked how unusual is was to see so many wasp nests so close together.) Problem solved; other than a few stragglers the next day, they were gone.
Now, I'm sure the guys at the big chains would be pushing to get you set up as a regular customer for all kinds of preventative pesticide applications. (That was the case when I called the company which starts with T and ends in X.) But not every possible solution involves massive amounts of pesticides...
--
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

My pleasure. The wonderful thing about gardening forums is that there are others with common interests, who derive enjoyment from gardening in similar ways. I'm a fan of both the flora and the fauna.
Your organic greenhouse sounded great. :-)
EV

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you are a great person, ev...and i would LOVE it if you could possibly contact me via private email...my earthlink spam go-getter will say HALT! all spammers who go there...just request to be entered into my address book and then we can communicate more closely without all the nuts. oh!! how do you know that "I" am not a nut?? well...i am, sorta. i am a nut about not adding any more chemicals to the waterways (one thing no one has happened to mention). i'm also a nut against killing the birds, the bees, and any other critter who was here before me (including white-tailed deer). so, if you consider THAT being a nut, by all means, avoid me like the plague...otherwise, dya think we could be gardening buddies?

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snipped-for-privacy@thecia.net writes:

That is my style also.
I do appreciate this thread. There were points brought out of which I either had not been aware, had forgotten, or not realized the importance. For instance, I have left fruit on the ground for the winter birds. I will now confine that to one area which will be destroyed (covered with a good coating of fresh manure!) before springtime is in bloom. Two years ago, I taped some wonderful video of one of our feathered friends eating apples, something that is a great thing to have. Though we put up a nesting box for it, the squirrels took it over so he/she nested elsewhere. :-(
Last summer, while driving in the car, I heard a marvelous show on NPR about a farm in the Midwest that farms all organically with both livestock and crop rotation. It was a fairly large farm and outproduced all of its chemical-using neighbors, quite impressively (yes, they gave actual production rates of the farms in the area). Did anyone here, by some remote chance, hear the program? I was driving with no opportunity of writing down anything, and my short-term memory is often garbage, one of the side effects of my son's death. I would dearly appreciate if anyone heard that program and knows where the farm is located and lets us/me know.
Something I've often not understood is how so many people could exist without chemicals and produce sufficient food for so many thousands of years and we backyard gardeners sometimes feel the need to grab the chemicals. My ladybugs and birds are my pesticides. My elbow is my herbicide. It works. Good fortune has contributed to my garden, but respect for the critters and plants has probably also helped tremendously. I read the cautions on the labels of "that stuff" and it scares me; if this is what they admit to, what else is there? It seems logical to me that they will not put even one precaution on that label that they are not required to place there; what else do they know (and deny) that they do not place there? (And, yes, that concern extends to commercially marketed food products.)
Glenna
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Glenna,
Glenna Rose wrote:

Crop rotation is not the exclusive domain of organic farmers.

I missed the show too. You might try contacting NPR directly for details.

Yes, but how many people died of starvation and the world population was a lot smaller than now.

It would scare me more if there were no cautions. We enjoy the protection of many government agencies, like the FDA, to check on these thing to keep us warned and healthy. Just putting an 'organically grown' label on food does not convince me of it's purity. I wash all my fruits and vegetables from the market and my garden, and that's the best insurance policy.

That's why I'm glad we live in the USA, where these things are controlled. Drug manufacturers put all kinds of possible side effects on their labels. Does that mean we should stop taking our medications, which in many cases is keeping us alive?
Sherwin Dubren

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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net writes:

I'm not ev but did send you an email and got the blocker thing. However, when I tried to unblock, my computer locked up so you'll have to do something on your end to accept it. :-(
Glenna
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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net writes:

You do seem to tend to read into things something which was not said, don't you?
I did not say crop rotation was exclusive to organic farmers. I only said that particular farm produced more product with both animal and crop rotation and no chemicals of any kind.
Crop rotation has been practiced for thousands of years by those who observed nature. If you look through U.S. history, you will find Ben Frankin's writings on that very thing. Chemical fertilizers only work in the short-term which is why they must be re-applied constantly, and, yes, I consider every growing season as constantly. Through my childhood, I watched my grandfather run a productive farm in eastern Washington utilizing crop rotation and no commercial fertilizers. It makes no sense to purchase something that is free if one plans ahead.
I will continue to believe there is no valid reason for back yard gardeners to spray chemicals on their food/yards. One might believe many do it to be "in" because they see the advertisements that say it works. It's rather like folks buying the latest fashion in clothes, appliances or cars. It ain't because it's better, it's so they can be kool.

As many people die of starvation today as did in bygone years. Where have you been?! That the population is larger doesn't say a lot about the quality of life for those who are less fortunate than us. I might counter by asking with how many people, in a world which is healthier and more advantaged than centuries ago, die of things related to chemicals.
You can offer no valid defense of back yard gardeners using this stuff in their gardens/yards to me that will convince me to reach for that bottle of pesticide. Ladybugs (and other predatory insects) and birds do a very good job. Miracle Gro and other such products offer a short-term fix only; healthy soil lasts. The truth to me appears to be that it's just easier, a quick fix, like sending the kids to the neighbors to play because they are irritating at that moment.
You try to compare a time when we have all the advantages of machinery for harvest with a time when the hands and backs of individuals were all the harvesting machinery available. At this point in time, I'm living in the last half of my life and have observed many things about our humanoids. Sadly, we are called humans but we are more sheep in that we believe things if we see it enough. War is a good example . . . living through the Viet Nam era was a convincer. People have become accustomed to violence in all forms as they see it on the evening news, horrible, unspeakable things have been broadcast, and have come to accept it as they become far too used to it, after all, it won't happen to them, will it? It's the same way with chemicals related to food.
Look at medicine. After moving away from literally all traditional treatments after WW II, the medical community is re-embracing centuries-old treatments as valid and effective. Current medical students are learning many of those discarded practices/treatments. Sadly, we humans are too quick to embrace the new and throw out the old, at least Americans tend that way. Why bother to repair the old when we can buy new seems to be the attitude of the bulk of our population which moves into why use the old methods when the advertisers are pushing new methods at us . . . all methods designed to make a profit for themselves without much concern to what is good for the consumer. Geez, look at the number of SUVs sold to people who live in apartments and never leave the city!
The knowledge is there. We humans should be intelligent enough to use of the old what is good and supplement it with the new, not just replace it.

That there are cautions is no insurance. Have you ever read of what happens before those cautions are ever put on labels, all of the laws that have to be considered and met to require them? How many people are dead of lung cancer right now who might be alive and healthy if those warning labels were on tobacco products in the first part of the 1900s? Or if cigs weren't in the hands of every major actor/actress? I've amazed that anyone can pay to pull smoke into their lungs . . . it defies all logic. Why don't they just build a smoldering fire and inhale? Because they want to be cool, smoke like their favorite actor/actress and they will be handsome/glamorous also.
I didn't see anyone here say that a label of "organically grown" meant purity. We are, after all, talking about home gardening on this group. I'm very aware that I have no control over the food that goes into the animals that produce the manure I put on my garden so there are some unknowns. However, those unknowns are far less harmful to my body or psyche than a bottle of chemicals purchased to make a chemical manufacturer richer.
For the record, it isn't the washing that protects us from what goes into the soil that gets into our food. But even washing does not protect us from surface applications; that stuff does get absorbed into the food itself. Minute? Yes, but minute adds up over time, especially in the bodies of small children.

Dear, dear Sherwin. You really do live in LaLa Land, don't you? We are controlled and protected aren't we? Have you heard of a little thing called Stilbestrol (sp) that led to cancer in female babies, even to hysterectomies in children as young as nine months old? That was an approved drug that was still prescribed to pregnant women long after they knew the dangers. I know that because my own doctor prescribed it to me in 1968 and 1971 after it was on their warning list. I was fortunate that I didn't go to the doctor until after the danger period in which it caused cancer in the fetus; however, he had the warnings and still prescribed it to someone who had no idea what it could do to her child. He was one of many thousands of doctors throughout this nation who did the same.
As for those medications that keep us alive, many are killing us whether you want to admit it or not. Take the cholesterol medication as an example. The doctors are only too willing to reach for the prescription pad and the patients only too willing to take a pill instead of living healthier. Oat bran is a good example. A half-cup of oat bran cooked into whatever form is palatable and eaten every morning will do far more than any medication to lower cholesterol; however, doctors don't tell that to patients. Sadly, most don't even know. What's best about it is that it has *no* side affects, meaning no liver damage, no dizziness, no shortness of breath, etc., with the added advantage of adding that necessary fiber to the body. However, you won't get that from your doctor. What you will get is a prescription for one of the meds advertised by the drug companies. The side affects are often then treated with another prescription, and it goes on and on. This is the country which you tout as safe because we have the FDA. Read the inspection percentages of food products done by the FDA. Read who controls the tests done on medications.
Yes, it's nice that we have the protective agencies. It's better than nothing. However, people rely too much that they are doing what we perceive they are doing and therein lies the danger, our perception that we are safe because the agency exists. The truth of life is that we must all do what we can to make our lives healthier. For me, that means no chemicals sprayed on my garden. For you that means all sorts of chemicals. Isn't it nice that we have the choice?
The truth is that you can rant on and call other posters names and hint at their intelligence and knowledge, but it won't change those of us who truly want our lives/food to be healthier. It does, however, cause you to appear to be small-minded which you may very well not be at all. There's lots of room in this world for all views and all opinions. The greatest thing about philosophies is that there is no completely wrong or completely right. Debate is good, we all learn if we care to learn. However, insulting others is just plain immature as well as being close minded. As I said in my first post in this thread, I have appreciated this thread and learned from it.
If I were to make a request of you, it would be to debate not to be insulting as some of your comments have appeared to be (and, hopefully, were not meant to be). I don't care if you agree with me, but I do care how you treat others. There is never a valid reason for being rude and insulting to others.
Glenna
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Funny. I haven't been following the thread, but knew it was a troll thread from the first post, though I don't think the original poster meant it. Take a lesson.
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Glenna Rose wrote:

Oh yes, we backyard gardeners love to dress up in all that protective clothing and sweat on the hot days, spend our valuable time spraying, cleaning up, mixing chemicals, etc. It's all a lot of fun, and we love to do it.
Should I believe the organic propaganda as being anymore truthful and less "in". If anything, organic has become the latest buzz word, as it promises everyone longer life, health, and happiness.

There is nothing kool about spraying chemicals. I think the organic thing is the latest craze, and it's promising things it cannot do.

Wrong, we have a larger world population, and thus more people starving.

Years ago, people were dying from the plague,etc., until science found a way to cure them and innoculate them with those man made antigens.

Thats because you are satisfied with mediocre tasting fruit and probably have never tasted a really excellent apple. Those are the apples that organic farmers don't grow because they are not inherantly disease resistant.

Is this your way of saying that people who spray chemicals are war mongers? Give me a break.

No, we live in the USA which has the best protection for consumers of any country in the world. Yes, the system is not perfect, but that's why you have a brain ( I hope) to make the proper decisions.

Again, these medications, for better or worse, are keeping millions of people alive.

I take Oat and Wheat bran with my cereal every morning, but it still does not keep my blood pressure down. Yes, I exercise, but if not for my medication, I would probably have had a stroke, by now.

OK., so you go out and tell everyone to throw their medication is the garbage can.

Excuse me. It was Rat Lady who started with the bad language and insults. You are not much better than her.

You go back and CAREFULLY read this thread and see who started with the insults. I held back for a while, until it got to be very irritating.

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Glenna Rose wrote:

If you'll look back, you'll see that Paghat was the main one hurling insults, and the one who started the mudslinging, and the one who kept escalating it. (She is entertaining though...)
Best regards, Bob
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[major snippage]
snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net writes:

I feel so very sorry for you if you've never had a Red Delicious that was. It is, indeed, one of the best apples grown. It seems you have had a cold-storage apple from an old crop that was also picked too green. Even growing up in eastern Washington, I could buy those at the store. However, fresh ripe Red Delicious apples directly from the tree on a brisk fall morning are without equal.
In Illinois, you are hardly one to judge what a fresh Washington apple is compared to one that has gone through months of storage and travel. Come to Washington in late October/early November, visit an orchard and eat one there and then tell us what you think.
Washington State, and Hood River area (Oregon), grow the best apples in the world, but like any perishable produce, they must be compared fresh to fresh, not what cold storage has altered. I only think of what my first *ripe* orange tasted like to know how true that is. How about a ripe Brandywine tomato off the vine on a cool morning? That cannot be compared with the plastic from the store or even one from a farmers' market.
For the record, Japan importers pay premium price for Washington apples. Wonder why?
Also, Washington is known for far more apples than the Red Delicious, just for the record. You picked on one that is not a good traveler and tends to get mealy in cold storage. I noted you didn't mention the Golds or even the Gaylas, or the Romes or many other cooking apples that are also grown here.

Yup. Many are. They've learned they can be more productive and, therefore, more profitable, by growing organic. I don't care if they do it for the environment or for profit as long as they do it.
A very dear friend of mine said he wouldn't buy a Prius because he cared about the environment or pollution, that was someone else's problem, that he would buy for efficiency and performance. After much research, he did order a Prius, and is waiting for months to get it, not because he cares about pollution but because of savings to him. I don't care about his reasons because he will be driving a non/minimum-polluting car instead of another all-gasoline car. When I see another Prius on the road, I don't question if that person is environmentally conscious or just financially astute, I simply appreciate that there will be that much less pollution in the air, the air which I breathe.
Whether a farm is organic for production or for profit (though often the two are hand-in-hand), doesn't matter to me. What matters is there are fewer chemicals, many of which cause much harm to us as well as to the environment (which is also us!). Anything that tells me to wear protective clothing or to not get it on my skin is something I shouldn't be using, either inside or outside. But then, I don't use drain cleaner either because *hot* water regularly in the pipes does the job (and use a sink strainer!). I might add that a previous owner constantly was calling a plumber to unclog the drains, the same drains I've not had a problem with in the five years I've owned this house.

So, are you saying people don't get cancer from chemicals? How naive you appear to be.

WSU has web pages which, if you are interested, can lead to your answers.

Some were. Most were depleting the soil and moving on which is exactly what would be happening today if there were anywhere to move to.

There will be no world famine if we stop spraying insecticides in our back yards. That is just plain absurd. This group is about the home gardener, not about major farming conglomerates, or undeveloped countries that do not have irrigation available and other such advantages that lead to good production. There's a lot more to famine than pesticide spraying.

And too often are. I have neighbors that use them as a matter of course. I never have and have no problem with undesirable bugs. Fortunately, as my every-spring introduction of ladybugs has been happening, the others have reduced/stopped spraying as they find no need to do so. Suppose it might be the increase of beneficials from my own yard that might be contributing to this? Gee, let's think about this for a moment.
I truly believe each of us can make a difference, and do, good or bad.
Glenna
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Glenna Rose wrote:

It was possibly a good apple Stark's first grew it. Now it has been contorted into a tasteless, shinny, good looking apple, that stores well for shipping. You can still buy the original Red Delicious from Starks, which I have not tasted, but expect it to be a much better apple.

I belong to two fruit growers clubs. One with over 100 members. The other with many more than that. We exchange ideas about apples that we grow and know about. The general opinion about Washington Red Delicious coincides with mine. Even the growers in Washington are recognizing this, as they are starting to grow Fuji and other varieties to appeal to a new market of people looking for tasty apples.

You better widen your tasting experience.

The problem is not freshness, but it's the genes that have been bred into that apple.

I actually grew a Red Delicious Apple when I first got into fruit growing and didn't know any better.

Agreed. I grow Brandywine also.

That was before they discovered Fuji.

Really, I thought Red Delicious was a good keeper, at least for shipping.

There is nothing financially astute about buying organic produce. It is far overpriced for my budget, plus they don't grow the varieties I like.

Yes, people who don't wash their produce properly. However, there is usually a much reduced amount of chemicals on fruit, since the sun burns most of it off.

These web sites talk about chemicals as well as organic methods.

Yes, but previous contributors to the thread opened up this aspect that these chemicals affect the whole world.

I can show you my friend's organic farm near me, where there are loads of spoiled fruit on the trees.

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sherwindu wrote:

Organic certification can be a long arduous process. The requirements are stringent (at least here in Canada).

Are you sure about that? Then how come they keep finding it in fruit ... among other things?
------------- POPs found in all foods: wvlc.uwaterloo.ca/biology447/modules/ module5/Jepidemilologyarticle/pesticidesinfoodpdf.pdf [] Based on data from the US Food and Drug Administration, this article provides a brief overview of POPs residues in common foods in the United States food supply. The analysis focuses on 12 chemical compounds now targeted for an international phase out under the Stockholm Convention on POPs. The available information indicates that POPs residues are present in virtually all categories of foods, including baked goods, fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, and dairy products. Residues of five or more persistent toxic chemicals in a single food item are not unusual, with the most commonly found POPs being the pesticides DDT (and its metabolites, such as DDE) and dieldrin. Estimated daily doses of dieldrin alone exceed US Environmental Protection Agency and US Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Control reference dose for children. Given the widespread occurrence of POPs in the food supply and the serious health risks associated with even extremely small levels of exposure, prevention of further food contamination must be a national health policy priority in every country. [] --------------------------------

In actual fact, they do. Here's why.
If someone in India dumped DDT into the ocean, how long do you think it would take to get to the Gulf of St. Lawrence? Would you believe less than 2 weeks? It's called The Grasshopper Effect (http://www.ec.gc.ca/science/sandemay/article2_e.html ), and it's just one of the ways that toxics travel around the world. This is why DDT, which has been banned in NA since the 70's, is still found in the belugas of the St. Lawrence. This is why they constantly need to replenish the Peregrine Falcons in the wild release programs. Pesticides (and/or their breakdown products) that were used from the 40's to the 70's are still out there in the food chain.
Pesticides permeate every body of water on the planet and are highly detrimental to aquatic life:
http://rainbow.ldgo.columbia.edu/edf/text/ddt.html [] Worldwide, levels of DDT are between 1 and 10 ng/l in estuaries and coastal areas, and between 0.1 and 1 ng/l in the open sea (Kennish, 1994). While DDT concentrations in surface waters are largely controlled by the concentration of DDT in the atmosphere, the ocean serves as a sink for DDT (Iwata et al., 1993). [] In the Arctic, the highest concentrations of DDT in surface waters are reported near the Indigirka River in the East Siberian Sea (2.5 ng/l) and in the vicinity of the Ob' River in the Kara Sea (2 ng/l, Melnikov and Vlasov 1992). DDT in belugas generally ranges from 1 to 5 ug/g in the Alaskan and Canadian Arctic (Muir et al., 1990; Careau et al., 1992; Schantz et al., 1993). Note that these values are about 1 million times higher than DDT levels in seawater. An average of 58 ug/g was measured in belugas from the St. Lawrence estuary, a high value indicative of past heavy use of DDT as a pesticide in eastern Canada (Muir et al., 1990). New data indicate that the White Sea is similar to the St. Lawrence estuary, with a value of 64 ug/g (Muir and Norstrom, 1994). [] Once ingested, DDT and its metabolites accumulate in the fatty tissues of organisms. Today, birds and mammals continue to retain both DDD and DDE, in part from retention in fat, and in part from uptake of residual contamination. An important concern with DDT is that it becomes concentrated as it is transferred up the food chain. In an aquatic environment, DDT at a concentration of 0.001 to 0.01 ppb (- or m? check), results in a 0.1 ppm concentration in aquatic invertebrates, 0.2 to 2 ppm in fish, and 10 ppm in birds (Edwards, 1973). Because pesticide residues can be transferred to offspring through excretion in the egg, progeny may begin life with an elevated body burden of DDT. [] --------------------------------------- More about Belugas and pesticides: http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/members/1995/Suppl-4/deguise-full.html Overhunting in the 1rst half of the century was the probable cause for this population to dwindle from several thousand animals to the current estimate of 500. The failure of the population to recover might be due to contamination by organochlorine compounds, which are known to lead to reproductive failure and immunosuppression in domestic and laboratory animals and seals. [snip] Overall, St. Lawrence belugas might well represent the risk associated with long-term exposure to pollutants present in their environment and might be a good model to predict health problems that could emerge in highly exposed human populations over time. -- Environ Health Perspect 103(Suppl 4):00-00 (1995) ---------------------------------- Organochlorine levels in whales tissue samples from Trent University: http://whale.wheelock.edu/bwcontaminants/results.html ---------------------------------- Global Pesticide Release Database from Environment Canada: http://www.msc-smc.ec.gc.ca/data/gloperd/basic_knowledge_e.cfm [] Organochlorines, which are stable and vapour-forming, can be carried by air currents for long distances. Eventually they condense and are deposited on land and water, particularly in cold climatic regions. Oganochlorine residues have been detected in air, water, soil, sediment, fish, and birds global wide. They have also been found in remote areas, such as open oceans and polar regions. If they contaminate the food supply of animals, organochlorines become more concentrated as they move up through the food chain. For this reason, the highest levels of organochlorines are found in species at the top of the food chain: human beings, fish-eating birds, and marine mammals. [] -----------------------------
POP's such as aldrine, dieldrine, endrine, chlordane, DDT, heptachlore, hexaclorobenzene, mirex, chlordecone, lindane, and toxaphene, build up in tissues.
---------------- wvlc.uwaterloo.ca/biology447/modules/ module5/Jepidemilologyarticle/pesticidesinfoodpdf.pdf All living organisms on Earth now carry measurable levels of POPs in their tissues. POPs have been found in sea mammals at levels high enough to qualify their bodies as hazardous waste under US law, and evidence of POPs contamination in human blood and breast milk has been documented worldwide. There is strong evidence that exposure to even miniscule amounts of POPs at critical periods of development particularly in uterocan cause irreversible damage. The effects of such exposures may take years to develop, sometimes appearing first in the offspring of exposed parents. [] -----------------
As we are at the top of the food chain, humans get the most concentrated doses of contaminants. Among whales, the females are less toxic than the males. Studies revealed that the reason for this is that females release the toxins from their fatty tissues into their milk. (http://whale.wheelock.edu/bwcontaminants/results.html ) It's the same for humans. There are also indications that, due to their interactions inside the body, pesticide cocktails can be more toxic than the same amount of a single pesticide.
---------------------------------- Oraganochlorines in human breast milk: http://oregonstate.edu/instruction/bi301/pesthist.htm DDT (as DDE, a breakdown products from DDT) also appeared in the fatty tissues of seals and Eskimos, far from any area of use, indicating that, because of its persistence, it was being transported for long distances in the atmosphere and then being washed from the atmosphere by rains. It also showed up in human breast milk at remarkably high concentrations -- so high that the milk couldn't legally be sold through interstate commerce if it were cow's milk! DDE is the most widespread contaminant in human milk around the world. When you think about it, human breast fed babies are way up there on the food chain, and are thus very susceptible to the effects of biomagnification and bioconcentration. For persistent compounds like DDT (or other persistent compounds, such as dioxins or PCB's -- see "POPs," below) human milk is the most contaminated of all human foods. Typically, concentrations of organochlorines (such as DDT) in human milk are 10 - 20 times higher than in cow's milk, and prevailing levels are often greater than those allowed in commercial food stuffs.
[] -----------------------------
http://ca.water.usgs.gov/pnsp/rep/fs09200 / Human exposure to organochlorine pesticides has been documented by studies detecting these compounds in various human tissues, including breast milk. Consumption of contaminated food (including fish and shellfish) is a major route of human exposure to organochlorine pesticides. [] Organochlorine compounds tend to be stored in high-fat tissues within the body, but can be mobilized during lactation or starvation. Levels of some organochlorine compounds in human tissues in the United States do not appear to have declined, at least through the early 1980s. Examples include DDT in breast milk and dieldrin in adipose tissue (fat). [] ---------------------------------
Body stores of pesticide are also associated with breast cancer: http://www.breastcancerfund.org/site/apps/nl/content3.asp?c=kwKXLdPaE&bp679&ct 190
So why is there that much pesticide in the environment? Who's using it all?
Trends in Pesticide Use: "One major environmental science text book asserts that the average US homeowner uses 2 - 6 times more pesticide per acre than do farmers."
http://oregonstate.edu/instruction/bi301/pesttren.htm [] We will focus on farms, because farmers consume (that is, use) about 77% of all pesticides in the US. However, it is important to realize that the problem isn't all related to farm uses. It is estimated that about 10% of the land area in the US (including forests, lawns, etc.) is treated annually with pesticides. Home gardeners are often some of the most extravagant ? and sloppy ? users!) (One major environmental science text book asserts that the average US homeowner uses 2 - 6 times more pesticide per acre than do farmers.) In the US, the total pounds of pesticide active ingredients applied on farms increased 170% between 1964 and 1982 (the increase was 33 fold between 1945 and 1990). These figures related only to the agricultural sector. In evaluating these increases, it is important to remember the increased toxicity of pesticides; one pound of active ingredient for current products is many times greater than one pound for earlier generations of pesticides in terms of toxicity. One might think that this trend was driven by increasing agricultural acreage over this time? Recall, during this time, total acres under cultivation basically decreased , so the increase in pesticide use wasn't driven by increased agricultural acreage. [] ------------------------------
So, obviously, more is less.
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/env_pes_use
In the US, an average of 1599 kg of pesticide are used for each hectare of cropland, that's 3525 lb per hectare. 1 hectare= approx. 2.5 acres, so that makes it about 1,410 lbs of pesticide per acre.
So if home gardeners are using just twice that amount, it comes to 2,820 lbs of pesticide per acre. If they all stopped using pesticides, it would be a significant amount not going into the environment.

No amount of pesticide will control the locust infestation plaguing parts of Africa today. And ... That good irrigation is what gets pesticides into the water table:
Pesticides in Ground Water: http://ca.water.usgs.gov/pnsp/pestgw/Pest-GW_2001_Text.html ------------------------- Pesticides found in all the bodies of water on the planet. http://ca.water.usgs.gov/pnsp/index.html ------------------------- PESTICIDES ANALYZED IN NAWQA SAMPLES: Use, Chemical Analyses, and Water-Quality Criteria http://ca.water.usgs.gov/pnsp/anstrat/index.html#t3 -------------------------

The evidence suggests that they ARE being misused. And the more they're misused, the less effective they'll be.

Probably because the pesticides are acting in your yard as well. They're easily airborne.

That is irrefutably true. :-)
For people who persist in spraying, IPM is the better way. Spraying can be cut in half using IPM methods. Better for the environment, the pocket book, and the back.
An entomologist, who works at the big research station near here developing IPM protocols for peaches, told me that the main reason for IPM is that bugs adapt too readily to pesticides. Pesticides work really well for a few years and then start to be less effective as the bugs adapt. The big worry is soon there won't be any pesticides that work. IPM strives to keep pesticide use to a minimum, so that when it is used, it works. The added bonus for growers is lower cost, and better yield.
IPM borrows from successful organic principles, such as predatory control, and the proper timing of applications. Now that the life cycles of pest insects are better understood, controls (natural or otherwise) can be tailored to be more effective.
That's why I try to learn about every single new bug, or problem, that I find. For instance, I found out the plum curculios like the cool, dampness and lack of sun in the middle of the tree. I checked my tree, and the plums on the outside, that get sunshine through most of the day are the healthiest. I think I need to prune my tree to get more light into the middle ... now all I have to do is learn more about proper plum tree pruning.
EV
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EV wrote:

Where did that statistic come from?

But they don't use twice as much per acre. Home gardeners might use twice as much pesticide per fruit tree, but they don't have that many trees. They don't grow crops like soybeans and corn and cotton. They also use way too much chemicals on their lawns, but I doubt that even *that* comes to 1/100 of the amount you are saying. Being able to scale a dubious statistic and convert to different units or measure doesn't magically give it credibility.
I have found that non-chemical controls are better at reducing the insect levels to the point where they might be tolerable. Then when you have a major infestation, the chemicals are more effective because they bugs aren't used to them. I'm trying to figure out how this principle relates to apple production in the Upper Midwest.
Bob
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zxcvbob wrote:

Did you check this link? http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/env_pes_use

That isn't going to fly here, Bob. It's a non-argument.

Please don't be coy. Twice as much per tree is still twice as much, whether it's on an acre or not. It all adds up.

Pardon me for saying so, but that's a silly comment. I converted the units because I know that Americans are not familiar with kilograms, and acres are more meaningful to most people than hectares. Whichever units it's described in, the numbers add up to the same amount. I wasn't hiding anything.
I was looking for an overall statistic of pesticide use. Since that doesn't satisfy you, you can go the USGS site where they list close to 200 pesticides and their estimated rate of application, complete with useage maps: http://ca.water.usgs.gov/pnsp/use92/index.html
I've gone to the individual pesticide useage pages on the USGS site and just added up some of the totals (broken down by crop). I chose the ones that sounded familiar to me. I don't know which are, or aren't, the most heavily used.
These figures represent the total estimated amounts, in lbs, used on all crops (for agricultural use) in a year (1992) in the US. Since not all counties reported, and it is now 12 years later, I expect that the numbers are much higher now. The maps show the distribution of the application if you're interested.
Atrazine: 63,947,512 lbs per year http://ca.water.usgs.gov/pnsp/use92/atrazin.html
Alachlor: 25,647,683 lbs per year http://ca.water.usgs.gov/pnsp/use92/alclr.html
Captan: 3,774,667 lbs per year http://ca.water.usgs.gov/pnsp/use92/captan.html
Diazinon: 1,066,220 lbs per year http://ca.water.usgs.gov/pnsp/use92/diaznon.html
Malathion: 2,689,831 lbs per year http://ca.water.usgs.gov/pnsp/use92/malthion.html
Maneb: 2,808,304 lbs per year http://ca.water.usgs.gov/pnsp/use92/maneb.html
Phosmet: 904,832 lbs per year http://ca.water.usgs.gov/pnsp/use92/phosmt.html
That's just 7 of almost 200 pesticides listed by the USGS as being used for ag purposes. Together these pesticides alone come to 97,064,382 lbs of pesticide per year ... almost a BILLION pounds from just 7 pesticides.
Home growers were not surveyed. Also not factored in are the pesticides that people apply to their lawns or for insect control in and around the home. Now, if home gardeners use 2 to 6 times as much pesticide as commercial growers ... even if they constitute a fraction, in acres, of commercial production, it's still a significant amount.
I, too, thought that the figure of 1,410 lbs pesticide per acre sounded high. But when you look at the total use of just 7 or hundreds of pesticides, it doesn't really seem all that implausible.

That's the basic idea behind IPM. So if home growers feel compelled to use pesticides, that's the way to go.

various resources: http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=IPM+apples+midwest&btnG=Search&meta ID-93: Midwest Tree Fruit Pest Management Handbook ... Integrated pest management (IPM) disease management guidelines for organic apple production in Ohio. ... Integrated pest management for apples and pears. ... www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/id/id93/app.htm
http://axp.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/selectnewpest.apples.html http://axp.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PDF/PMG/index.html
Happy growing, EV
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