Advantages of Botanical Pesticides
A NATURAL BOTANICAL ALTERNATIVE IN INSECT CONTROL
Pest Control with Essential Oils
Here at Eco Concepts Termite & Pest Control our pest management services employ a wide range of options, from very conventional chemical applications to greener strategies that use no chemicals or products low in toxicity.
Treating your home for insects with pesticides can be done two ways: with pesticides made from synthetic chemicals, or with pesticides made from botanical ingredients.
Most pesticides are of the synthetic chemical variety, but botanical insecticides are different. Made of essential oils naturally derived from plants, these botanical insecticides are approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use around pets and children, and in food-handling areas. Today's botanical pesticides are considered 'minimum risk' insecticides while remaining very effective at eliminating target insects, indoors and outdoors.
The softer chemistries of the botanical products, while posing little or no threat to humans or animals, robustly exploit the natural strengths of plants and the natural weaknesses of insects in a way that renders pests unlikely to develop resistance.
Significantly, botanical pesticides break down in the environment much more quickly than synthetics, an important positive for nature although it means botanicals may require multiple applications.
Many plants have developed natural defenses against insect attacks. Evolution has 'taught' some plant species to release phytochemicals that repel, poison, or affect the growth of potentially threatening insect species. Ancient peoples found they could control insect infestations by placing bruised plants in their homes and burning plants in places prone to infestation. Later, people learned to extract essential oils from these plants that acted as insecticides and repellents. In late industrial times we have been using synthetic chemicals to fight insects - not necessarily more effective, but certainly more dirty and dangerous to our own health.
We are now returning to the more natural methods of the past. Modern-day chemistry has joined with humanity's botanical knowledge from the past to create today's effective natural insecticides from essential oils.
Botanical insecticide formulas are rated 'minimum risk' by the EPA, meaning they pose little to no risk to human health or the environment. The ingredients found in botanical pesticides, both active and inert, are included on the EPA's pre-approved list; this means they are not required to be registered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), classifying botanical products as 25(b) Exempt. Some botanicals are also approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Botanical Pesticides at Work
The various active ingredients in botanical insecticides effectively wage their fight against insects in various ways:
Peppermint Oil: It kills and repels mosquitoes, spiders, moths, caterpillars, fire ants, aphids, flies, stinging insects, fleas, and more. This oil's effects are also larvicidal, preventing young insects from developing into adults.
Rosemary Oil: Repels flies, fleas, mites, and mosquitoes.
Geraniol: Naturally derived from geranium, rose, and lemon plants, geraniol repels mosquitoes, flies, cockroaches, fire ants, fleas, and ticks.