Summer is just around the corner, and many people will soon take to tending their gardens. Controlling unwanted insects and pests is often part of the lawn care ritual, but some pest removers can be harmful to humans. There are pesticide chemicals that are believed by scientists to be carcinogenic, or cancer causing.

Pesticides can be insecticides to kill insects, herbicides that stop weeds and fungicides to control funghi. Young children are especially at risk since they are smaller and have underdeveloped immune systems.

The following actions will help with houseplants and in the garden:
- Regularly pick off decaying and dead leaves. This will control moderate infestations.
- Dig out weeds by hand instead of using a weed killer.
- With a garden hose, regularly spray a strong stream of water over outdoor plants and trees to dislodge insects.
- Keep lawns adequately watered but not over-watered.
- Aerate your lawn to allow moisture and nutrients to reach the roots.
- Consider companion planting. Some plants help ward off insects that affect other plants.
- Make your own mild insecticide by mixing 2 tablespoons of soap flakes to a litre of water. Spray the plant leaves to deter insects.