With the demand from consumers for organic fruits and vegetable and plants, the American Chemical Society released exciting new research on essential oil pesticides.  It’s all the spices we know and love, rosemary, thyme, mint, clove, lavender, basil, bergamont, and a dozen other oils from exotic plant sources, they are being called “killer spices”. Murray Isman, Ph.D of the University of British Columbia is one of the researchers testing plant essential oils, and who has found that they have a broad range of insecticidal benefit with regards to agricultural pests. Studies show that many farmers are having success with some organic crops  against aphids and mites.   Some of the research also is showing promise in the home as well, by providing repellants against mosquitoes, flies, and roaches.   These new organic pesticides have some extremely helpful benefits, they are safer for farm workers, and they do not require the excessive state regulations that chemicals do.  While this is exciting news, there is still a lot of research to do and some shortcomings still to work on. These natural killer spices are not as potent as conventional chemicals.  The essential oils also evaporate more quickly, and tend to fade quickly in the sunshine, so they are more labor intensive for the farmer, since they have to be added more frequently. The next phase of research will involve finding ways to make these natural pesticides last longer and become more potent.  The future certainly looks bright with regards to organic farming!

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