Protect Clean Water, Wildlife, Pollinators, and YOU: Avoid Pesticides!

Pesticides are one of the most common culprits to water pollution. You might be asking yourself why. Well, during a storm, rain can carry pesticides on you lawn into the nearest storm drain where they flow – untreated – into your nearest river, stream or lake. As you can imagine these chemicals are not good for the plants, fish or wildlife in our water bodies, and they are not good for boaters or swimmers, either!

Furthermore, these pesticides and the chemicals in them are harmful to bees and other pollinators. The pesticides can seep into the groundwater and some are even linked to cancer. Due to overuse of these pesticides some pests are even becoming resistant to them, making them ineffective in more scenarios.

Pesticides

Wondering what you can do to help reduce water pollution via pesticides?

The most essential thing that you can do is avoid the need for pesticides when you can! The happier your plants are, the less susceptible they will be to pests or diseases.

Below are some other simple steps you can take to limit your need for pesticides –

  1. When you are purchasing plants, opt for plants or disease or pest-resistant. When you bring them home, be sure to plant them in areas that give them the sun and water requirements they prefer.
  2. The key to keeping your lawn healthy (and pesticide free) is healthy soil and good mowing and watering practices. Healthy lawns are rarely succumb to pests and disease and don’t need any regular pesticide applications.
  3. Water early in the morning and avoid spraying the leaves. Water in the morning and at the base of the plant to avoid mildew, fungus, black spot and other water-borne diseases.
  4. Avoid over-watering ! Excess irrigation can wash pollutants down a storm drain. Consider mulch on slopes or even rock barriers or trenches to prevent irrigation flowing into the nearest storm drain. Carrying pollutants with it.
  5. Use mulch! Mulch is great at keeping weeds down. It can also conserve water and keeps irrigation from flowing out of your yard and into the nearest storm drain. An Economical and efficient way to care for your plants.
  6. Plant at appropriate times. Planting in the spring and fall is preferable to planning in the summer when the plants will need to immediately tolerate extreme heat. Unhappy plants are more susceptible to pests and other diseases.
  7. Differentiate the ‘good’ bugs from the ‘bad’ bugs. Look into integrated pest control or biological controls, which allow you to purchase the ‘good’ bugs to eat your ‘bad’ bugs. Also learn to recognize situations where you can manually remove pests.
  8. Reconsider what is ‘bad’ about weeds. Is crabgrass really worth a pesticide application?
  9. Consider replacing your lawn with ground covers, perennials and shrubs. Once established, gardens require less fertilizer and pesticides!
  10. Plant ‘pair’ plants together. Certain species naturally thrive when planted alongside other species. This can help plants be more pest resistant because they work together to keep each other healthy!

For more information take a look at the Mystic River website! Or call the Engineering office at 781-979-0142. 

Thank you for your continued efforts to keep our waterways clean!