Such a simple word that has now turned into one of the most powerful buzz words in any industry.
Green building, green manufacturing, green recycling, we’ve all heard them.
But what about “green pest control”?
Most people know what to do when they have a bug problem in their home or business that they can’t handle themselves.
However, it’s 2014 so why not look for a “green” company that doesn’t spray too many of potentially dangerous chemicals all over the place. Heck, maybe there’s a company that can treat the pests with all natural methods.
Once the pest at fault has been identified, they are advised to seek out the products with the least toxicity to be used.
Recent articles such as those on the Huffington Post illustrate the need for educating the public on exactly what people in the pest management industry mean when they talk about “green pest control” and the pros and cons of using this strategy.
Misconceptions about “Green” Pest Control
First of all, let’s address the big misconception.
“Green” pest control is often thought of as using all natural remedies or those without chemicals. These have proven to be largely ineffective.
To be more accurate about the description, the movement towards “green” in the field of pest control involves using an integrated approach to removing and controlling pest problems. This approach balances prevention, inspections and the judicious use of pesticides, when they are deemed necessary.
Integrated pest management is an effective way to control pests. Prevention is an important part of green pest control. Changing unsafe sanitation habits, and dealing with the habitat and culture of buildings, aids in the prevention of infestations.
Also, another major misperception is that all chemicals are dangerous.
Federal regulators closely monitor the pest control industry and have confirmed that not all pesticides are dangerous to people and pets.
Green pest control companies use pesticides that do not adversely affect humans or their pets. They are also only used in quantities that are safe.
The Key: Integrated Pest Management
There are several important areas of a successful integrated pest management program:
Compliance – Any certified green pest control operator must adhere to the most stringent policies and should be certified to work within green pest control protocols which includes all local, state and federal regulations.
Leadership – These types of pest control companies are not afraid to be leaders when it comes to bringing safety, health and environmental issues to light. They help in the creation of responsible standards and regulations that will safeguard not just your home or workplace, but also your community and the environment.
Set Action Thresholds– Maintaining acceptable pest levels are an important aspect of green pest control. It is not always possible to wipe out an entire infestation without using unsafe levels of chemicals. Establishing action thresholds reduces selection pressure. This keeps pests from developing a resistance to pest control products.
Monitoring – Monitoring buildings and other areas for signs of infestation is another part of green pest control. Inspection may be done visually, and also with traps or other methods. Good records must be kept, so that early intervention can be used, if needed.
Use of Non-Chemical Treatment – Certain mechanical controls can be employed when when pests reach unacceptable levels. They include tillage, vacuuming, traps, barriers and handpicking. Biological controls include natural materials and processes that can often provide pest control, with lower levels of impact on the environment.
Judicious Use of Chemicals – Synthetic chemicals may be used as needed, at strategic points in the life cycle of specific pests. Low-volume pesticides do not cause the problems of massive chemical eradication attempts.
Certifications and Policies in Green Pest Control
Unlike other industries where just about anyone can claim to be a “green” company, in the pest control industry there are certifications managed by third party.
Fischer Environmental has earned several certifications for our work in the area of green pest control including:
- “GreenPro” designation from the National Pest Management Association
- EPA Award Gold Standard Level by the Environmental Protection Agency in their Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP).
- “Champion of the Environment” from the EPA, which has only been awarded to five pest control specialists in the long history of the EPA.
Filed in: Pest Control