By Lauren Zink| Editor & Writer
Environmentally friendly, or “green,” pest control is no longer just for homeowners concerned about their small children or pets being exposed to chemical agents. With the recent rise in environmental awareness, many homeowners are now interested in learning more about ways they can keep a safe home while having less of an impact on the planet. Environmentally friendly pest control is a method of pest management that uses organic or natural sources. (It should be noted that at this time, the government does not regulate the use of the term “green pest control.”) Low-impact pest control is also a potential option; this method does utilize chemicals, but the chemicals are only those that have been proved to be relatively safe for humans. As for the effectiveness of green services, “It depends on the materials you use as well as the placement of those materials. Many types of natural products can be effective, but if you don’t place them where the pests are, you’re wasting your time,” explains Rodger Breda of Breda Pest Management in Atlanta.
Even if you choose to go the traditional, chemical route in your pest control regimen, you may still be greener than you realize. Consider introducing, or simply allowing, beneficial bugs and creatures onto your land to do some of your pest control for you.
Ladybugs. Ladybugs were originally brought to this country to eat aphids and other bugs that were hurting farmers. These can be great to have in your pest control arsenal, especially if you are experiencing insect damage in your garden.
Spiders. You may not be interested in eating bugs for dinner, but a spider would jump at the chance. Spiders naturally build webs to catch (and devour) bugs, so having them around can reduce the number of pests in and around your home. Of course, be aware that poisonous spiders like Black Widows in your home can cause you problems.
Honeybees. Not only do these black and yellow bugs help pollinate plants, but honeybees also kill pests. Certain types of flowers and weeds are known to attract honeybees, so try introducing these into your space for a boost in your honeybee population.
Praying Mantises. With their two strong forearms, praying mantises grab and hold other bugs that are unfortunate enough to walk past them, making them a great addition to a garden. However, because of their aggressive and predatory nature, a praying mantis does not discriminate in its food choices, so it may eat beneficial insects you have introduced into the environment.
Birds. Some homeowners find birds to be a nuisance. However, because birds naturally prey on insects, they can be a true help in creating a pest-free environment. Constructing an inviting habitat by setting up birdfeeders or building a bird bath can attract birds.
It may be out of the question for you to introduce these bug-eating creatures into the yard yourself, so some homeowners may choose to simply tolerate these forms of nature’s pest control when they encounter them in their yard. Remember, “green” pest control may not be right for every person or situation. This method may not take care of every pest control need you have, so homeowners should be sure to discuss the best plan of action with an experienced pest control company.
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