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The Dangers of Chemical Pesticides

Farmers use chemicals to keep bugs and weeds out of their crops. We use many of the same chemicals in our gardens. They work, but they can have harmful effects on the environment. When it rains, the soil absorbs the chemicals. They enter and pollute the groundwater, a source of much of our drinking water.

A much healthier way to control pests is to use biological controls. Biological pest control uses the natural enemy of a pest to reduce its population. What if aphids are destroying your rose garden? Instead of spraying your rose bushes with pesticides, you can introduce ladybugs to your garden. The ladybugs will eat the aphids and you will have a pest-free, chemical-free garden.


Rachel Carson (1907-1964) was one of the first to understand the devastating effects of chemical pesticides on nature. In 1962, she published her book Silent Spring. The book detailed the damaging effects to wildlife caused by the use of the manmade pesticide, DDT. Carson is credited with launching the environmental movement in the United States.

Our Footprint on Earth

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Science Encyclopedia for KidsOur Footprint on Earth