A comment about home remedies from Catherine Daniels

In case you didn’t see yesterday’s comment that was added to Jeff Gillman’s January 6 post on home remedies, I’ve posted it here.  Dr. Catherine Daniels is WSU’s pesticide coordinator:

I’ve enjoyed reading the science-based information on your site. Keep up the good work. As regards home remedies, that is slippery slope, both legally and morally. Having a written definition of what you will or will not accept is helpful, especially if done in advance. Then you can be sure of being consistent and deliberate at least. There are both state and federal laws regarding pesticides, and state laws do vary. The most important thing is to know your state’s interpretation of those laws and to be mindful that with a blog you may be talking to people in state’s where laws are interpreted differently. I mention that for your legal protection. For example, in Washington State, if you talk to a user group (such as the public), and discuss the ways to use a material as a pesticide, it becomes a de facto pesticide recommendation. A legally-liable recommendation. When a researcher publishes information in a journal it’s not directed at a user audience so is not considered a recommendation by the author. If you take it to the public, at least here, it becomes a recommendation you made, unless you insert certain disclaimers. It’s always attractive to try and “help” the public find some easier, faster, cheaper solution to a pest problem. With pesticides and the public, you offer a better service directing them to a tested material which is registered and has a consistent concentration from batch to batch. Having personal safety and storage instructions is important…things that are missing in make-it-yourself squirt bottle solutions. Home remedies encourage people to think that the solution is “safe” (for people, not pests) because it’s made out of everyday ingredients. But as we know, the dose makes the poison. Nicotine is a nerve poison which you wouldn’t want a child to come into contact with accidentally because the squirt bottle wasn’t labelled or put in a safe place. I agree that our role is to educate, not police household cupboards or public pesticide use patterns. But by the same token, because we (educators)are trained to look at the big picture, there are good reasons to consider sticking to a label. Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

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Linda Chalker-Scott

Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott has a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Oregon State University and is an ISA certified arborist and an ASCA consulting arborist. She is WSU’s Extension Urban Horticulturist and a Professor in the Department of Horticulture, and holds two affiliate associate professor positions at University of Washington. She conducts research in applied plant and soil sciences, publishing the results in scientific articles and university Extension fact sheets. Linda also is the award-winning author of five books: the horticultural myth-busting The Informed Gardener (2008) and The Informed Gardener Blooms Again (2010) from the University of Washington Press and Sustainable Landscapes and Gardens: Good Science – Practical Application (2009) from GFG Publishing, Inc., and How Plants Work: The Science Behind the Amazing Things Plants Do from Timber Press (2015). Her latest effort is an update of Art Kruckeberg’s Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest from UW Press (2019). In 2018 Linda was featured in a video series – The Science of Gardening – produced by The Great Courses. She also is one of the Garden Professors – a group of academic colleagues who educate and entertain through their blog and Facebook pages. Linda’s contribution to gardeners was recognized in 2017 by the Association for Garden Communicators as the first recipient of their Cynthia Westcott Scientific Writing Award. "The Garden Professors" Facebook page - www.facebook.com/TheGardenProfessors "The Garden Professors" Facebook group - www.facebook.com/groups/GardenProfessors Books: http://www.sustainablelandscapesandgardens.com

9 thoughts on “A comment about home remedies from Catherine Daniels”

  1. Thank you for your article! In my research I have found great advise and advise that was really scary!!! It is important for people to research and if for personal use then take the time to ask their doctor before using any homemade remedy. My doctor is very good about telling me what is safe and what is not.

  2. I have been a Master Gardener for close to 20 years in three different states and all I can say is, at every Cooperative Extension we are advised – no, mandated – to never recommend or mention off-label or home remedies in the capacity of our position due to liability issues.

  3. I have a home remedy website but I am very conscious of providing quality advice. The thing I find is that home remedies do not always work 100% of the time and home made pesticides will be the same. There are so many variables.

  4. Hello. Yesterday, doing my research about pesticides and herbicides I found one great website, with Open Access materials in this field. They are some books about Herbicides – Theory and Application, Pesticides and Fungicides. This is link which will connect you with these 6 books http://www.intechopen.com/subject/biological-sciences/agriculture/ . They are free to download. Some important aspects regarding the multisided impacts of herbicides on the living world are highlighted in this books. I am sure that the readers will find a lot of helpful information, even if they are only slightly interested in the topic. I found this very useful ! Cheers!

  5. As i see your comments are very informative, but as far as i know home remedies are the best to use for any cause.
    If you know the perfect ingredients to solve the problem, which will be the most beneficial. for this people should take advice from who knows very well about home remedies.

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