Commercial pest control services utilize organic, natural, and/or synthetic materials in order to prevent, repel, suppress, control, and/or kill a wide assortment of pests. When utilized in a proper manner, professional pest control services aid in protecting the plant life on your property and your home from damage. We know that professional pest control is generally safe for our pets. But what about the plants around the home? When administered by a professional for the purpose and intent of controlling, repelling, killing, and preventing pests, pest control will not typically pose a danger to your plants, but the risk of damage is present.
What are Pesticides?
There are many materials used to create pesticides, as stated previously. In most instances, the term “pesticide” is broadly used to describe many products. The following may be classified as a “pesticide”:
- Insecticides – These are designed to kill insects
- Rodenticides – These will eliminate rodents
- Molluscicides – These kill slugs
- Miticides – These terminate mites
- Fungicides – These destroy fungus
- Herbicides – These DO kill weeds and plants
- Growth Regulators – These cause a disruption to how insects are able to grow and reproduce
In terms of plant damage, herbicides may result in damage to plants. If administered by a professional company, the technicians will only administer to the plants and weeds that you want eliminated from your property.
Professional pest control services administered will not typically be a danger to your plants.
If you use over-the-counter pesticides, the chemical composition of the products may result in damage. This is why it is highly advised that you utilize professional services for your needs. Improper usage of pesticides is what results in plant damage.
Plant-Safe Applications are a Must
When you work with a professional pest control company, the technicians will carefully inspect your property. This is done prior to the application of the insecticides. The technicians will evaluate the plants you have, where they are located and if they can be avoided when applying the insecticide. In addition to this, it helps in determining what type of insecticides may be used.
There are cases where you may have a large population of certain pests that will only be repelled by a certain pesticide. In these cases, your plants may be in harm’s way. You may choose to have the pesticide applied directly, or you may ask the company to take measures to protect your plants. Even if protection steps are taken, there may still be a risk to the plants in the area. The company will outline these risks with you.
The Effects of Chemical-Based Pesticides
General pest control administered by a professional is typically not harmful; however, there are some instances in which the products could pose a harm. You must understand these instances. If chemical-based pesticides are being utilized in place of natural or organic pesticides, environmental conditions such as wind, rain, and even soil movement could result in the spread of the pesticide to another area. If this happens, there could be a risk of your plants being impacted by the products.
Soil plays a large role in the health of your plants. Chemical pesticides could detrimentally impact the soil. While these are manufactured in such a way that the risk is minimal, it is still present. Naturally, if the health of the soil is negatively impacted, it could impact the plants that live and grow in that soil.
The Impact of Phytotoxicity
When you are considering having pest control administered on your property, it is important to consider the impact of phytotoxicity. This is the toxic impact of pesticides that have the ability to damage or to kill plants. When this occurs, the germination of the seeds is delayed and the growth of the plant is stunted. While it is true that plants should not experience harm from pesticides that are designed to protect, it is a possibility.
If over-the-counter pesticides are used, phytotoxicity occurs in the “burning” of plant life. In most instances, this happens when the chemicals are not applied in a proper manner. It could occur even if the substances are applied properly as a result of the chemicals making their way from a plant that is targeted to a non-targeted plant that is sensitive to the chemicals. Additionally, if chemicals are allowed to build up in the soil, plant damage could occur.
What are the Signs of Pesticide Damage on Plants?
While it is uncommon for professional pest control to result in plant damage, the risk is there. You must be aware of this fact. While the risk is higher with the usage of over-the-counter products, it is possible for professional products to cause issues. The following outlines the most common signs that pesticide has resulted in the development of damage to a plant:
- The plants may not engage in a proper process in terms of germination
- The seedlings may start to die
- The leaves may show specks, flecks, and even dead spots
- You may find that the plant appears to look distorted
- The veins of the leaves may develop dead spots
- The leaf tips may start to show signs of death
- The leaf margins may start to die off
- The plant growth may appear to be delayed and/or stunted
- The leaves of the plant may appear to be discolored, curled up, and even burned
- Leaves may start to fall off of the plant
- The plant may die
An Important Note about Pollinators
If you have a concern about the outdoor plants at your home, it is important to consider the pollinators. You may require pollinating pests to remain in and around your plants. It is essential that you understand that the insecticides that you may purchase and those used by professionals may target the insects that you need to properly pollinate your plants.
If you have a need to ensure pollinators are present, it is critical that you avoid over-the-counter pest control and that you inform the pest control company that you use. This way, a proper application may be performed that will not target those insects.
What Happens if I Spray Bug Spray on Plants?
If you spray over-the-counter bug spray on plants – even those that are identified as being “non-toxic” – you may cause damage. It does not even matter if you use horticultural oils or insecticidal soaps that are advertised as being “safe” for plants. These products may definitely result in the development of phytotoxicity.
Should I Spray Plants for Bugs?
If your plants are indoors, you will likely not have a need to spray them for bugs. If they are outdoors, you may wish to spray them to prevent certain insects from accessing them. If you apply the spray yourself, you should definitely opt for organic product ONLY. If you use chemical sprays, you may damage your plants and repel pests that are considered to be beneficial to your plants, such as bees. If you are uncertain of what products to use, contact a professional pest control company for assistance.
We here at All Pest Exterminating take every precaution to protect your plant life while administering our products. We will inspect the entire premises and discuss any plant sensitivity issues that arise. We will also discuss the goals of the treatment with you in order to ensure that we take every measure possible to protect the plants you care about most. While there is always a minimal risk for plant damage in pest control, we consider the risk of living with certain pests much higher. If you would like to learn more about our services or would like to set up an inspection, contact us now by calling: 765-259-0043