Green Week – Week 2

Have you ever gone out and bought a new car thinking “this new car is awesome and I am the only one that’s driving it!” and then over the next few weeks it seems that your brand new unique car is popping up all over the place?  In fact, it seems that almost every other car is your same model!

Once we become aware of something or once its on our mind we start to notice it everywhere.  Well Green Week had its lasting impression and it seems now that everywhere I look Green is the thing!  Starbuck’s coffee cup holders has a tag about being made from recycled post consumer waste.  Residence Inn has a line at the end of the reservation about Green Your Hotel Stay. Learn More and Donate Now >> . Green is Everywhere and its GREAT!!!

Despite my little disappointment from the Green Pest Control Conference’s lack of definition on what it means to be green, I am generally optimistic about the direction the world is heading in.  Every little bit counts.  Every raindrop adds to the flood.  So the one extra piece of paper you put into the recycling bin is a good thing.  And Pest Control companies that have already being doing the right thing, the “Green Pest Control Service”, should pat themselves on the back and keep moving forward towards a greener world.

Bulwark is Green and Getting Greener!

Green Pest Control- Green Week

Green Pest Control – Dallas TX Conference

Green is the thing especially during Green week. The yellow brick road is now green. Pest control is no different. Green Pest control is the new buzz. But what does it mean? What is green pest control?

Is the pest control company green or are they just “Green Washing” ?

This brings back memories of the 80’s “Light” craze. Everything was going “Lite”, “Light food”, “Lite Beer”, “Lite Cheese”, stick a light label on it and it was hot. It’s the “New and Improved” sells pitch. Or try “No Calories” for water that never had calories. “Fat Free” gelatins, no fat all sugar. “Reduced Fat Mayo” sure you’ve gone down in fat nano grams, but shouldn’t you just skip the mayo all together? We went through and are still suffering from the “Low-Carb” label. From craze, rave, wave, to the grave. The problem with the newest fad is that being new makes it unknown and the results unsure. Fortunately the rage that is worthwhile leaves its everlasting impression. And we believe that green means better, better for you and better for the earth.

“Greener is Cleaner”

The problem still remains, “What is Green Pest Control?”

Unfortunately after day 1 of The Green Pest Management Conference, there is still no concrete answer. Being green is still too new for most of the pest control industry. The best way to say it is that Green comes in shades. There is the “100% Organic group”, the “All Naturals”, and the much looser “Mix and Match”. More of a hybrid approach.

Bulwark’s stance, forget the label and the hype, we know and have always known that the customer wants the most effective and the safest pest control solution. If you label green as using the most effective solution with the least amount of exposure to families, children, pets, water, and the environment then you can label Bulwark Green. Bulwark began its service with an in-wall treatment plan, no baseboard spraying, and using products that had been used and proven in agriculture pest control. Bulwark was one of the first pest control companies to feature EcoSmart products. Bulwark has always been aware of a customers concern about the safety of their family. Bulwark has always tried to do what we feel is best for the environment. Call it what you want. If you ask me, yes were are green, always have been a shade of green,… and a very dark green if you look at the logo…

and getting greener.

Always moving, always improving. Or as our employees have so lovingly phrased it, “Bulwark means Change” … The world is evolving, shouldn’t your pest control?

Africanized Bees-I just might save your life

I have read a recent article about a young child being stung multiple times by bees.  The population of Africanized bees is increasing and I have one tip that just might save your life.

Africanized bees are very aggressive and have soldier/guard bees circling around the hive.  Guard bees will basically run into you; giving you a warning that you are entering an area near their hive.  Sometimes the Africanized guard bees circle at a diameter away from the hive where the location of the hive can remain well hidden.  If you feel that you have bumped into these guard bees your best option is probably to backtrack.

If you happen to come across an africanized guard bee, and like most of us your natural intention is to swat; make sure you swat in a direction that would push the bee(s) away from you.  If you crush a bee on yourself and release the pharamones…you better run-Forrest.

Bugs. Nature’s Menace or Miracle?

If you have worked in the Pest Control Industry long enough you eventually develop some level of respect for the “other side.” I often find myself amazed by the ability of these pesky little critters to adapt to their environment. Seriously, they sometimes all learn to live with each other despite their differences. Literally, living on top of each other. I know that is gross but after a while it was pretty cool treating a new home’s water box and watching the various “insects” scurry into the sunlight. You could tell if the last bug guy was not very thorough…because you literally would find a vast amount of insects in these water boxes.

I have seen black widows, wind scorpions, crickets, silverfish, scorpions, roaches, etc…all come out of one water box. It amazes me that prey would live with predator. But I guess “fight or flight” kicks in and foes become friends in order to survive, sharing the last known safe haven on the premises…at least until a thorough inspection is performed. This is my long introduction to my short paragraphs about how these pests are nature’s hidden miracle.

I think it is common sense how bugs and insects are important in nature. Bees provide cross pollination, while other insects help decompose organic structures to be reabsorbed within the cyclical tides of Mother Nature. I could go on and on about how this insect helps in this way, that way, etc…But I want to briefly talk about scorpions-who generally get a bad wrap.

I guess scientists have found a way to utilize scorpion venom to fight cancer. I have read that Senator Ted Kennedy’s doctors were considering using it as a preferential alternative treatment. So be nice next time you see a scorpion and think twice before you go “squash,” or contact a bug exterminator.

🙂

KT

Most Important Equation In Pest Control

For those working in the industry there could not exist a more important equation dealing with safety.
Risk = Toxicity x Exposure

Understanding this is imperative. The goal is always to minimize risk or ultimately eliminate risk if possible. As a service manager I would always try to hammer this into our technician’s mindset. Worrying about our customer’s and technician’s safety is cardinal when it comes to effective pest control maintenance. I would always advise our technicians to especially be cautious when handling pesticides. The reason is “Exposure.” Technicians are consistently exposed to pesticides if they are not wearing proper PPE. Although the chemical may be of low toxicity, because there is a high risk of exposure while applying pesticides; Risk increases:

(Low Toxicity) * (Daily Exposure) = High Risk

Always read the label, and apply pesticides with the recommended Personal Protective Equipment.

KT

Bulwark Exterminating

Pesticide/Pest Control Myth #2

Pesticide myth #2 for me lies in the perception that effective pest control requires that pesticides should blanket or be applied everywhere possible. This may be necessary in extreme cases (fumigation, termites), but not necessarily to be the norm.

I would often meet customers who had these expectations, and I would always do my best to meet these expectations as long as they were legal. Some people will always feel like “the more, the better.”

The development of new chemical technologies, and our increased understanding of pest biology/sociology has equipped the up-to-date Pest Control Technician with more ‘effective’ ways to get rid of pest problems. It is a matter of how you would define ‘effective’ pest control. Effectiveness should not only measure the ability to control the pest; but should also take into consideration how people and the environment may be affected. Effectiveness = Efficiency.

Professional Technicians have/should become proficient of the latest technologies. A proficient Pest Control Technician has the ability to get rid of your pest problems using only the amount of chemical needed, and will apply the chemical in places that takes advantage of known pest patterns and is out of harms way for unsuspecting pets and people alike.

Environmentally Friendly?

Environmentally Friendly Pest Control – What does it mean to be Environmentally Friendly? What is Green Pest Control? Is Pest Control Safe? These are all too common questions and none with a simple answer. So how do pest control companies answer these?

This is an interesting area of our industry.  In some states the use of the phrase “environmentally friendly” is illegal. Even if you only use your boots to smash the roaches.  In these states, the laws are enforced only partially.  In other words, if someone or some inspector at the state wants to harass you, they’ll enforce the law just for you and not against the competitors.  Generally the law is not enforced.

The real question in answering “Is pest control safe?” is exploring the potential risks of any given product, natural or man-made. For example: the EPA measures toxicity of every substance in the United States, including plain dirt. Substances with higher toxicity rates are labeled “danger” (gasoline, and paint for example). The next level down “warning” (toothpaste, household cleaners). The next level down “caution #3” (salt, botanical insecticides like cayenne pepper) the next level down “caution #4” (every other substance known to man not included in the first three categories). This has nothing to do with whether the substance is natural or organic.  Many natural substances are very toxic, cyanide for example or a popular one in Pest Control is “diatomaceous earth”, crushed silica\glass, this scratches the waxy cuticle of the insects exoskeleton and causes the insect to dehydrate, it is natural but also known to be very toxic to humans because the crushed glass is not metabolizable by our bodies and causes cancerous damage to our lungs. Even though diatomaceous earth is natural, it is very dangerous and Bulwark will never use it.  Many consumers do not know this.

Toxicity Ratings are based on whether or not your body can break down and metabolize the measured substance without damage to the host.  Often times products like salt are perfectly fine at a certain concentration but are lethal at higher levels of acute doses. Comparison wise, table salt is more toxic to humans than boric acid, but its highly unlikely that you will ever die or be injured from over exposure or over consumption of table salt.

Most Pest Control companies use insecticides in “warning” and “caution three” categories.  Bulwark never uses warning grade chemicals.  Our products fall within the “caution three” category.  Upon request consumers can receive “eco-smart” technologies for interior treatment.  The active ingredients in these products are various types of plant oils.  The products themselves are food grade quality meaning that they legally could be put in food in the United States.  Eco-smart technologies are only applied inside the home, and only on request because they have an odor to them which consumers generally do not like.  If the consumer does not request “eco-smart technologies” then we apply natural boric acid and other products which are made in a factory synthetically but are derived from a compound found in chrysanthemum flowers.  All these products are considered less toxic to humans than toothpaste.

Finally, the bulwark pest defense system, focuses on exterior treatments were the insects breed so that interior treatments are unnecessary.  It’s always going to be better to treat the source of where the pests are breeding in the yard with higher quality products to maintain a barrier or “bulwark” around the home.  This is a much cleaner method because interior treatments are rarely needed and only done on request.  Most companies use lower grade products on the exterior which break down rapidly and allow pests back into the home before the next service call.  That’s why many companies prefer to treat inside and outside every time.  They have to chase the pests back out of the home because the barrier did not last on the outside. It’s so much cleaner just to keep a good wall up so little or no treatments are conducted on the interior.

Hope this helps.  Please feel free to add your comments.


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