The American Academy of Pediatrics released a policy statement in November 2012 warning that exposure to pesticides can result in cancer, decreased cognitive function and behavioral problems in children. They recommend that families learn about integrated pest management, which means seeking out the least toxic methods of dealing with pest problems in the home and garden.
The Oregonian's recent article on this topic provides specific tips for pesticide-free gardening, such as spraying plants with water to remove aphids, or picking slugs off plants by hand.
If you'd like to learn more about natural gardening techniques, come to the Sabin Bee-Friendly Garden Tour on Sunday, July 14 from 11:00 to 3:00. The tour is free and includes 15 bee-friendly backyards in the inner NE Portland neighborhood of Sabin. We'll have natural gardening experts on hand, to chat with you about non-toxic methods of pest control. We'll also have several experts on honey bees, native bees and other pollinators, to answer your questions about these critters and explain how to create healthy bee habitat in your garden. For more information, please see the Garden Tour tab on the Sabin Community Association website: sabinpdx.org