As demand for green pest management solutions continues to rise, pest management companies are prepared to deliver. With 86 percent of respondents to PCT’s 2020 State of the Naturals Market survey describing the customers in their market as very or modestly environmentally conscious, it’s becoming clear that green solutions can be important to competitive strength.
“People are all about being green in and around our Austin, Texas, market. Fortunately, today we have natural products that get the job done,” says Bobbie Terry of The Bug Lady Pest Control. “When I first started using them, close to 20 years ago, green pesticides weren’t very effective. They could repel, but today they also kill and have a longer-lasting residual effect. Green pest control is much easier to sell today because you know you’re going to be able to protect your customers’ homes.”
Many PMPs agree with Terry, as nearly a third (30 percent) of survey respondents say there has been a dramatic improvement in the efficacy of green products over the past three to five years. Half say they will choose a green product over a traditional pesticide if it has proven to be equally effective, and more than a fourth (27 percent) say they increased their purchases of green products in 2019.
Of course, selecting the right treatment protocol is critical as well.
“An effective green pest management program is about more than product choices; it’s a way of thinking,” says Laura Hammon Nunn of Bozeman Pest Control in Bozeman, Mont. “As we look toward controlling pests while protecting the planet, we need to make sure every service technician is aware of how their actions can impact the local environment. It begins with really thinking about the pest they’re trying to control so they can choose the right product, whether green or conventional, and apply it before an infestation requires a heavier application or multiple applications. Being strategic in how and when we apply is every bit as critical as what we apply.”
Nunn is among the PMPs who report that their technicians are becoming more knowledgeable about green solutions, and that they are communicating their benefits to customers more effectively. “We’re fortunate to have highly qualified technicians who go into accounts and accurately assess the proper service given the broad range of product options we have today,” she says. “In fact, we’re glad to see the entire industry moving on from the ‘spray and go’ mindset to one of thoughtful IPM. As customers become increasingly environmentally conscious, they expect more thoughtful service and equally thoughtful conversation. They’re beginning to recognize that this is a collaborative journey.”