THE “GREENING” OF PEST CONTROL
Everyone is increasingly concerned about the effects of our daily exposure to chemicals. The Pest control Industry, in cooperation with the government, has been working tirelessly to develop products and application procedures that are safe, but also effective.
The dilemma is that while pesticides can be a health hazard, waste products and allergens from insects, animals and birds are also health hazards, contaminating food supplies and wasting precious resources. The solution is to eliminate the hazards posed by pests while protecting people and the environment.
Central to the discussion is an understanding of the active ingredients in pesticides. Some individuals advocate using “natural” (non-synthetically produced) pesticides which they argue are safer for the environment. However, others point out that just because a product is “natural” does not mean it is risk free. In fact, some natural products are highly toxic. And since organisms cannot differentiate between synthetic and natural pesticides, the choice becomes a matter of weight the environmental risk to people who may come into contact with them.
While the debate goes on over the “best pesticides”, there is one concept with which all agree—companies should use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices. Originally developed for farmers to minimize pesticide applications on food crops, IPM has become the policy for “green pest management”.
Integrated Pest Management provides a variety of non-pesticide options that are included with the judicious use of pesticides where necessary.
THE PRINCIPLES OF IPM INCLUDE:
- Identification of the pest
- Study of its biology and steps to modify the habitat
- Exclusion – sealing entry points, etc.
Inspection and monitoring of infestation
- Non chemical control methods
- Use of chemicals when appropriate
When using IPM principles, the technician selects the proper chemical for the job and uses the minimum application, monitoring effectiveness before applying additional chemical.
The identification of the pest and the study of its habitat and biology are emphasized in Integrated Pest Management. First, IPM focuses on the removal of the pests necessities for survival: food, water and shelter. As these are eliminated, your home becomes a much less desirable destination for pests and that greatly reduces the likelihood of an infestation. By identifying and correcting the underlying causes of pest infestations, IPM provides a long-term solution to your pest problem in the least intrusive manner possible.
To be truly effective, IPM requires our professionals and the homeowner to work as a team. Since our pest management professional is on site for only a brief period of time, he relies on your observations to assist in assessing the level of infestation. You can help us be more effective by noting entry and exit points of pests or particular trails that are followed.
What sort of actions will IPM recommend? Obviously, that depends upon your individual situation, but recommendations may include structural repairs to exclude pests such as replacing screens with holes, adding door sweeps, caulking and sealing openings. They may also suggest changing storage sites and habits, such as moving firewood away from the home, or changing how garbage is stored. Once the non-chemical controls have been enacted, then precise pesticide applications can eliminate the pest problem.
Our knowledge of and experience in managing pests allows our technicians to develop an effective IPM plan with your assistance. Together we can create a safe and bug free environment for you and your family.