“Green” Pest Control
PREVENTION: The “greenest” type of pest control is pest prevention. Many people unwittingly invite pests into their homes or create environments in or near their homes which are conducive to pest infestations. Let us look at just one cause of pest infestation, MULCH…home after home has this material sitting immediately next to the foundation. Mulch holds moisture and one of the keys for insect control is moisture elimination. Thus, making a “dry zone” of 3 feet next to the foundation before beginning the use of mulches will significantly reduce the probability of insect infestation.
Your pest control technician may be able to help you to reduce the risk of future infestations with a few suggestions.
GREEN IS A PROCESS AND A GOAL: Many of the materials we use today are “greener” than those available 10 years ago. Advancements in technology and methods are coming at a fast pace. Just 60 years ago pest control companies were mixing arsenic and kerosene to spray in people’s homes. Today our micro-encapsulated products are mixed with water; they have no odor, low percentages of active ingredient, are long-lasting, and have less impact on non-target species and the environment.
EFFICACY: The Bug Man is continually evaluating products. Many of our pesticides are “greener” than ever, but we have found that most “green” products presently available are markedly inferior when it comes to effectiveness.
TRUTH IN ADVERTISING: Further, counter-intuitively, several supposedly “green” products have greater potential harm to the environment and people than the products we presently use. An example is Diatomaceous earth: Completely “green,” yet the danger it poses to the health of technicians who regularly use it is beyond that of other common insecticides. Why? Inhaled particles do not break down, but rather IMBED in the mouth, larynx, esophagus and lungs. Handling this product daily heightens the risk of permanent disability.
SAFETY: As one might expect, anything that will kill an insect will have safety issues. Our first priority is to use products which will not likely bring harm to our technicians. Second, we try to reduce the risk to customers (people and pets). An ineffective pesticide exposes people and pets to unnecessary multiple treatments. Third, we try to keep the costs to our customers as low as possible. We have found that many “green” insecticides are more expensive (more cost + more exposure = less sense).
LAW: The State of Michigan has ruled that all pesticides are dangerous. They have also ruled that it is illegal for any company to imply that the products they use are safer than those used by another pest control company or that the use of any pesticide is safe. Please understand that the term “green” does not mean “safe.”