“Less application, more education” is a familiar mantra at Carolina Exterminating in Charleston, S.C. After being thoroughly trained themselves in safe pest management practices, service technicians teach their customers what they can do to help protect their families from pests while minimizing the need for pesticide applications.

It’s an approach owner Drew Leilich adopted as he watched his son Liam crawling around the house and putting his hands everywhere. “I thought about residue that could be left on the floor after certain applications and started really rethinking how we were applying products,” he shares. “Since then, our focus has been on treating outdoors as much as possible and educating customers about measures they can take to help us control their pests as naturally as possible.”

Customer education is particularly important to programs using green products, Leilich says. In fact, his company’s website details some of the actions customers must commit to when selecting a green service. “We are very clear with customers who want an all-natural solution that they play a critical role in the program’s success,” he explains. “We go out and walk the property with them to identify action items and then provide them with a detailed list that can include things like cleaning the gutters, disinfecting trash cans and recycling bins, raking back foliage, cutting back trees and shrubs, sealing entryways and even power washing the house. Those who are strongly committed to going the green route agree to hold up their end of the deal. Others might find these tasks overwhelming and choose a conventional program instead.”

Whether they choose an all-natural or a more traditional IPM approach, ongoing communication is key, Leilich adds. “We make sure every customer understands where, when and why we apply as we do. We want them to have the peace of mind in knowing that we are thoughtful and intentional in our approach.”