Last year, a Pesticide-Free Rowayton group was formed to inform residents about the dangers of spraying toxic pesticides to kill weeds and insects and to promote effective, organic alternatives, while supporting the use of safe, organic lawn and garden care methods that are used within Rowayton’s public green spaces.
While folks have heard the phrase “Save Bees” and know the plight of bees is important, there are many other pollinators, including butterflies, bats, hummingbirds, flies, beetles and wasp species all of whom are constantly traveling from plant to plant, carrying pollen on their bodies in a vital interaction that allows the transfer of genetic material critical to the reproductive system of most flowering plants.
Also, Entomology Professor Doug Tallamy has warned that insect populations have declined drastically, and that we don’t seem to care, despite the fact that a world without insects is a world without humans.
Truth is, the pesticides and insecticides that residents spray on their properties are absolutely deadly to pollinators. Twenty-two are toxic to birds, 14 toxic to mammals, 30 toxic to fish and aquatic organisms and 29 are deadly to bees. All pollute the water we drink through runoff. A recent study also proved that glyphosate, an herbicide found in RoundUp and most weed killers, raises the cancer risk of humans exposed to it by 41%, a truly shocking statistic.
One of the best things we can all do for pollinators and for health is to have a pesticide-free lawn, and to plant native flowering plants, shrubs and trees that provide pollen and nectar to insects on which wild birds depend. Also, transitioning to safe organic products as alternatives to pesticides is easy. The Gardener’s Center in Darien can assist with the best organic products to use.
Pesticide-Free Rowayton, a project of Darien-based Friends of Animals is selling bee-themed Pesticide-Free Zone signs to display on your property for $15 each, which includes a wood post for displaying them. Priscilla Feral can be contacted for payment and pick-up in Rowayton: [email protected]
Friends of Animals