Gardens are a potential landmine when it comes to chemicals. To me, it seems obvious that if you are going to eat the stuff that grows in your garden, you don’t want to be spraying chemical pesticides on it. However, I can relate to the “ick factor” of creepy crawlies taking over your garden and also the helplessness of watching your hard work get eaten up by little critters.
And, if you’re sitting out there at night and it’s a bad mosquito season, the temptation to slather yourself with DEET is high. Let’s face it, citronella is a fabulous bug repellent for 15 seconds, then it’s completely useless. So, what to do?
I recently discovered the EcoSMART line of products which includes an organic insect repellent. They contacted me about doing a giveaway of their products on my blog, but before I did so, I wanted to make sure the stuff really works. So, they sent me their “Safe Plant and Garden Bundle” which includes their Garden Insect Killer, Garden Fungicide, Weed and Grass Killer, and Insect Repellent.
Their products use a blend of essential oils as their active ingredients to keep bugs and fungus in check. The ingredient list almost reads like dinner. For example, the fungicide includes rosemary, thyme and clove oils. Their website states that you can spray and harvest on the same day.
One caveat about essential oils. On a Natural Resources Defense Council website (http://www.simplesteps.org/greenpaws-products), they state that many essential oils are very toxic for cats. One thing to note is that they are speaking specifically about flea and tick control products which come into very close contact with pets.
However, just to be on the safe side, I wouldn’t recommend any essential oil products for inside the home if you have cats. With the great outdoors, I feel that the contact would be minimal and essential oils are a lot better than chemicals for you, the neighbourhood cats and the environment.
So far, I’ve tried the insect killer and fungicide on the miniature orange tree in our backyard. Our little tree was suffering from spider webs, unknown little bugs and black spots on its leaves, but I’m happy to report that the leaves have gone from a sorry-looking yellow to a vibrant green and we’ve got 6 teeny oranges growing! Yay!
Next to get field tested will be the organic mosquito repellent. My husband is going camping deep in the backwoods of British Columbia. He’s going to take the EcoSMART insect repellent with him and nothing else.
There’s a town in B.C. called “Malakwa” which is Chinook Jargon word for mosquito. I’ve been there and the mosquitoes in B.C. are somethng fierce, although I’d name Northern Ontario as the no-contest winner of the most ferocious mosquitoes in the world.
I’ll keep you posted of how it goes.