Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cats and the Dangers of Lawn and Garden Chemicals

When caring for your lawn and garden, it's very easy to just reach for the chemical pesticides and herbicides. However, these products can be potentially fatal to your feline companions. Using these products reduces the risk to your cats and other animals that might enter your lawn or garden. If you think your cats will not ingest the chemical products, think again. Many of the products that you might apply to your lawn smell and taste sweet to cats, so poisonings are all too common.

Thankfully, there are many alternatives to the traditional chemicals available on the market to day. But even these alternatives can be toxic in high enough amounts. Apply all lawn and garden chemicals according to the manufacturer's directions. Don't apply more simply because you think your lawn needs it.

Alternatives to Chemical Pesticides

Insects can damage your plants and flowers. However, you don't necessarily have to purchase expensive and toxic chemicals to solve the problem of aphids, thrips, or spider mites. Try using a simple garden hose with a nozzle attached. Many of the most common insects that might infest your garden have relatively soft bodies and can be eliminated with just water. Spray down your garden twice a day for a week and you'll probably be problem free.

If the infestation is a little more stubborn, add a little dish soap to some water and spray down the garden again. You might want to check your local garden store for insecticidal soaps if have a large infestation. Even this is less toxic than chemical insecticides.

Alternatives to Chemical Fertilizers

There's a simple and easy way to fertilize your lawn and garden without resorting to commercial fertilizers. Compost. Start a compost pile and apply it twice a year to your lawn and garden. This adds essential nutrients to the soil without the addition of any chemical fertilizers, keeping your yard save for your cats.

The fewer chemicals you add to your yard the safer your cats, dogs, and other pets will be. If you must use chemicals, use as little as possible for the sake of your feline friends and your garden will be a safe and happy place all summer long.

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