All kidding aside, what exactly is green pest control? If you ask 10 people, generally you will get 10 different answers. A lot of people will say that if it’s natural, it’s green. They’re probably thinking that natural things are not harmful to the environment. But what they don’t realize is that there are plenty of things that occur naturally in our environment that are toxic. For instance Strychnine, which is a potent poison that can kill animals and humans, is all natural. Strychnine comes from the seed of a tree that is native to India. The Median Lethal Dose (LD50) of Strychnine is around 16mg per 1kg of body weight. What this means is if a 90 kilogram person (approximately 200lbs) orally consumes about 1400 milligrams of Strychnine, they would have a 50/50 chance of survival. So is this natural, but very toxic compound green?
Or does green mean a product that is safer to use in the environment than another? The pesticide Permethrin, which is a synthetic version of natural Pyrethrin (extracted from Chrysanthemums), has an LD50 rating of around 450mg to 1kg of body weight. So with that product, in theory, a 90 kilogram person (aprox 200lb) would have to consume about 40,500 milligrams orally for the same 50/50 chance at survival. That’s 27 times more Permethrin to reach the median lethal dose than Strychnine. So is permethrin greener than strychnine because it’s not as lethal, even though it’s synthetic, not natural?
These are questions that I have a hard time finding the answer to in this industry.
One thing I have found for sure is that when the word green is placed on the front of a service, it comes at a price. This has definately been a buzzword that has a higher price attached to it.
The best things I have found in pest control that are considered “green” to me are really simple. First off, clean up any debris around the home, seal cracks and crevices, and reduce moisture around the structure. In essence, what you are doing is making your environment less attractive to pests. Pests, much like us, are opportunistic and will take advantage of things in their environment that help them survive. If you take away their resources, you reduce the population that your area can effectively support – and that can help save you some “green”.