Monday, May 17, 2010

How can you go wrong with a name like Earth Options?

We should probably all scream like the cartoon bugs in the commercials when we see Raid. Brought to us by our lovely friends at SC Johnson. Earth Options? Really??? "Contains a plant-based active ingredient derived from Chrysanthemum flowers." Well now, how can THAT be bad??? It's flowers! "Kills Bugs Dead (R) using the power of plants." Hmm. You know what else is a plant? Hemlock. Another? Oleander. Nightshade. Belladonna.

My point is that just because something comes from a plant as purdy 'n' good-smellin' as a Chrysanthemum doesn't mean we should go spraying happily all over, or that the product OR the company is suddenly wonderful for the planet. This is greenwashing on a massive scale. The derived ingredient are pyrethrins, which are found in other sprays by other companies all over. Yes, when I had a particularly bad case of little white bugs in my plants, I would seek out a spray with pyrethrins, because it was the only thing that seemed to work. I did this long before Raid and SC Johnson came out to declare a so-called environmentally-friendly product. In fact, I would be willing to bet they had plant sprays with pyrethrin already, but due to the desire to "look" a little greener, they came out with a green bottle and slapped some hooey about plants on it.

Lest we really fall for this "natural" stuff they are trying to peddle, let's look at the warning straight from the website: "ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS: This product may be hazardous to aquatic invertebrates. To protect the environment, do not allow pesticide to enter or run off into storm drains, drainage ditches, gutters or surface waters. Applying this product in calm weather or when rain is not predicted for the next 24 hours will help to ensure that wind or rain does not blow or wash pesticide off the treatment area."

Um. Uh...

IN WHAT WORLD is that at all an Earth-friendly product??? Wouldn't an Earth Option be one that doesn't negatively impact the Earth???  Call me crazy.

The are other things that work. Banana peels keep aphids from roses. Borax can prevent roaches or ants. In fact, I recall one time at my grandparents' home, and there was a huge big old conglomeration of ants in a crack in the cement of the driveway by the garage. I guess today we would spray the hell out of them. But my grandmother had a different approach: she went in the house and put a kettle of plain old water on to boil, then brought it out and dumped it on them. OK, yeah sure they were horrifically boiled alive like tiny tiny little lobsters, but hey it worked, and no chemicals were needed.

Bottom line: Earth Options by Raid does not a green company make. And don't you dare fall for it. If you want a pest question answered, by all means do a little research on greener options or ask me. I'll be happy to do the research for you. Bugs have been around forever, and I'm sure Mother Nature has a way to handle them all without killing the rest of us.