Not a week goes by without someone asking if “green” pest control is an option.
Well, it depends what you mean by that. Since the 1970s the industry has been pushing Integrated Pest Management – IPM – to reduce pesticide exposure to humans, animals and the environment.
By altering conditions conducive to infestations, pest populations can be reduced naturally. Things like better sanitation, repairing water leaks, installing window and door screens, cleaning the gutters and removing clutter that provides harborage to pests can make a big difference in the number of critters hanging around. But you will still have some.
I think what people are really asking is: are there natural pesticides that are effective? Sure. But by their very nature, they don’t last long and need to be reapplied frequently. Peppermint oil for example is used for a number of pest problems like ants and mosquitoes. But who has time to worry about pest control applications several times a week or month? Honestly, it’s not really practical.
And then there are the gadgets that are supposed to repel rats, mice and bugs that you plug into an outlet. I saw one the other day that had cockroaches living in the outlet where the device was plugged in. So, you decide how effective that is.
And finally, there are the folk remedies such as bay leaves scattered in your cabinets, or seltzer water poured on ant mounds. I won’t go into why these don’t work – just trust me, they don’t.
Here’s the bottom line. If you are going to hire a professional, hire someone with experience and qualifications to keep your family safe while reducing your contact with things that can harm you. Ask the questions to put your mind at ease about training and knowledge then let a professional take it from there. Honest, we know what we’re doing.