Do people really want ‘green pest control?’

In today’s climate this seems like an absolutely absurd question. It’s plastered all over the place that ‘green is the way to go.’ Hardly anyone you ask would be hard pressed for an answer, the quid pro quo, stock reply is “sure I do.”. And yes I am aware of the definition and use this term because todays advertising is getting exactly what what it has paid for. Derived from the Latin it means ‘something for something.’ Groups interested in a clean environment and reduction in pesticides have successfully lobbied public opinion to accept this as the normal expectation and in return the public has said yes, or at least one would think.

Pest control companies have been a target for many years because of their use and God forbid 🙁 profits from using pesticides. Simply type ‘pesticides are bad’ in any search engine and you will find over 2 million results. Just like the few plane crashes that make the news and headlines it seems that nobody reports on the other 156,000 flights per day that make it safely.

The pest control industry has been evolving and getting better and smarter over the many years of it’s existence even without the strong push from outside groups. Billions of dollars have gone into research to make safer more effective products that use only a fraction of what used to be called for. They were doing this long before it was chic. When I began my career I remember getting a rash of complaint calls when we began using odorless liquids. People would say “I can’t smell it so it must be watered down chemicals he’s using.” Now days they think if it smells I’m giving them cancer. Many clients balked and threatened cancellation when techs came in with just a bait gun rather than a sprayer. IPM stands for Integrated Pest Management and we had so many meetings on this concept in the 80’s I never wanted to hear it again. Still, most of of my clients wanted just one thing, dead bugs.

Now in 2009 I ask you, Do you really want green pest control? Isn’t it a fore gone conclusion that this service industry already performs this for you and at a high level? I believe that most people would say they trusted their service tech who treats their home and does not believe he is contaminating the personal space they live in. Take into account that what used to be gallons then was reduced to ounces and now may be down to milliliters of active ingredients that are placed in any home. That the average company spends countless mandated and voluntary hours of training to ensure proper service with the highest safety standards. Does this sound like an irresponsible sector of the business community? Surely the greedy CEO’s at the chemical plants would rather you buy a drum barrel full of pesticides for a weeks work rather than a syringe that can do the same.

It is my opinion that ‘green’ is yet an
undefined word
that means different things to different people. What you think is green may not be to your neighbor and who’s to say what is right. Even the different special interest groups can’t come to a solid consensus. Customers for the most part don’t believe that if they get a little extra shot of a good old stand by pesticide they are breaking any international code of ethics. Much like they want more hybrid cars on the road but just not for them, they’re not safe enough in a crash. If it happens to be green pest control and the cost is right that’s great but they simply want their bugs dead green or not.

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About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.

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  • With todays recession does anyone really care how the bugs are sorted as long as its cheap?

  • With todays recession does anyone really care how the bugs are sorted as long as its cheap?

  • admin

    I believe that is a strong part of it but they also want a careful tech who treats there home with respect. Spray jockeys are a thing of the past and I say good riddance. Good, careful and well executed pest control can and should be done regardless if the label on the can say’s ‘eco friendly’.

    Thanks for reading

    The Bug Doctor

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  • Ken Harmon

    Excellent article.  We’ve had a lot of discussions about the green movement.  I was already practicing IPM long before “green” became a buzzword or the new vogue.  I’ll have to email you excerpts from a discussion board about what it means to be “naturally occurring”.  

  • Thanks Ken,
    I agree and feel like a lot of us were ahead of the curve. I wish it would have been left up to us as an industry because changes and improvements are always better when responding to the market. It’s when it’s shoved down our throats that things just don’t work. I’d LOVE to have some excerpt’s if you got em. Send em via my ‘ask the bug doctor tab. That’ll that’ll take em.