By Flora Richards-Gustafson
Green pest control does not mean ineffective pest control; rather, it is all about integrated pest management, or IPM. A pest control company that embraces IPM believes prevention, client awareness and education, and building inspections are all as important as controlling pests.
What is Green Pest Control?
Integrated pest management begins with learning how and why a pest entered a home or building. Professionals in this field are knowledgeable about the life cycle of pests and their preferred nesting locations. Thus, they are able to use innovative pest prevention techniques that are the least hazardous to plant life, property, pets and people.
IPM uses common sense practices in coordination with environmentally sensitive chemicals. For example, instead of using harmful chemicals to prevent the return of a pest, pest control specialists may install preventative materials such as new window and door screens, fresh caulking, new door sweeps, and so on. The professionals may also set up traps to learn about additional areas a pest may live or install solar powered repellants as an alternative to using harmful chemicals.
The Benefits of Green Pest Control
Pest control products that are green are made of organic and natural ingredients. Additionally, these products are engineered to be biodegradable and equally as effective as their non-green counterparts.
Green pest management practices help promote the health and structure of plants, as they provide a biologically based alternative to chemical sprays. The control tactics used in IPM are benign and therefore reduce the environmental risk often associated with traditional pest management, such as ground water contamination. IPM also helps reduce the risk of an infestation and is a cost effective solution.
How It Works
Rather than spray a multi-purpose pesticide all over an infested property, IPM experts use a process that sets an action threshold, monitors the pests in order to identify them, prevents their return and uses control methods.
When an action threshold is set, the professional learns how large an infestation is, how much of a danger the pests pose, and determines the type of immediate action needed.
When an IPM professional monitors pests, he is making sure he is identifying the pest correctly. Proper identification of a pest helps ensure the right types of pesticides are used, but pesticides are avoided if they are not needed.
Prevention of pest invasions is one of the key components to green pest control. IPM includes identifying and correcting problems that make a home or building welcoming to pests. Prevention is cost effective and does not risk the health of individuals or the earth.
If pest prevention methods are ineffective by themselves, control methods are required. When professionals implement a control method, they first evaluate it for risk and effectiveness. Methods that pose the least risk, such as traps or the use of pheromones to disrupt mating, are used first. If the thresholds in place indicate these methods are not effective, the control process then moves to the use of pesticides in targeted areas.
What to Look for in a Green Pest Control Company
When looking for a green pest control company, seek one that will create a plan that meets your needs. The company should take into consideration the type of pest, the size of the infestation and the environment in which the pests live.
Learn about the process and chemicals a company uses before hiring them. Some professionals use green pest control products initially and then follow them with traditional chemicals, which you may not want. A good environmentally friendly exterminator should focus on using quality products that are low or non-toxic rather than products that are the least expensive, which are often highly toxic. Additionally, quality green pest control companies educate their clients on how to prevent the return of pest, help correct conditions that are inviting to them and offer to install pest-proofing materials.
The observation, prevention and intervention approach to green pest control helps consumers have peace of mind knowing that evicting pests from the home does not mean hurting the environment. Whenever you need the help of professionals to assist with unwanted pests, keep in mind that green pest management is the only method that has both your personal and financial well-being in mind.