An unknown affliction has been killing songbirds in southern and mid-Atlantic states, and while researchers have yet to determine the cause, CT Audubon has suggested the deaths could be a reaction to pesticides. Friends of Animals is adamant this is yet another reason to stop using hazardous pesticides that kill weeds, and poison the insects birds consume. Below are some tips on how to go pesticide free:

Organic lawncare is mainstream–organic products are available at gardening centers, just ask for them. But first, test your soil to determine what organic supplements you should add to make it healthy. (You can purchase soil test kits online or contact a local university that offers soil testing.)

Use organics and natural fertilizers, such as leaves and compost, to add nutrients to soil. If your soil is hard, compacted and full of weeds or bare spots, aerate it. Use grass seed on bare spots to crowd out weeds. Apply corn gluten meal as a pre-emergent for weed prone areas.

Weeds that are not pulled and removed can be sprayed with horticultural vinegar. You can also contact local organic lawn and garden care companies for a consultation.