vinegar: insecticide/herbicide

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by americanlawn, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,955

    Anybody use "vinegar" for killing weeds & bugs? (one can easily search the web & find this stuff for sale) I have a customer that sprays it on thistles in his ornamental beds ,and he says that vinegar kills his thistles, but more appear weekly.. We also took on customers cuz their "vinegar" was not doing the job regarding specific insects.

    Is vinegar "natural"?? Is it "organic"? If it is a "natural organic" product, then why does it smell so bad. Is it unsafe in any way? Is it ineffective? Does anybody use it? If so, what do you use it for? Is it cost effective? How long does it last regarding the target pest you're trying to control?

    Do you consider "vinegar" safer than products approved by the EPA? Do you think a product is "safer" just cuz some say it's a "natural organic" product?

    Reason I'm asking is cuz we picked up some pretty pissed off customers over recent years that formally used an "organic" outfit. When we provide land grant university fact sheets, these folks got even madder cuz. They were overcharged, and they realized they were sold a bill of goods.

    This is my 2 cents. I won't even go into land grant university results.

    rscv thanks
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Vinegar is acid when they distill it to 20% acid, it is dangerous esp. in your eyes or membranes... It only burns the protective layer of the leaf of and killing the greenery of the plant... that is how it functions...

    Glyphosate/roundup also kills the root and is not a scary earth killing chemical... actually the other chemical that they add to the glyphosate seems to be the problem, but your EPA doesn't require that they are listed on the label so one never knows...
  3. HayBay

    HayBay LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 846

    25% acetic Acid
    I have even seen 30%
    I recall benzene and Naptha as the surfactants or 2 of the ingredients.

    It works better than ammonium soaps of fatty acids but is a bit more expensive. About $140 for 2.5 Gallons.

    1 liter (pint) EcoClear to 3 liters of Water = 4 Liter Dilution mix.

    Don't even accidently breath in when mixing. The vapors will burn your lungs. Don't get the product on your skin, especially your back when using a backpack sprayer. If you do get product on your back, wash it off immediately, you will be burned sligthly but not as bad as if you left it.

    Product smells like fish and chips.

    I give it a LawnSite Member rating of 5 out of 10 for Acetic Acid as an effective Organic Weed Control product.

    Never heard of it as an insecticide. I have seen frogs and other creatures on the ground twitching after being hit with the vinegar.

    Its cruel for the critters but I just keep telling myself its Organic.

    I do like the sticking agent components in this product, that may be why it works better than just vinegar.

    But every alternative product I have tried does not come even close in effectivness to conventional synthetic pesticides.

    Non systemic Organic products are just Chemical Mowing, regrowth happens.
  4. jonthepain

    jonthepain LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Raleigh
    Messages: 595

    i use it on my salad.

    and oh yeah, on hoagies too.

    i'll have mine "mike's way"
  5. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643

    I've been reading how RoundUp works in AcresUSA and other sources. Check out this excerpt from an interview with Don Huber from Purdue. I know Americanlawn is big on his land grant university studies. BTW, I don't think using RU on lawns is a huge deal, but spraying it on my food is a VERY different story.
    I found that glyphosate has an effect on reducing manganese in plants, which is essential to many plant defense reactions that protect plants from disease and environmental stress. Glyphosate can immobilize plant nutrients such as manganese, copper, potassium, iron, magnesium, calcium, and zinc so they are no longer nutritionally functional.

    Glyphosate kills weeds by tying up essential nutrients needed to keep plant defenses active. Glyphosate doesn't kill weeds directly but shuts down their defense mechanisms so pathogens in the soil can mobilize and kill the weeds. Glyphosate completely weakens the plant, making it susceptible to soil borne fungal pathogens.

    That is one reason why we see an increase in plant diseases. Glyphosate causes plants to be more susceptible and greatly stimulates the virulence of pathogens that kill plants.
  6. HayBay

    HayBay LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 846


    Check out what Purdue and Iowa State say to that:

    Huber was supposed to come up with the proof of his claims by now.

    His own University doesnt back him.

    I would like to see the proof. Everyone has scary stories lately.
  7. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643

    That's because they still need funds to do research. There's a reason that most of the researchers that openly support Huber's claims are retired, although supposedly 800 scientists did back his claim about fungal diseases being a huge issue.

    Honestly, do you really want Glyphosate sprayed on your food? I don't.
  8. HayBay

    HayBay LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 846

    That 800 scientist thing is a joke. Did you read the names on there. You will be able to wittle that list down quickly. Some are 1st year students. Some are popular Environmental Activists.

    Eating pesticides occurs everyday. Organic wine is sprayed with a bordeau mix. Copper and Sulfur.

    If Glyphosate is dangerous and proven scientifically it is doing damage, get rid of it.

    He better come up with the goods or he is a D ink like the rest of them.
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I don't know about the scientific debates as to what gly. does to plants, but the Roundup Ready Corn and Soy seems to be healthy prolific plants, i.e. no obvious viral diseases on the plants themselves...

    Another point is that by the time the ears start to form on the stalk there is no more reason to spray for weeds, so I don't believe the food is being contaminated... Low in nutrition and indigestable frankenstien protiens, Yes but gly. in your soup, No...

    Potatoes on the other hand grow in a chemical soup and are even killed prematurally with a chemical which is very likely sucked right into the tubers, just before harvest... That is how plants die right? taking everything from the leaf and stem and store it in the roots as a survival mechanism...

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