The world is turning green. “Green” is the color of concern for the environment, the impetus that drives cutting-edge technology, the buzzword of social conscience. Concern for the environment and man’s impact on it is bringing a host of new products to the market, and pest control is no exception. Environmentally friendly pest control services are gaining popularity, especially in the commercial sector. Even green residential consumers are asking about natural alternatives to traditional pesticides, but their heat often cools when faced with the 10% to 20% cost difference and longer treatment times, sometimes several weeks. Increasing environmental awareness in the Americas, coupled with increasingly stringent federal regulations governing traditional chemical pesticides, appears to be shifting the focus of the pest control industry towards Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques. IPM is considered not only safer for the environment, but also safer for people, pets, and secondary scavengers like owls. Of the 378 pest control companies surveyed in 2008 by Pest Control Technology magazine, two-thirds said they offer some type of IPM services.
Rather than lining pest sites together with a poisonous cocktail of powerful insecticides designed to kill, IPM focuses on environmentally friendly prevention techniques designed to keep pests at bay. While low or no toxicity products can also be used to encourage pests to pack their bags, elimination and control efforts are focused on finding and eliminating the causes of the infestation: entry points, attractants, shelter and food. Particularly popular with schools and nursing homes tasked with protecting the health of the nation’s youngest and oldest citizens – those most at risk from hazardous chemicals – IPM is drawing the attention of hotels, office buildings, apartment complexes and other commercial businesses, as well as eco-conscious residential customers. Fueled in equal parts by environmental concerns and fears of health hazards, interest in IPM is bringing to the market a host of new environmentally friendly pest management products, both high-tech and low-tech.
“Probably the best product out there is a door sweep,” confided Tom Green, president of the Integrated Pest Management Institute of North America, a non-profit organization that certifies green extermination companies. In an Associated Press interview posted to MSNBC online last April, Green explained: “A mouse can go through a hole the size of a pencil. So if you have a quarter-inch space under the door, As for a mouse, there is no door there. ” Roaches can slip through an eighth-inch slit. IPM is “a better approach to pest control for home, environmental and family health,” said Cindy Mannes, spokesperson for the National Pest Management Association, the trade association for the pest control industry. $ 6.3 billion, in the same Associated Press story. . However, because IPM is a relatively new addition to the pest control traitement punaise de lit arsenal, Mannes cautioned that there is little consensus in the industry on the definition of ecological services.
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. In identifying pest control products and companies avoiding traditional pesticides in favor of environmentally friendly control methods, GSC has the backing of the EPA, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and HUD. IPM favors mechanical, physical, and cultural methods to control pests, but can use biopesticides derived from natural materials such as animals, plants, bacteria, and certain minerals. Toxic chemical sprays are giving way to new, sometimes unconventional methods of treating pests. Some are ultra high-tech, like the Cryonite quick freeze process to kill bed bugs. Others, like trained dogs that sniff out bed bugs, seem decidedly low-tech, but employ state-of-the-art methods to achieve results. For example, farmers have used the sensitive noses of dogs to sniff out troublesome pests for centuries; But training dogs to sniff out explosives and drugs is a relatively recent development. Using those same techniques to teach dogs to sniff out termites and bed bugs is considered cutting edge. Another new pest control technique is birth control. When San Francisco was threatened by mosquitoes carrying the potentially deadly West Nile virus, bicycle messengers were hired to tour the city and drop packages of biological insecticide in the city’s 20,000 storm drains. A kind of birth control for mosquitoes, the new method was deemed safer than aerial spraying with chemical pyrethrum, the typical mosquito-killing procedure, according to a recent story posted on the National Public Radio website.
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