The world is going green. “Green” is the color of environmental concern, the impetus that drives cutting-edge technology, the buzz word of the socially conscious. Concern for the environment and man’s effect on it is bringing a ton of new products to promote , and pest management is no exception. Environmentally-friendly pest management services are growing in popularity, especially in the industrial sector. Even eco-savvy residential customers are asking about organic alternatives to traditional pesticides, but their ardor often stinks when faced with the 10% to 20% cost differential and lengthier treatment times, sometimes a few weeks.
The raising of America’s environmental awareness, coupled with increasingly stringent national regulations governing traditional chemical pesticides, appears to be shifting the Pest Control Pro Jupiter FL industry’s focus on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques. IPM is considered not just safer for the environment, but safer for people, pets and secondary scavengers like owls. Of 378 pest management companies surveyed in 2008 by Pest Control Technology magazine, two-thirds stated they provided IPM services of some type.
Rather than lacing pest sites with a poisonous cocktail of strong insecticides designed to kill, IPM focuses on environmentally-friendly prevention techniques designed to keep pests out. While low- or no-toxicity goods might also be utilized to encourage pests to pack their luggage, elimination and control efforts concentrate on discovering and eliminating the root of infestation: entrance points, attractants, harborage and food.
Especially popular with colleges and nursing homes charged with protecting the health of the nation’s youngest and oldest citizens, those at highest risk from hazardous chemicals, IPM is catching the attention of hotels, office buildings, apartment complexes and other commercial enterprises, as well as low-income residential clients. Driven in equal portions by environmental concerns and health hazard fears, interest in IPM is bringing a host of fresh environmentally-friendly pest control products — both high- and low-tech — to advertise.
“Probably the best product out there is a door sweep,” confided Tom Green, president of the Integrated Pest Management Institute of North America, a nonprofit organization that certifies green exterminating firms. In an Associated Press interview published on MSNBC online last April, Green explained,”A mouse can squeeze through a hole the size of a pencil diameter.
IPM has been”a better approach to pest control for the health of the home, the environment and the family,” said Cindy Mannes, spokeswoman for the National Pest Management Association, the $6.3 billion pest management sector’s trade association, at the same Associated Press story. But because IPM is a rather new addition to the insect management arsenal, Mannes cautioned that there is minimal industry consensus about the definition of green solutions.
In an effort to create industry standards for IPM services and providers, the Integrated Pest Management Institute of North America developed the Green Shield Certified (GSC) program. Identifying pest management products and businesses that eschew traditional pesticides in favor of environmentally-friendly control methods, GSC is endorsed by the EPA, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and HUD. IPM favors mechanical, physical and cultural procedures to control insects, but may utilize bio-pesticides derived from naturally-occurring materials such as plants, animals, bacteria and certain minerals.