More than one billion pounds of pesticides are used in the United State each year, which makes us wonder about the best environmental pest control methods to use here in Richmond. While most pesticides are used in the agricultural industry, many people use pesticides for lawn and garden applications and in and around the to prevent or kill any pest ranging from insects to rodents.
The United States Department of Agriculture has estimated that 50 million people in the United States obtain their drinking water from groundwater that is potentially contaminated by pesticides and other agricultural chemicals, which makes the best case for the need for good environmental pest control – not only in Richmond, but everywhere. Even worse, children ages three to six received most of their pesticide exposure from playing with toys and while playing on carpets.
The Best Environmental Pest Control Begins at Home
The best environmental pest control is the pest control method that requires no pesticides at all. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. With that in mind, try this do-it-yourself, at-home pest control strategies.
- Remove sources of food, water, and shelter that pest might be attracted to.
- Store food in sealed plastic or glass containers. Remove garbage regularly you’re your home and ensure that garbage cans containing food scraps have tightly covered lids.
- Like you, pests need water. So, fix leaky plumbing – especially around toilets and under sinks – and don’t let water accumulate anywhere in your home. Don’t let water collect in trays under your house plants or refrigerator, as these can become a magnet for pests.
- Don’t leave pet food and water out overnight, and always store pet food in tightly sealed containers.
- Remove any clutter – such as stacks of newspapers, magazines, or cardboard – from your home, as pests find these as great areas to hide and breed, which makes it difficult to get rid of them.
- Inspect your home for cracks and crevices – and anywhere else pests can hide – and seal these areas. Use caulk to seal cracks and crevices around cabinets or baseboards, use steel wool to fill spaces around pipes, and cover any holes with wire mesh.
- Before carrying any packages or boxes into you home, check them for pests.
The Environmental Impact of Pesticides
The case for environmental pest control is best made by looking at the ecological impact of pesticides. Consider the honeybee, for example. Beekeepers across the United States lost 45.5% of their managed honeybee colonies from April 2020 to April 2021, and honeybee populations have been plummeting since 2006 – with much of the reduction linked to pesticides. Honeybees aren’t the only pollinators being impacted, as butterfly and hummingbird populations are in decline, too.
If you’re only using pesticides in your home, then how can honeybees, butterflies, and hummingbirds – which are outside your home – be impacted? Simple. Even when pesticides are applied to a small space, they’ll travel outside through the air. Pesticides can remain in the environment for a few days or for many years, causing big problems for our delicately balanced ecosystem. Even more reason to practice the best environmental pest control methods.
Health Risks Associated with Pesticide Exposure
Any amount of exposure, even tiny doses, can be hazardous to human development, reproduction, and overall health. It is estimated that about 385 million cases of pesticide poisoning occur annually worldwide, including around 11,000 fatalities. Certainly, it would be best to use environmental pest control methods whenever and wherever possible.
What’s more, chronic pesticide exposure has been linked to specific chronic health issues, including:
- Birth defects
- Genetic changes
- Blood disorders
- Nerve disorders
Other short-term issues associated with pesticide exposure are:
- Skin and eye irritation
Even for pets, ingesting or exposure to pesticides can cause issues ranging from fevers and vomiting to seizures and respiratory failure.
With so many adverse health effects and symptoms associated with pesticides, spraying these chemicals around your home to get rid of insects just isn’t worth it. The best alternative is environmental pest control.
Can an Exterminator Really Be Green?
Choosing the right pest control company is a weighty decision. You want to make sure the company can effectively manage your pest problem without bringing poisonous products into your home and property. Choosing a Richmond pest control company that uses an environmental pest control approach is always the best option.
With that in mind, check to see if your prospective pest control company uses green, environmentally safe products. If the pest control service you select to treat your Richmond home is not competent, both health and property can be damaged. However, be aware that many pest control companies claim to be “green,” but aren’t. So, ask what “green” or “organic” pest control means to them and inquire about the types of methods they use to treat pests. Ask if their service is completely non-toxic, natural, organic, safe, eco-friendly, or chemical free. At Eco Pest Control, the answer to all those questions is “yes.”
Bottom line: Toxic chemicals kill everything in their path – including certain insects that are beneficial to all of us – and pose serious health hazards. The absolute best environmental pest control solutions are minimally toxic, which means you can solve your bug problem without putting your family, dog, and cat at risk.
How Environmental Pest Control Gets the Best Results
Green pest control methods are just as effective as traditional techniques. In fact, they can even have better long-term results. For instance, insects can develop a resistance to pesticides, and this resistance is passed on to offspring, making it that much more difficult for eliminate a bug infestation. Environmental pest control solutions, however, make it much harder for pests to develop any kind of resistance, which is why these treatments are best for your Richmond home.
In addition, the best environmental pest control companies – such as Eco Pest Control – work to address the root of the problem, increasing your chances that you won’t have the same issue again down the road. This is called integrated pest management, which uses knowledge about the pest’s habits, lifecycle, needs, and dislikes; uses the least toxic methods first; monitors the pest’s activity and adjusts methods over time; tolerates harmless pests; and sets a threshold to decide when it’s time to act.
Why Environmental Pest Control is Best
Still need more evidence of why environmental pest control is best for your Richmond home or office? Try these five reasons.
- Won’t damage landscaping. Traditional pest control methods require re-application every month or so. Repeatedly spraying these harsh chemicals on your property is bad not only for your health, but also for your landscaping. Toxic pest control methods often cause grass, bushes, and other plants to shrivel and die. Additionally, because these chemicals can stay buried in your soil for an extended period, you may find regrowth exceedingly difficult.
- Will not harm useful insects. Though you may not want to admit it, certain insects help your property. (Remember those honeybees we wrote about above?) While toxic chemicals kill everything in their path, the best environmental pest control methods target specific pests and won’t kill everything in its path.
- Will not harm your pets. By using environmentally safe pest control methods, your dog or cat will not be at risk of ingesting harmful – and potentially deadly – chemicals.
- There’s no strong smell. Conventional pesticides, which have a strong and unpleasant scent, will linger in the air after each application, leaving you and your family sitting in a smelly home, inhaling air laced with toxic chemicals. The best environmental pest control products do not have harsh smells and won’t linger or spread in your home.
- Environmental pest control is convenient. Other pest control methods may require you to seal all your food, clear out your fridge, and leave your home overnight. However, because the best environmental pest control methods are minimally toxic, you and your family don’t have to worry about evacuating your home during a treatment.
Choosing the Best Environmental Pest Control Company
When selecting a Richmond environmental pest control company, look for the best quality and value. Cost should not be your only consideration, especially if you are paying for a pest control service that is ineffective. So, check to see what others here in Richmond are saying about the environmental pest control company you are considering. Check their online reviews, including Google, Yelp, Facebook, and pestreviews.org. Eco Pest Control has more than 1,200 five-star reviews, which says a lot about what our Richmond customers think about our company.
- National Pesticide Information Center (800) 858-7378
- Your state pest control regulatory agency
- Cooperative Extension Service office near you
- Citizen’s Guide Pest Control and Pesticide Safety
- Fact sheet – Choosing a Pest Control Company: What you need to know
- Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Pest Control Operator
- Tips for Finding a Pro
- How to Select a Bed Bug Control Provider
- Choosing a Qualified Pest Management or Lawn Care Company
- Selecting a Lawn Care Company
- Choosing a Pest Control Company
- Hiring a Pest Management Professional
- Pest Control: Do it Yourself or Hire a Professional?
- Green Shield Certified Pest Control Company
- GreenPro Certification Program
- Choosing a Pest Control Company: IPM Is the Key
- Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP)