Living the Good Life – Least Toxic Pest Control for Home, Lawn and Garden

There is a natural and least toxic pest control alternative to our environmental challenges. Healthy homes, yards and gardens are available to those who want the best for their environment and family.

For over 25 years, Indoor Environmental Technologies (IET) has been seeking out healthier ways to approach the environmental challenges which life presents. We should look at life as a four-spoked wheel with Diet, Attitude, Exercise and our Environment all playing a key role to keep the wheel rolling true. Over the years, we have had the privilege to work with many forward-thinking experts in their field. Dr. Marion Moses was a pioneer in pesticide regulation and proponent of least toxic pest control. Working with Dr. Moses and the Sarasota Junior League in the mid 1990’s to draw attention to pesticide spraying of residential lawns and golf courses resulted in a public awakening to the unintended consequences of broadcast spraying while taking into consideration that pesticide exposure can be very challenging to sensitive children and adults. Dr. Moses book Designer Poisons and Common-Sense Pest Control by William Olkowski set the stage for our increased awareness into this field back in the 1990’s.

Prudent avoidance and the use of least toxic methods has proven effective; both in my life and the lives of our clients. Over the years, IET has performed pesticide testing for our clients who were concerned about the possibility of pesticide exposure. IET has performed testing using the best available analytical methods. We’ve learned a few tricks over the years in dealing with pesticide testing and reducing exposure in contaminated environments. The old saying “An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure” has never been more appropriate. This book review article and list of references are offered to allow you to access what we feel to be some of the best sources available to minimize pesticide exposure.

Designer Poisons: How to Protect Your Health and Home from Toxic Pesticides, By Richard Alexander, Esq. 1995

Designer Poisons book is a long overdue source of essential information on common household pesticides by a highly respected medical doctor and scientist well versed in environmental and occupational medicine. It is a powerhouse of information on diseases, adverse health effects and potential injuries caused by household pesticides.

Written by one of the nation’s foremost authorities on pesticides, Dr. Marion Moses, Designer Poisons’ major focus is on chronic effects: the seemingly small, and apparently minor, exposures which occur on a regular basis over a long period of time but which tragically result in cancer, reproductive disorders, and damage to the brain and nervous system. The culprits? A broad range of commonly available chemicals that are readily found at home and used day in and day out by the unsuspecting. Although acute health effects are also clearly described by the author, the major value of this book is that it addresses the devastating effect of chronic exposures.

toxic pest controlThe U.S. chemical industry prefers to ignore chronic effects and EPA and NIOSH mandated Material Safety Data Sheets are seriously deficient because they are limited to describing the symptoms of acute exposures, when for most workers it is the repetitive, long-term exposure that is the cause of devastating injuries and death. Moses is to be applauded for forthrightly addressing the chronic exposure issues in this new book.

The book is packed with unique, detailed tables listing potential chronic effects for the active ingredients in hundreds of brand name products sold over-the-counter and used by professional exterminators in the home, on humans, pets, and lawns. It also cross indexes chemical names with trade and generic names.

Designer Poisons is a valuable and authoritative source of essential information on the health aspects of pesticides. This book is an invaluable reference for assessing potential pesticide-related illnesses and evaluating the responsibility of manufacturers for resulting injuries.

Designer Poisons is strongly recommended for physicians, toxicologists, occupational medicine clinics, public health officials, health and safety regulation administrators, attorneys and anyone interested in the diagnosis, etiology and prevention of chronic chemical exposure injuries and illnesses.

Common Sense Pest Control, By William Olkowski

This elegant book combines the knowledge of a text book with the practicality of a self-help guide. It’s beautifully elegant illustrations run through its 36 chapters divided into nine sections. The opening sentences of the Introduction sets the tone. “This book is about ways to manage your encounters with other living organisms you regard as pests. The emphasis is on concepts and techniques that will help you to do so in a manner that is in harmony with the health of humans, pets, other domestic animals, wildlife and the general environment. Chances are good that you are reading this book because you want help solving a specific pest problem. Below we suggest ways you can use the book for that purpose.”

This book covers it all from basic concepts to beneficial organisms to pesticides to pests of the human body to pests inside the house to pests of indoor plants to pests of the house structure to pests in the garden to pests of the community. Its chapters are filled with taxonomy references and tables supported by beautiful illustrations. This book is nothing short of the seminal guide to natural pest control like the American Practical Navigator by Nathaniel Bowditch is to a life at sea. They both base their knowledge based practicality on nature and the and the advancements in the understandings of both these disciplines. While Bowditch has the US navy and Coast Guard providing the ongoing updates, Olkowski has the Bio-Integral Resource Center providing the most current updates through its resource branch located at

We strongly recommend both Designer Poisons and Common Sense Pest Control for your edification.


Links to least toxic pest control:

Designer Poisons, by Dr. Marion Moses

Common-Sense Pest Control, by William Olkowski, Sheila Daar, Helga Olkowski

The Bio-Integral Resource Center

National Resource Defense Council

Gardening with Integrated Pest Management

Natural Lawns of America

Citizen’s Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety

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