Why you shouldn’t make your own insecticide and herbicide
Why you shouldn’t make your own insecticide and herbicide.
There is a great movement these days, amongst those growing their own food, to be organic in their production, and all strength to them too! But at the same time time many go a step further and make insecticides and herbicides too. But I firmly believe you shouldn’t do it, and here are just some of the reasons why.
Let me say right from the start that I disagree personally with any weedkiller or herbicide. Don’t see the point of growing my own food and spreading dangerous chemicals all over the place. Which leads me to my first point:
Making my own herbicide is simply an extension of modern quick fix gardening methods. Pulling weeds and distracting insects from my precious crops is hard work.Sure, spraying the lot with some substance, homemade or otherwise, is convenient, but in doing so I am not really learning about the garden, the weeds the ways of the insects. I am using a very blunt instrument and I feel there is something to be said for getting down and actually learning about the garden, pulling the weeds, covering the crops and understanding the garden.
According to EU law it is illegal to make your own substances for use in the garden – pesticides and herbicides. Some say this is because big companies want a monopoly and the whole idea is a con of big business.
Not so! The reason for the law is to stop people harming themselves. Even the simplest combination of chemicals can create substances which, when taken individually are quite safe, but combined can create some dangerous concoctions.
You can create, when mixing detergent, vinegar and salt under certain circumstances, substances that will irritate your skin. Certainly drying and countering the natural oils in the skin, but ofttimes worse – particularly if you are already prone to eczema or psoriasis.
But you can go a lot further. For example, I have heard of people mixing Jeyes fluid with vinegar – you just do not know what chemicals you are creating in this mixture.
But then you can go a lot further. Adding bleach to almost any chemical will release chlorine gas, so you had better watch your lungs. You might think this an idiotic thing to do – boiling a mixture of eyes fluid and bleach to fumigate a greenhouse – yes, it has been done. Such a combination can create phosgene gas, the famous WW1 poison. Don’t believe me? There are numerous examples of this kind of thing! Any substance containing tetrachloroethane can decompose to phosgene in acid or on the application of heat. Hundreds of people have had this problem welding breaks on cars!
It is indiscriminate
Have you ever put bleach in a bucket of water to clean the path, and ten minutes later there are dozens of writhing worms? You have no way to assess the impact your chemicals have on the environment. It’s one thing saying, but it’s just a combination of this or that – they’re quite safe. But wildlife did not evolve to be impervious to our creations. And if truth be told, neither did we.