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 impact on it is bringing a slew of new products to market, and pest control is no exception. Environmentally-friendly pest control services are growing in popularity, particularly in the commercial sector. Even eco-savvy residential consumers are asking about natural alternatives to traditional pesticides. But their ardor often cools when confronted with the 10% to 20% cost differential. And lengthier treatment times, sometimes several weeks.
The raising of America’s environmental consciousness, coupled with increasingly stringent federal regulations governing traditional chemical pesticides, appears to be shifting the pest control industry’s focus to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques. IPM is considered not only safer for the environment, but safer for people, pets and secondary scavengers such as owls. Of 378 pest management companies surveyed in 2008 by Pest Control Technology magazine. Two-thirds said they offered IPM services of some sort.
Instead of lacing pest sites with a poisonous cocktail of powerful insecticides designed to kill. IPM focuses on environmentally-friendly prevention techniques designed to keep pests out. While low- or no-toxicity products may also used to encourage pests to pack their bags, elimination. And control efforts focus on finding and eliminating the causes of infestation: entry points, attractants, harborage and food.
Particularly popular with schools and nursing homes charged with guarding the health of the nation’s youngest and oldest citizens, those at greatest risk from hazardous chemicals, IPM is catching the attention of hotels, office buildings, apartment complexes and other commercial enterprises, as well as eco-conscious residential customers. Driven in equal parts by environmental concerns and health hazard fears, interest in IPM is bringing a host of new environmentally-friendly pest management products — both high- and low-tech — to market.