Recent trends have given the impression that lawn treatments consisting of weed control and lawn fertilization are harmful to people, pets, and the environment. The truth is, the applications licensed reputable lawn care services use in their lawn treatments are specifically designed to break down harmlessly after application. These products are deemed safe by the EPA for use and are considered non-toxic. This doesn’t mean ingesting fertilizer and weed control in raw forms is safe. In fact, lawn care companies will always leave behind a yard sign that lets people know the area had been treated with instructions to stay off it for usually a 24-hour duration. However, when applications are absorbed and broken down, they are simply compounds that are commonly found in our atmosphere. The main ingredient in most fertilizers is nitrogen. People think this is a scary word, like “gasoline.” However, nitrogen also happens to be the most abundant element in the air we breathe, making up over 78% of what we inhale several times per minute.
While it certainly is a personal choice whether or not to use fertilizers and weed control products as lawn treatments, it is important to know that they were not safe for humans and pets, the EPA would never approve them. When weighing whether or not to use lawn treatments on lawns, you also need to consider the obvious benefits carefully. Not only do they eliminate noxious and poisonous plants and weeds from the immediate environment, but by cultivating and maintaining a healthy green space, the environment actually reaps many benefits.
Lawn Treatments for Diseases
For example, we know that plants and green spaces are beneficial to the environment and the atmosphere. Plants are able to utilize carbon dioxide, one of the most abundant greenhouse gases that is harmful to our atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is taken in during photosynthesis, which converts sunlight to energy and releases oxygen as a byproduct. When a lawn disease is allowed to run rampant, large areas of turf can be killed off quickly and then it spreads to your neighbors. The only ugly to look at, but the immediate environment loses the benefit of the gas-exchange that occurs during the photosynthesis process.
Fungicide treatments are very beneficial for lawns that are experiencing a fungal breakout. They are designed to treat fungal overgrowth, which can not only cause a complete blight of lawns and open spaces, but the fungi can also release spores into the environment that can be damaging to people and pets. Powdery mildew is one of the biggest culprits as not only can it infect plants and lawns, but inhalation and consumption of this fungal infection can make both people and pets ill. Furthermore, those with compromised immune systems or who suffer from respiratory diseases (think asthmatics, allergy sufferers, or those with weakened immune systems), can become ill from exposure to different types of mold and fungal infections in lawns. Lawn treatments for lawn diseases are designed to eliminate the source of the disease. In many cases, lawns will require several treatments to eradicate the disease, but the lawn treatments are generally considered safe for people and pets once absorption has begun into the turf. But again, it’s all about personal choice. If for example, you’re a new mom going through a “natural mom phase” with a newborn, then ruling out all unnatural products in or around your home is certainly your prerogative. We totally support that decision. But if you do that, please pay close attention to the wild plants and pests that will be invading your property. Our lawn care guide is PERFECT for that!
Lawn Treatments for Allergy-Causing & Toxic Weeds
For those who suffer from environmental allergies, certain times of the year can be miserable. While we cannot control pollen spores and allergens in the air, we can treat many of the allergy-causing weeds that are found in lawns. Some of the biggest culprits are dandelions, ragweed, lambsquarters, plantain, and pigweed. These weeds can quickly overcome a lawn if left on their own, which can make allergy-sufferers positively miserable during their growing seasons. In the case of allergy sufferers, lawn treatments simply outweigh the negative health consequences. But again, it’s all about personal choice.
Toxic weeds are another concern for homeowners, as they can go beyond merely irritating allergies and asthmatic symptoms. Toxic weeds can lead to significant and severe illness in some cases for both people and their pets. Jimsonweed is one example of a weed that can be extremely dangerous. Children and pets have been known to have been made severely ill or even killed from ingestion. It is a simple fix to eliminate toxic weeds from lawns through the use of weed control products or just hire a lawn service. As we’ve previously stated, the EPA has essentially deemed these weed control products to be safe and beneficial to society, and they are highly effective at eliminating dangerous plants from green spaces. Be sure you follow all instructions on yard signs left behind by lawn care services. If they say stay off the lawn for 24 hours, do so as this will give the grass and soil to absorb the treatment.
Like It or Not, the Forest Wants to Take Over Your Lawn
Just imagine driving through beautiful neighborhoods with $500k homes overrun with weeds, tree saplings, poison ivy, and other pests. This would be the reality if lawn treatment services and OTC weed control products were not available to keep the environment weed-free and beautiful for families. Ultimately, the types of lawn treatments a person selects to apply on their property is a personal decision. We are a huge fan of environmentalists and think all lawn treatment products need to be FULLY tested by the EPA and the manufacturer before they are sold in the marketplace. Chemicals imported from China and other parts of the world that are known to produce low-quality products with little regulation need to be carefully scrutinized by U.S. regulators. Lawn care services rely on the EPA and government regulation. However, it is important to remember that the applications approved by the EPA for use in residential lawns and green spaces are considered safe once they begin to break down. The EPA is on guard for citizens across the country. Using lawn treatments such as herbicides for weeds and fungicides for treating diseases provide numerous benefits to society. The chemicals and treatments, when used properly, pose minimal risk. Proper grass care and healthy green spaces actually offer health and environmental benefits including cleaner air, cleaner groundwater, and conversion of greenhouse gases into harmless oxygen. Home values also go up and children have nice play areas with perfect green lawns. There are always trade-offs in life, and this is one of them. Just make sure your lawn maintenance service is using EPA approved products from leading manufacturers. Make sure they are licensed turf care pros, their employees are trained, and that they use properly calibrated lawn spraying equipment.
Always remember, hiring a lawn treatment service or using weed control products on your lawn is always a personal decision. Unless of course, you live in a neighborhood with an HOA mandate to treat weeds, which is more and more common across the country. There is nothing like neighborhood peer pressure to keep your lawn green and weed-free! At WinLAWN, we only use EPA approved products for our lawn treatment program that are administrated by trained professionals, using perfectly calibrated lawn spraying equipment, at the right time of the year.