Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Yes! Pest Control Companies Can Be Green

So when you think about pest control companies, you probably think about the spraying of pesticides to eliminate pests. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Griffin Pest Solutions uses a pest management philosophy called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to manage pests with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.

Understanding pest needs is essential to implementing IPM effectively. Pests seek habitats that provide basic needs such as air, moisture, food and shelter. Pest populations can be prevented or controlled by creating inhospitable environments, by removing some of the basic elements pests need to survive, or by simply blocking their access into building. Pests may also be managed by other methods such as traps, vacuums, or pesticides, which are used as a last resort. An understanding of what pests need in order to survive is essential before action is taken.

An efficient IPM program can be integrated with an existing pest management plan and other activities. Activities such as preventative maintenance, janitorial practices, landscaping, occupant education, and staff training are all part of an IPM program. The following steps are required to develop an IPM decision network:

1. Develop an official IPM policy statement.
2. Designate pest management roles for customer, pest management personnel, and key decision makers.
3. Set pest management objectives for the site(s).
4. Inspect site(s), identify, and monitor pest populations for potential problems.
5. Set action thresholds.
6. Apply IPM strategies to control pests.
7. Evaluate results to determine if pest management objectives are reached, and keep written records.

Since 1992, Michigan pest control companies have been required by law to implement IPM programs in public buildings and schools. Unfortunately, not all pest control companies practice IPM and not all IPM programs are created equal. If you are putting your pest control out for bid, or would like to start an IPM program for your building, be sure you request a “state approved” integrated pest management program.

Griffin Pest Solutions has been practicing IPM since 1982 and received our first national green certification (QualityPro Green) in 2008. We are bronze members of the Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA) Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP). The voluntary program forms partnerships with pesticide users to reduce the potential health and environmental risks associated with pesticide use and implement pollution prevention strategies. By joining, organizations pledge that environmental stewardship is an integral part of pest control, and they commit to working toward pesticide practices that reduce risk to humans and the environment. Members take a strategic approach to risk reduction and undertake specific, measurable activities toward achieving their risk reduction goals. Griffin Pest Solutions has been a voluntary member since 2004.