Although the two terms sound similar, there are some important differences between natural pest control and organic pest control.  Natural pest control is something that is done to prevent pest infestations or eliminate them without the use of pesticides or other drastic measures.  There are many cultures and situations today where natural pest control is in use.  In some cases this is because there are no other alternatives available, but in many instances it is purely by choice.

Some examples of natural pest control would be to grow certain crops during times when the most common pest to that crop is dormant or unable to get at the crop.  Another example is to introduce natural predators of pests to crops to eliminate pests without pesticides.  Ladybugs are often released into decorative plants and trees to combat aphid populations because ladybugs are a natural predator of aphids.  No pesticides are used to kill the offending insects; instead natural methods are used to eliminate them.

Organic pest control is the process of controlling and eliminating pests using organic products that come from natural sources.  Pyrethrin is one of those natural products because it is derived from the natural plant oils emitted from glands located on seed cases of flower heads in the pyrethrum daisy.  This chemical compound is effective because it attacks the nerve function of insects and kills them quickly.  Due to the fact that this product is natural it is safe for humans and for mammals because it is quickly broken down within the body into a harmless and inactive chemical that is passed through the body quickly.

Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrethrum – “Tanacetum cinerariifolium1” by KENPEI – KENPEI’s photo. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

There are many reasons to choose organic and natural insecticide products, but the main reasons are that they are safe and not toxic to humans and won’t cause damage to the environment.  It is very important to consider the effects of pesticides on the environment including water and soil.  Once dangerous chemicals are in our environment they can persist and be dangerous and cause health problems for people in the future.

References:
http://eap.mcgill.ca/publications/eap58.htm
http://www.gardeninsects.com/ladybugs.asp

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