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The Green Movement and Natural Pesticides
The term "green" has become a trendy catchword, and is used with respect to pest control and pest control chemicals and equipment. This term does not appear to have specific regulatory boundaries, and many private enterprises are using it to push their products or agendas. Websites exist from numerous anti-pesticide organizations-NCAP, NCAMP,NRDC,etc. with their own definitions of just what "green pest management entails.
Many individuals and groups advocate the use of "natural" pesticides, and insinuate that since they are found in Nature, and are not synthetically produced, they are therefore safer to use. While many natural products, such as inorganic minerals (boric acid, limestone, diatomaceous earth) or botanicals (pyrethrum, limonene, and many others) may be of a low order of toxicity, this cannot be assumed as a generality for their groups. For example, strychnine and nicotine are both plant-derived, and yet are highly toxic. Methyl bromide and aluminum phosphide also are derived from natural products, but are Category 1, highly toxic pesticides as fumigants.
As a University article stated: "Organisms cannot differentiate between "natural" and "synthetic" chemicals. It is the mode of action, not the source, that is the concern." Numerous university websites will clearly state that just because a substance is "natural", one cannot assume it therefore is without risk.
It also is important to note that "Green" pesticides are not always "Natural". It is the manner in which the product is applied that is of importance, and products such as enclosed insect bait stations may be labeled as "green" even though the active ingredient is synthetic. The distinction is whether or not the material poses a Minimal Risk to people and the environment in its use.
Our goal will be not only to use natural products to treat your home, but to choose those natural products that pose minimal risk to you and your family. An integral part of our "green" service is simply suggesting mechanical alterations that will greatly reduce the risk of pest infiltration. Although natural pesticides have a place in a "green" service, they are just one component of a true integrated pest management (IPM) program. The key component of any "green" pest management program will always be education.