I knew that living in the country would come with a lot of changes, but I didn't realize how many pests I would have to deal with each day. Even the winter came with its own pest problems. My blog is all about the problematic pests that country living presents. You will find out what you can do to keep your home pest-free and how to eliminate the pests that have already moved into your home. Hopefully, my personal experiences can help you find the solutions to pest problems that you have and take back your home from the insects and rodents causing you troubles.
If you have children or pets, you may be using organic fertilizer on your lawn to keep them safe. This is admirable, but do you really know what's in your all-natural product?
Sewage Sludge Disguised as Compost
Sewage sludge is the toxic solids left over after the water is removed from everything flushed down into your city's sewers. The marketing term for it is biosolids, but the EPA now allows it to be called compost. This material can contain any number of harmful chemicals and pathogens. Heat treating it kills some pathogens, but not all, and it does not remove the heavy metals or chemicals. The EPA does not allow crops grown with sewage sludge to be sold as organic. There is a long list of branded products that are made from or contain sewage sludge. In 1979, a Georgia dairy farmer lost 700 cows to molybdenum poisoning from sludge put onto his grazing fields. Furthermore, their milk contained thallium, a chemical used in rat poison, at over 11 times the amount considered safe for human consumption.
Commercial animal based compost fertilizers can contain livestock-grade antibiotics and hormones. Minnesota researchers found chlortetracycline, a broad-spectrum antibiotic commonly used for livestock, poultry and swine, was carried from the soil into crops such as corn, onions and cabbage. It is relatively persistent in the soil, taking up to 30 days to break down. There is evidence that some of these substances may be absorbed through the skin, so it is not safe to use on lawns where children and pets will be playing.
How to Protect Yourself
The best way to protect yourself from compost containing sewer sludge is to make your own compost. Also, be sure that your lawn care professional uses a mulching blade that returns the clippings back into the lawn to decompose and feed it. Source your manures from certified organic farms. To be on the safe side, ask for a written guarantee that no antibiotics or hormones were used to treat the animals, and that they only ate certified organically grown feed.
Using non-toxic organic fertilizers on your lawn is supposed to make it safe for your family and your pets; however, some commercial products may contain unsafe ingredients and should be avoided. Your local lawn care professional (like Collins Lawn/Insect Control) can help you find safe organic products to protect your loved ones and keep your lawn lush and green.