Are Pesticides Safe To Use Against Weeds?

Pesticides are used to refer to various chemical substances that include insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides, which are used to control the growth or invasion of plants, animals, and fungi that negatively affect the plants grown in the yard. The use of pesticides remains controversial due to the downside of their use.

As far as weeds are concerned, herbicides have been an important factor in weed control for a long time. However, there are many factors to consider before you choose to use a pesticide as a last resort against weeds.

How Problematic are the Weeds?

Some weeds can be quite deadly in a garden. They can choke or stifle the growth of other plants and flowers, and extreme measures are usually taken to deal with these. On the other hand, there are other weeds whose effect on your garden will be negligible, and others can even have certain benefits. Unless the weeds are a serious problem to you or other plants or animals, the use of a pesticide might be overkill.

How Many Weeds Are There?

Unlike insects, the presence of a few weeds doesn't always mean that they're taking over your garden. The use of pesticides is best left for when the weed problem has reached an uncontrollable level, or if you have a very large yard space. Otherwise, you can always just uproot the few weeds that you can see or use some other solution.

What Other Solutions Can Work?

As stated earlier, the use of pesticides is usually reserved as a final option. Therefore, even if you're determined to get rid of the weeds in your garden, you may want to explore other solutions for getting rid of them. Some of the solutions include the following:

  • Physical control, e.g. mulching to keep the weeds from growing

  • Mechanical control, e.g. using a hoe to remove the weeds or spraying them with high-pressure water jets

  • Biological control – introducing natural agents that suppress the weeds, e.g. specific insects

  • Cultural control – growing plants that are weed resistant or using watering, fertilizing, and pruning in a way that retards the weeds' growth

Using Pesticides Correctly

If you have to use pesticides, it is important that you use them correctly. You can consult a landscaping service in your area for advice on the best pesticides to use and the right quantities for your yard and lawn care. Using the wrong pesticide or using too much can end up killing your own plants or even pets.