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Green Pesticides? Take a Closer Look...

If you are like most homeowners, property managers, or business owners, when you have a pest issue, you want it solved and you want it solved quickly. Store bought pesticides and pest remedies may seem like an attractive option. The perception may be that a pest control company will be using harmful chemicals and processes, and cost more. After all, the products you buy in the store come in green containers and position themselves as a safe alternative to hiring a professional. The reality is quite different.

Continue reading for founder Rob McMaster’s column on the realities of store bought pesticides and their impact on the environment.

Store Bought Pesticides Are Harmful to Users & the Environment: What You Need to Know

By Rob McMaster
President, Halt Pest Control

Just because you can buy a knife doesn’t make you a surgeon. On the surface getting rid of carpenter ants, rats, mice, bed bugs and other pests seems as easy as going to the nearest big box store or hardware store and buying whatever chemical or pesticide the clerk says “works.”

As a pest control professionals, all too often we find homeowners with pets and children that have cans and jars of pesticides and rodent poisons stored under the sinks or stacked on the shelves of their garage. The longer a person has lived in a home and the older the house, it seems, the more we find. One of the more common things we find is rat poison left in the open after the homeowner has decided to try and get rid of them himself. The homeowner’s problem is rarely solved at its source so it tends to be persistent and all that has been accomplished is accumulating doses of harmful chemicals. Go look under your sink or in the garage and count the pesticides you have there.

One of the other, serious issues is how to get rid of the chemicals and concentrates after you have used them? The possibilities are enough to scare you to death!

Poison control centers and national statistics will tell you that homeowners and residents are the number one abusers of pesticides by far. By not properly using, storing, or disposing of pesticides and other home remedies, countless problems occur, unfortunately, including the poisoning of the user pets or children.

To make matter worse; instructions on how to use the “bug juice” are rarely followed and homeowners constantly tell us stories about their bug killing prowess. How they just put a couple of glugs of chemical in the ol' spray can and off they went. If a little didn’t work more will be better. If they just put enough chemical or rat bait everywhere their problems would go away for a while. If they soaked the lawn where they saw the bugs the problem would be gone. These are all true stories and reoccurring themes we hear about constantly. This mentality of “if a little didn’t work, more will be better” can certainly kill, and it often does. As mentioned earlier, it’s sometimes a loved one or a pet that becomes the victim.

Another problem is when non-pest control professionals attempt to resolve the issue, making matters worse. Maintenance men putting 10 foggers in a unit to get rid or a flea problem with tenants and their babies moving in the next day. A pesticides will not help this scenario. Spraying or fogging for roaches in a unit only to have the problem get worse in a few weeks. Spraying for bed bugs using some chemical someone told them about only to spreading them worse and eliciting a lawsuit by the tenant. Pesticides (often misused) in and of themselves aren’t the solution. Spraying or fogging for roaches or bedbugs in a unit will only temporarily curb the issue and may even lead to a larger pest control issue and possibly lawsuits from the tenants. We’ve seen it all and in some cases the costs are enormous.

The Environmental Impact of Store Bought Pesticides & Pest Control Remedies

When you see bugs or rodents in and around your home or property your natural reaction is to take steps to exterminate them. You use a store bought pesticide or, sometimes worse, use a pesticide that’s been sitting in your garage for months or years, and you apply it to the problem area.

Consider where the pesticide will run off.

OK, you’ve saturated an area where you saw bugs. Consider where that pesticide will end up or drift to. The bugs may be gone, but will the pesticide goes down the french drain next to your foundation and out to the creek or nearby stream? Or maybe it ends up in a storm drain or into a well and aquifer. You don’t see it happening so it is not something you think about when spraying. The solution is to skip the store bought pesticides and work with a QualityPro certified pest control professional that is trained in the handling of pesticides and green pest control methods. You owe it to your family, pets, residents, clients, and employees, and you just might prevent a serious harm to the environment.

Store bought pesticides can kill insects that are beneficial to the environment.

Pests will most certainly try to steal the equity in your home, contaminate your food, and try to bite or sting you. But not all bugs are pests. Spraying pesticides on beneficial insects harms the environment. We need honey bees, after all.

Homeowners, for the most part, are ill-equipped to identify what is a pest and what isn’t. Some insect problems go away by themselves and some insects will not respond to any chemical because of the time of year or part of the life cycle they’re in. QualityPro certified pest management professionals are required to know the difference and understand pest control and bug biology.

Pest control professionals actually use fewer pesticides than a “do it yourself” solution.

There are real dangers to having pests in and around your home and business and you deserve to be able to manage them in the safest, most effective way possible. The truth is that pest control professionals use far fewer pesticides to take care of pest problems than a homeowner when left to their own devices. At Halt Pest Control, we use an understanding of insects and pests and a measured response to the problems they cause, as well as a risk-benefit analysis on how to best deal with pest management problems you’re faced with. Pesticides are a very small part of our approach.

Costs are an important consideration.

The cost involved in doing it yourself with store bought pesticides and remedies may appear much lower on the surface, when compared to hiring a professional pest management company. But when you account for the cost of the pesticide, the toxic, stinky mess and spills of chemicals, the number of times you have to spray to achieve results, the amount of pesticides you spray around and in your home, the environmental damage, and the health risks involved the costs can be more than you can afford and can go well beyond just monetary figures.

At Halt Pest Control, we are a team of pest control professionals committed to solving your pest problems in the most efficient, safest, and most environmentally-friendly way possible. You don’t have to deal with the risks involved in handling pesticides yourself because our training has taught us that the best defense does not rely on pesticides and that the damage improperly used pesticides can cause is not hypothetical. Regardless of how “green” the label may say a product is, there’s no greener pest control solution than working with a trained pest management professional.

Robert McMaster
Halt Pest Control, Inc.

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