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Open letter to neighbors about pesticides

980 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  pageta
Hi there:

I've never posted to this forum, but I come here seeking help. This morning I was out on my deck (I in a relatively close-in neighborhood in Boulder, CO) with my son and dw enjoying the bright morning sun.

Suddenly my neighbor (about 60 ft away behind a fence) starts spraying her trees with insecticide - I assume thats what it was because she was spraying the boughs).

Now, I'm terrified by pesticides, herbicides etc. and the effects they might have on my 21 month old and our subsequent children. My neighbor to the left uses Roundup on his lawn and there are tree spraying services in the neighborhood all the time.

I'm thinking of writing an open letter to all my neighbors telling them about the effects of these herbicides and pesticides on children with references, etc. and ask them to seek environmentally sensitive alternatives to thier pest troubles. Most of the folks in the neighborhood have children so I'm thinking of having a strong emphasis on the effects on the wee wuns.

I'm wondering if here anyone has ever done something similar and has a letter I can hack up, plagiarize or have resources I can refer to.

All the best,

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Ask her what she was spraying. Maybe it was organic. Probably not, I am horror stricken everytime I walk into any garden center in my area at the array of chemicals, even the smell of the places creep me out. But it might put your mind at ease. Just be really nice and offer some alternatives for her. Homemade alternatives are usually appealing to people because they are cheap, if not for the health benefits, kwim?

Yes, I would make an informative poster if I lived in a neighborhood such as yours. You guys are close enough that one pesticide is everyone's pesticide. I find most people open to learning about organic methods, I hope it's the same for your neighbors. Give them the bad info but offer them some alternatives, if nothing else some book recommendations, but you could also make up a separate tip sheet with some of the easiest, better known organic principles and solutions.

Good Luck, I understand your fear. Luckily for us, our abutting neighbor that does anything to their yard are longtime organic gardeners. However, I have a nearby airport that drops lots of lovely stuff into our air, I am sure
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I feel your pain!
We live next to poison central--they are ALWAYS spraying cr*p.

one year we woke up to a 6" wide brown strip the whole length of our yard--it killed an antique peony in my yard
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Ugg, I feel your pain, we had to have our yard sprayed (It's in the HOA agreement). I asked if we could 'opt out' and the HOA said no because then the bugs? from our yard would infest our neighbors dumb is that?
I've never done it myself but maybe you can find some interesting food for thought at Sandra Steingraber's website.

Originally Posted by JamesMama
Ugg, I feel your pain, we had to have our yard sprayed (It's in the HOA agreement). I asked if we could 'opt out' and the HOA said no because then the bugs? from our yard would infest our neighbors dumb is that?
I would think that as long as you didn't have bugs in your yard, they would never know you didn't spray.

When we bought our house, the previous owners paid big money to have the lawn sprayed all the time. Right after we moved in, dh noticed the grass was dying and went and out pulled up the sod and it came up like carpet because there were these grubs that had eaten all the roots. DH is an agronomist and knows all about plant health and disease. So he had to re-plant the entire lawn because the stuff that was there was completely eaten up, and the damage had occurred before we bought the house (while it was being sprayed all the time).

We've never sprayed our new lawn, and we haven't had any trouble with grubs or anything else either. The neighbors have their lawn sprayed all the time, and my garden always wilts for about a week after they do it (only took a couple of times for us to figure out what was happening). I'm sorry, but you could not PAY me to have those people spray my lawn. Leave it alone and it will grow just fine.
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