Steve Tvedten's "The Bug Stops Here"
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Weeds basically only grow where grass will not. The poison sprayers say they will "control" pest problems like dandelions, yet every year these "controlled pests" are back in the very same place. Because of all the synthetic pesticide poisons and fertilizers, our top layer of soil is virtually dead. Plants do not chelate well without microorganisms. Soil must be alive, teaming with microorganisms or the lawn and/or plants will not be healthy. Pests like grubs multiply in these dead areas; add organic fertilizer and they quickly disappear. Proper irrigation will control crabgrass. In a few years even the weeds are choked out by healthy grass.

Poisons do not protect; they kill. Before there were any "professional" lawn or pest control operators, we had natural fields full of grass that fed vast herds of buffalo who trampled it with their sharp hooves, yet it always grew strong and tall. This grass was never aerated or irrigated, never fertilized, never had insecticides applied, never had fumigants applied, never had herbicides applied...the grass did extremely well without any man's help. Today we have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to develop grass so weak we must nurse it with fertilizer and poisons many times each growing season and we must constantly irrigate and keep off it or it will die.

The Author brags he has never done anything to his "lawn" but mow it and it stays green all season. You can drive on it and not kill it. You decide if you want a strong, natural lawn that feeds microorganisms and plants and other creatures and is healthy for your family and easy on your pocketbook or an expensive, sick lawn that needs your constant attention and money and may even be harming you.

The EPA estimates that one out of every 10 public drinking water wells in the U. S. contains pesticides, as well as more than 440,000 rural private wells. At a minimum, over 1,300,000 people drink water contaminated with one or more of these dangerous poisons!

Pesticide poisons have been found in thousands of lakes, rivers, and waterways throughout the nation. Agriculture is the number-one source of surface water pollution in the U. S.

In June, 1993, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released its long-awaited report on the health hazards posed to infants and young children from exposure to pesticide poisons in the food supply. The Academy stated that any pesticide poisons are harmful to the environment and are known or suspected to be toxic to humans. They can produce a wide range of adverse effects on human health that include acute neurologic toxicity, cancer, reproductive dysfunction, and possible dysfunction of the immune and endocrine systems. Among the NAS's critical findings, existing pesticide poison policies do not protect the young adequately, instead the policies are treating kids as "little adults." Unique dietary patterns are ignored, although they result in far greater exposure to multiple pesticide poisons in food, by body weight, than occur in the adult population. The NAS expressed particular concern over children's dietary exposure to neurotoxic pesticide poisons stating that children tend to retain a greater portion of a given dose of certain toxins than adults and are not as capable of detoxifying them in their bodies. They are at greater risk from neurotoxins since the nervous system in an infant or young child has not yet developed fully.

Cause and Effect - We will never know if what we suspect about toxins having an adverse effect on our health is true - at least not from a purely "scientific point-of-view" - because, we will never be allowed to spray poisons on some statistical group of people (compared with an equal number of unsprayed people) to show actual or direct cause and effect. Because we can not spray people - the polluters of our world can continue to state pollution warnings are only based on junk science and only made by chemophobics and that there is no scientific proof that their "registered" poisons pollute, kill, harm or damage our world, people and/or pets.

Rachel Carson studied the failed governmental attempts to prevent the Japanese beetle from reaching Iroquois County, Illinois by repeatedly bombing with volatile, synthetic pesticide poisons from the air in the mid-1950's. Many insect species became sick (or died) from the poison, and were easy prey for insect eating birds and mammals. These creatures then became poisoned in turn and, in ever-widening circles of death, went on to sicken and kill those who fed on their flesh, leaving a landscape devoid of animal life, from pheasants to barnyard cats. The protracted poison war against the targeted pest, the Japanese beetle, on the other hand accomplished nothing; the "pest" continued its westward advance. The planes had been bombing with dieldrin which did remain to contaminate the soil and water for decades to come, like land mines left behind by a retreating army, guaranteeing further ecological tragedies, like the mute testimony of Iroquois County's dead ground squirrels: found with their mouths full of dirt, they had gnashed at the poisoned soil as they died in agony.

Steve House, a friend of the Author, who was personally poisoned by these synthetic pesticide poisons, also saw tree squirrels die, the same way, in his native Detroit after they bombed with volatile poisons there.

Remember, whatever poison is used on your lawn or in your neighborhood will volatilize or be blown into the air by lawn mowers so you breathe it into your lungs. It will touch and enter your skin. It will sink into the soil so it will eventually end up in the ground water or water that comes out your kitchen faucet. Your children will track the lawn chemicals into your home on their shoes and then walk, play and eat on the carpets and floor. Your children will also play ball on the lawn, get the poisons on their hands and then eat a sandwich, so it ends up inside the digestive tract.

In addition, if they put pesticide poisons around the outside of your home around the edges, as a pest "barrier" and spray volatile poisons into the cracks and openings below and around your house, they can easily contaminate the inside of your home. If volatile poisons were ever used in the past by a previous owner, you might still be in danger. If volatile poisons were required by some state laws to be incorporated into the soil under the cement foundation of homes and under slab floors, these toxic vapors can continue to hurt your family for years. These volatile termite poisons definitely volatilize (leak out) into your air and can remain potentially dangerous for generations.

Pest Management at the Crossroads (1997), Consumers Union, Yonkers, NY noted that more than 500 insects, 170 weeds and 150 plant diseases are now resistant to one or more pesticide poisons - just another reason not to use them. True Integrated Pest Management is the fitting together of all pertinent data, constant monitoring and re-inspecting, methods, and common sense to safely control a pest problem. Methods including Pestisafes™, natural enemies, e.g., pathogens, parasites and predators, cultural practices, mechanical alteration, microbial agents, genetic manipulation, exclusion, pheromones, traps, growth inhibitors, temperature controls and even (non- volatile) pesticides which all become mutually augmentative instead of individually operative.

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 71(1), July 1983 noted A study of 3,827 Florida pesticide applicators employed for 20 or more years found they had nearly 3 times the risk for developing lung cancer. The same study also showed the pesticide applicators had twice the risk for brain cancer. There was not any increased cancer risk when applicators were studied for only 5 years, implying it takes over 5 years to accumulate enough chronic damage to the genetic structure to develop the cancers.

Children who live in homes where registered, volatile, indoor or outdoor volatile pesticide poisons are used face a far greater chance of developing leukemia (leukemia is a cancer of the blood). The study, published in July's 1987 issue of the Journal of the national Cancer Institute, studied 123 Los Angeles children with leukemia and 123 children with the malignancy. The results showed the children living in the registered pesticide poison treated homes had nearly a 4-times-greater risk of developing the disease. If the children lived in homes were registered pesticide poisons were used in the garden as well, the risk of developing leukemia was 6.5 times greater! All of the children in the study were 10 years of age or younger. Thus proving to some of us with working brains that cancer rates are not increasing merely because we are living longer!

The registered lawn pesticide poison active ingredients, mancozeb and chlorothalonil (used by commercial lawn spray companies as fungicides), have been classified by EPA as probable cancer-causing chemicals in humans as they have been found to cause cancer in animals (Newsweek, May 16, pg. 77, 1988)). Mancozeb has also been found to react with sunlight to form a new compound EPA categorizes as a known carcinogen (Newsweek, May 16, pg. 77, 1988). The common lawn pesticide 2,4-D has been shown to increase the risk of lymphatic cancer in farmers 6 times the normal rate according to a National Cancer Institute report (Science News, September 13, 1986).

A book from the Office of Technology Assessment entitled, Neurotoxicity: Identifying and Controlling Poisons of the Nervous System noted that an estimated 300,000 farm workers are poisoned by pesticide poisons in the U. S. Studies demonstrate that in addition to acute poisoning, pesticide poisons can cause long-term (chronic) damage to the nervous system.

Groups of test animals exposed to different pesticide poisons used in agriculture and lawn care showed over 50% more hyperactivity following a single exposure to the chemical. One of the main goals of this experiment, conducted by Dr. J. A. Mitchell and colleagues at the University of Michigan, was to investigate activity behavioral changes in test animals (male Swiss mice) following a single exposure to one of 4 different dosages of weed killers and fungicide poisons. The chemicals used included Lasso ( containing alachlor), Basalin (containing fluchloralin), Premiere (containing dinoseb) and the fungicide poison Maneb-80 (80% Maneb). Test dosages ranged from a very low .4mg/kg to 4 mg/kg to 40 mg/kg. Even the largest dose was still below the LD50 for the animals (the amount needed to kill 50% of the test animals). According to the researchers, the herbicide poisons and fungicide poisons have received few reports investigating their toxicity while their yearly growth and production have grown far more than the insecticide poisons.

The detection of hyperactivity was measured by placing the test animals in steel cages that were equipped with electronic motion detectors which used infrared beams to count specific movements by the animals. After the single chemical exposure, activity was measured for a 4-hour period. Results showed the registered weed killer Lasso did not show any effects at the very low .4 mg/kg level, but did show over a 65% increase in activity at the low 4 mg/kg and a 75% increase at the higher 40 mg/kg level. The registered weed killer dinoseb also showed no activity increases at the lowest .4 mg/kg dose, but did show a 15% increase at the 4 mg/kg level, and a 54% increase that the larger 40 mg/kg level. Other researchers have reported that activity provides a sensitive measure for evaluating the behavioral effects of the registered pyrethroid pesticide poison, deltamethrin, at doses that did not cause the characteristic neurotoxicological syndrome.

In conclusion the researchers stated, "The results of this study suggest that at least some registered herbicide poisons, in addition to pyrethrins, organophosphate and carbamate pesticide poisons, can produce behavioral manifestations following accidental exposure ... The effects of the pesticide poisons on activity also support the hypothesis that these agents may affect the central nervous system" per Neutrotoxicology and Teratology, Vol. 11:45-50, 1989.

The article, "Chronic Neurological Sequelae to Organophosphate Poisoning. Am. J. Pub. Health Vol. 84, March 1994 noted: ...that pesticide poisoning can lead to poor performance on tests involving intellectual functioning, motor skills and memory.

The pesticide MCPA, used as an ingredient in some lawn pesticides, has been found to damage a part of the brain known as the blood brain barrier per Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 65:23, 1982. The blood brain barrier is the brain's primary defense system which works to keep toxic substances out of the brain cells and is literally protecting all of us from developing immediate neurological illness. The blood brain barrier has been found to be defective more often in patients with Alzheimer's and some psychiatric disorders per British Journal of Psychiatry, 141.273, 1982. In fact, the lack of functioning of the blood brain barrier in the human infant has been reported on many occasions as being the reason why an infant is being found to develop brain damage after exposure to common chemicals, while an adult with a mature blood brain barrier does not. Unfortunately, EPA neurotoxicologist Dr. Bill Sette stated EPA still does not yet require chemical companies to test any of their pesticide poisons for causing blood brain barrier damage. Another study of 56 men exposed to registered organophosphate pesticide poisons detected memory problems and difficulty in maintaining alertness and focusing attention per Annual Reviews in Public Health, 7:461, 1986.

The Tulane-Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research in New Orleans said that combining two substances common to registered pesticide poisons produces a synergistic impact on hormones 1,000 times stronger than the poisons alone. EPA only checks the active ingredient of a pesticide poison; it totally ignores the synergistic effect of two active ingredients, or even the active poison ingredient'(s) interaction with all of the inerts. This is like testing only the active ingredient in a cake (yeast) - thus, the "product" does not cause cholesterol problems, weight problems, diabetic problems, tooth decay, hyperactivity, etc.. First of all, a pesticide poison does not contain just the REGISTERED ACTIVE INGREDIENT, which by definition is the poison actually used to kill or destroy a living organism. Pesticide poisons normally also contain unregistered inert ingredients as well as transformation products, synergists, contaminates and impurities, and quite often the pesticide poison breaks down into other materials, known as metabolites, which can even be more deadly than the original poison. Unregistered inert ingredients are also often more dangerous than the registered active ingredient, although the law allows the formulator to keep these untested and unevaluated chemicals secret from you and your doctor, because they supposedly are not added to the poison formulation specifically designed to kill (the pest). Inerts make up the majority of the concentrate/formulation and may include xylene, toluene, benzene, or even DDT! How can you honestly or legally register a poison label for use of the active ingredient when the inerts' MSDS is far more restrictive in allowable usage?

On October 1, 1996, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) suspended 21 pesticide products that contain the registered fungicide poison, chloreneb, the wood preservative creosote, and unregistered aromatic petroleum distillates, which are commonly used as inerts in insecticide poisons. On January 10, 1997 PANUPS announced that Monsanto agreed to change its advertising for glyphosate-based products, including the herbicide Roundup®. According to the State, the Monsanto ads implied the risks of products such as Roundup® are the same as those of the registered active ingredient, glyphosate, and do not take into consideration the possible risks associated with all of the unregistered product's inert ingredients.

The survival of the human species depends on the ability of males and females to reproduce successfully. Reproduction is a complex process involving multiple stages of vulnerability for parents prior to conception and birth of their offspring. Few established risks factors have been identified for failures that occur during many of these reproductive stages. In industrialized countries, about 1 of every 5 couples experiences difficulty reproducing. National Academy of Sciences Press, 1989. Exposures of pregnant females to a variety of foreign substances may pose a threat to the health of offspring. In addition, exposures of males and females to foreign substances prior to conception can affect both their ability to conceive and the health of their offspring. Reproductive Toxicology 1992; 6:289-292. Timing of exposure to such substances may be more critical than the total dose rate in determining a broad array of outcomes. Environmental Health Perspective 1997; 105:70-77.

In 1994 the EPA noted the U. S. used approximately 1.2 billion pounds of just the pesticides' active ingredients; agriculture used about 939 million pounds (77%), industrial, commercial and government applications accounted for 150 million pounds (12%) and home and garden applications used about 133 million pounds (11%). These figures do not include chlorine, wood preservatives or specialty biocides. World pesticide use was estimated to be 5.7 billion pounds of only the active ingredients in 1995. In 2001, the National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides noted we now use 4.5 billion pounds of pesticide poisons per year in just the USA!

In 1996 EPA began a study to determine how much pesticide (poison) active ingredient residue (contamination) we can safely consume - (if we are lucky) we may get the results of how dangerous the food we are eating today is by the year 2006! When we set up interim numbers for acceptable levels of poison in people and pets, we are not only being very arrogant but very ignorant. This is truly "junk science" at its finest.

Urge any neighbors who use poisons or hire "professional" lawn care to read this book. We simply must stop polluting our precious planet. Our children are our most valuable and vulnerable asset, but everyone and every living thing is in jeopardy from the ongoing poison pollution including our pets, birds, fish and other wildlife.


Pests in lawns and in homes must be approached in a manner similar to medical illnesses. The answer is not a more effective drug for a disease or another deadly poison for a bug. The challenge is to find the cause of a medical or pest problem and then to eliminate it. Then you have nothing left to routinely "treat". This is simply the best and most logical approach. Intelligent or Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is unquestionably the most cost effective and safest way to control pests inside and outside buildings As a healthy lifestyle prevents most illnesses, preventative pest control prevents most pest problems.


There are many safe ways to care for your lawn. If you have healthy organic soil with lots of microorganisms you probably will not have any pest or disease problems. If you are going to hire someone, call and find out if all or part of a so called "natural" lawn company's care is truly safe (pesticide free) and if they guarantee to restore the life of the soil. Ask exactly what they use? Ask for MSDS sheets.


  1. Adjust mower to remove all dandelion heads and collect all clippings that are diseased or infected.

  2. Spray weeds in cracks and along fences with straight urea, or 90% urea and 10% Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint, or 80% urea and 20% ammonia and a sticker, e.g., 1 oz. dish soap or straight vinegar and/or diluted salt or borax or with 3% essential oils or dust them with baking soda or spray with undiluted Coca-Cola. Always do this on a hot, sunny day, as this will help kill the weeds.

  3. Cover weeds with black plastic for several days.

  4. Start a good organic soil program. Do not use human sewage. Use properly composted, organic chicken manure.

  5. Put down a fabric (weed control) ground cloth or black plastic with drainage holes in it and mulch or stone over it.

  6. Buy a cane flamer that uses propane to wilt weeds.

  7. Spread Dow Flake® on areas where you want no plants to grow.

THE KEY IS SIMPLE: Find out why you have pests. If you can find and eliminate the cause of the pest infestation, there will be no pests, inside or outside your home. My Mother first taught me IPM when I was about five years old; she said, "Stephen, if you shut the door the flies will not come in." If you simply wash your garbage cans every week in the summer you will kill or prevent 1,000 flies and 2,000 maggots.

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