Thursday, October 23, 2014

Green Pest Control, part 2

Gary Towne was kind enough to submit a detailed overview of green pest management for our readers, which I’ve broken down into 3 articles. Gary will help us find out how we can control pests around our home or office without poisoning or harming the Earth or the people in the building and the children or pets playing in the yards. He’ll show you that there are times when you can best deal with a situation yourself and give you some tips on what to look for when choosing a trustworthy pest control operator (PCO). Gary is formally of Dr. Price Pest Control and Towne’s Pest Control, now of Propec Pest Control. He is, actually, my brother and as such he comes from a family with a tradition of respect and appreciation for nature, and focused on being environmentally (and fiscally) responsible and self-sufficient. You can contact him directly at:
* Find Part 1 of this series here via October 21st's post:

-- Green Pest Control, Part 2 -- 

OK, so now that we are starting to have a better grasp on the terminology and concepts, it’s time to re-phrase the concept of green pest control to: “How can I deal with pests in my home or garden, and do so both effectively and responsibly, without poisoning other animals, the environment, or myself?” This gets away from political buzzwords. Indeed, certified pest control technicians are not actually allowed to tell clients that a treatment is organic or green or natural, due to the inherent confusion over terms. Trying to cater to popular social concepts or preferences in that way is purposely misleading, even deceptive, and thus immoral. 

So, can you trust a pest control company to care about the environment, or will he just throw a bunch of harsh chemicals around, take his money, and split? Well, gone are the days of wanton, irresponsible, excessive use of chemicals. I still cringe at the old black and white pictures of children gleefully following a farm tractor spraying some herbicide or insecticide on a field; the kids would play in the toxic mist of chemicals long ago banned as if running through a lawn sprinkler. I sometimes wonder whatever happened to those kids afterwards.

 Some companies might advertise that they use only (or mostly) environmentally friendly methods, but indeed, the whole industry has changed to the point that actually, any reputable pest control company does this, at least to some degree. It is the law, actually, as the government now strictly regulates any pesticide usage. The Ministry of Environment has developed what is called Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which means, basically, a holistic approach. 

So what is this holistic pest control (IPM) that all licensed pest control companies MUST follow? (By the way, not all companies are licensed or follow the strict government protocols and regulation). We look at why the pests are here in the first place: where they came from, how they got here, and why they want to stay. It also focuses on treating the target pest only, without affecting non-target species, such as us, and our pets, and any other plant or animal. Like all other living things, such as us, bugs and rodents need food, water, and a place to live that they like. Take away these things, and you discourage them greatly. 

We also use traps and mechanical or cultural methods that alter the environment: improved hygiene, altering the temperature or humidity or lighting conditions, mowing the grass, pruning back trees so they don’t touch the house, keeping firewood away from the house, removing dead and decaying stumps or logs, constructing the house so that wood does not touch soil (for example use concrete footings), changing suppliers, preventing and repairing water-damage on wooden structures, find and seal up routes of pest access, using yellow lights instead of white lights outside… the list goes on. Any decent, reputable PCO would give advice along these grounds toward long-term pest management, although some perhaps more so than others.

*Watch for Part 3 of this series which will be published on October 25th

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 


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    1. Hi there! You are most welcome. This article was, in fact, written by a family member and I'm very proud of the work he put into this post. I'm so glad that there are a lot of folks out there really getting a lot out of this one! Thank you so much for your comment!


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