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Going Green: What Does It Mean?
“Going green” is a hot topic these days and is not restricted to the pest control industry. It applies to many other industries and practices. In the beginning there were lots of different definitions. Now we think we know what IPM means. But what constitutes a “green service?” Green service is basically the IPM that we have been doing for years but with the added component of making sure that what we do is as environmentally friendly as possible. We won’t cover the principles of IPM here. You should already know and practice those principles. But there are steps you can take to make your IPM program more “green.” The idea is to reduce negative impacts on the environment. What it means in relation to the pest control industry is this:
Heavy emphasis on monitoring.
Use of least-toxic and least disruptive pest control methods such as trapping, baits, granules and IGRs. When a pesticide is used, its persistence in the environment needs to be considered.
A green company makes sure that any pesticide used is used in a way that minimizes risk to human health and the environment. Ways to do this include: (1) use formulations that pose the least risk; (2) use targeted, precision treatments; (3) treat the smallest area that will be effective; (4) use the minimum amount of pesticide to be effective; (5) avoid using broadcast application, (6) in some circumstances, use outdoor barrier treatments rather than indoor applications.
Pesticides should not be applied if there is a possibility of contamination of non-target plants, animals or property.
Pesticides should not be applied if there is a possibility of water running off of the treated area or running near the treated areas any time after treatment.
Many customers want to “go green” and may need you to explain your specific “green” program, as well as the important role they play in ensuring pest problems don’t gain a foothold. And if they decide to purchase a “green” service, they need to understand that the service protocols may be different from what they’re accustomed to and it may take longer to eliminate the pest population. Nonetheless, if done properly, both “green” pest management programs and more traditional treatments can be extremely effective. It really comes down to the quality of the work performed by the PMP and the level of cooperation provided by the customer.
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