As most of us know, spring brings more than fresh flowers and longer daylight—with the warmer days and green buds, it’s also bugs that seem to come out of the woodwork, multiplying fast, whether in the garden or on your kitchen counter. And for growing numbers of homeowners throughout the country, the way they choose to deal with these pests is with sustainable options.
“We’ve definitely seen homeowners in the last five years looking into lower-toxicity products and pesticides,” said Jeff Belmont, owner of Envirotreat Pest Control in Rockville, Md.
Focusing on making their pest-control efforts more efficient while also environmentally friendly, professionals like Belmont are learning more to think about the big picture of extermination efforts. And by looking at a whole structure, holistically, they find the best ways to prevent and control pests–ways that minimize toxins and environmental impact.
“People need to understand the ecological web,” said Ed Hulme, county parks and open space superintendent of Marin, California. “It’s all linked,” he added, as toxins can cause serious health problems and impacts, and what’s more–green alternatives are available.
Whether or not you have eco-friendly exterminators available in your area, there are simple steps you yourself can take in the right direction. Here are a few ideas:
Pests love messes, so don’t play into their metaphorical hands with an environment where they’ll be so comfortable. Keep things clean, whether it’s your vegetable garden (keep it free of garden and debris!) or your home (stay on top of all food remains or crumbs).
USE ECO-FRIENDLY PRODUCTS
There are plenty of sustainable bug-preventing products on the market, so there’s no reason to use conventional items. Take your pick when finding sprays or cleansers to use.
KEEP THINGS SEALED
All containers, doors and windows need to be tightly sealed and screened to prevent rodents and insects from being able to enter.
PROVIDE PROPER VENTILATION
To prevent not only termites but also mildew, make sure there’s proper ventilation in decks, porches and crawl spaces.
Whatever tips you employ and whatever pest control methods you seek, remember that the best pest control is the safest pest control—and with green, eco-friendly strategies, you’ll be able to protect both your home and the planet.