A Green Approach to Pest Control is Possible

DATE: Dec, 12   COMMENTS: 0   AUTHOR: Allan Azarola

Reducing the environmental impact coming from industrial and business activity, in general, is critical not only for sustainability but also for health reasons. The emission of damaging gases to our atmosphere needs to be reduced, and The Climate Act is calling for a 49% reduction in gas emissions by 2030, and a 95% reduction by 2050.

An industry that you might not think of right away when thinking about green business is Pest Control. An overreliance on chemicals, especially rodenticides in the use of controlling rat and mouse populations meant that an essential serA Green Approach to Pest Control is Possible

vice, required in both urban and countryside settings, was contributing to environmental contamination.

Doing things differently in the pest control industry is, however, possible. And some companies are already innovating and implementing solutions based on technology and research to set new industry standards towards a sustainable pest control industry which doesn’t cost The Earth. These pest control services are ever changing to meet the needs of the environment to be as natural and eco friendly to the surrounding area.

Andrew Hancock, from Greenway IPM, and his team, are a good example of how changing things in this industry for the better is possible. Their innovations in the pest control field, towards a greener approach, won  Green Apple Award for environmental best practice. When asked about the most critical areas, where changes were vital for turning into a greener business model, they detailed several actions that can be taken on particular areas present on most pest control companies, to achieve a greener status and contribute with waste-reduction and contamination.

Reducing Chemical waste:

Lowering the use of chemicals is one of the keys to making this industry greener. The Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) has been monitoring rodenticide levels in predator and scavenger bird and mammal populations and have found that rodenticides are found in a wide variety of these species. The rodenticides are entering the populations through the rats and mice that they take for food which contain the poison.

Pesticides and insecticides are no doubt part of the problem, a wide variety of chemicals are linked to falling honeybee populations and other pollinators, and a fall in biodiversity which affects animal populations further up the food chain. 

Taking Greenway as an example, their reports show that 90% of rat clearance jobs and over 95% of mouse clearance jobs, were successfully completed without the use of Second Generation Anticoagulant Rodenticides (SGARs). This can be achieved through a more holistic approach to dealing with the problem, removing of sources of food and shelter and other things that attract rodents, as well as using traps instead of poisoning.

For ongoing site monitoring, Greenway is developing an Internet of Things (IoT) remote monitoring system that will flag up when rodents are on a site, allowing Greenway to have a technician on-site within 24 hours to begin treatment. This removes the need for permanently keeping rodenticide chemicals down on site, giving a higher level of public and environmental health protection while also providing a more proactive service than has typically been the case in the past.

Greener business policies: like any other kind of business, there are many not-industry-specific ways to reduce environmental impact from daily activity, for example, reducing paper waste moving to a paperless reporting and invoicing system and even using recycled paper for business cards and promotional material.

An eco-friendly workplace is therefore essential and moving towards a greener business model requires, as we mentioned before, general best practices beyond the specific measures towards reducing chemical waste. Some easy examples of these would be using energy-saving lights, and get into the habit of turning off electric items when they aren’t in use.

Finally, fleet management is something pest control companies don’t have in mind often, but implementing greener policies in this area can have a significant impact on the environment too. The use of hybrid and electric vehicles and educating employees about more efficient driving styles, will reduce emissions and also benefit the company numbers by reducing fuel consumption.

Every business should start thinking of implementing greener policies, and Pest Controllers are no exception. As demonstrated by some companies in this industry, already using low-carbon and environmentally-conscious practices with great results, a greener approach and business model is not only possible but beneficial, both to the business and to the environment.

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