--- Forwarded Message from Julia A. Keith ---
>Date: 13 Jan 95 09:23:24 EST
>From: Julia A. Keith
>Subject: Re: insects on your ficus
>To: woodwards at agresearch.cri.nz (Simon Woodward)
woodwards at agresearch.cri.nz (Simon Woodward) wrote:
I use Pyrethrum on my plants, which I understand is the extract of a flower.
Is this a "harmful pesticide"?
Where does alcohol come from anyway :-) It might be a harmful pesticide!
What about disposal of used cotton swabs :-)
Is pyrethrum a harmful pesticide?
Yes-it kills bugs indescriminately-beneficials and pests. It may not be
incredibly toxic to people, and it does come from a botanical source, but
there's no specificity to it.
Is alcohol a harmful pesticide?-yes if you spray it on your plants, no if you
dab it on the individual bugs-the way you get the specificity is by your own
Disposal of cotton swabs? Alcohol evaporates, so I suppose a well ventilated
room takes care of the amount you'd use on a plant with mealy bugs. Cotton
swabs biodegrade, as long as you don't get the ones with plastic sticks.
Your point is well taken though-there are no easy answers. I just wanted to
emphasize that taking the word of the back of a pestcide bottle for the best
way to deal with a pest problem may be appealing because it's easy, but it has
a lot of drawbacks.