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 Ease up on pesticides in your garden 
 
by Healthy News - 4/10/2006

By ROBYN STUBBS, 24 HOURS
CNEWS

Ah, spring is here - the smell of fresh-cut grass, more hours of sunlight, and oh yeah, spiders, beetles, slugs and dandelions.

But if you find yourself reaching for that bottle of pesticide to treat your lawn or garden, you may want to think twice.

Today, the City of Vancouver is launching its "get your yard off drugs" campaign to help residents understand a new pesticides bylaw, which came into effect Jan. 1.

The bylaw restricts the types of pesticides, insecticides and fungicides that can be used on private and public property, but there are endless alternatives to protect your grass and plants against pesky and harmful bugs, says Sophie Dessureault, Integrated Pest Management Co-ordinator for the Vancouver Parks Board.

For example, shoo those eight-legged enemies hanging around your home into your garden, since spiders prey on the bugs and insects that actually do harm to gardens.

Perhaps pesticides are an easier way to accomplish the same goals, but pesticides contain chemicals that don't break down, and "tend to find their way into our water and our food, and the residues from them end up in us," explains Karen Wristen, executive director of the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC).

"We know that the traces of these chemicals are showing up in children through drinking water and food because they tend to play on lawns where many people use pesticides."

And whether you spray inside your home or outside in the garden, residual chemicals often find their way into the carpets, where small children also spend a lot of their time.

For information about which pesticides are allowed, or specific tips on lawn and garden-care, go to www.grownatural.ca, or call 604-736-2250 for advice or to sign up for a pest control or garden care workshop.

   
Provided by Healthy News on 4/10/2006
 
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