The Basics of Green Pest Control

Green pest control does not mean ineffective pest control; rather, it is all about integrated pest management, or IPM. A pest control company that embraces IPM believes prevention, client awareness and education, and building inspections are all as important as controlling pests.

What Green Pest Control Is

Integrated pest management begins with learning how and why a pest entered a home or building. Professionals in this field are knowledgeable about the life cycle of pests and their preferred nesting locations. Thus, they are able to use innovative pest prevention techniques that are the least hazardous to plant life, property, pets and people.

IPM uses common sense practices in coordination with environmentally sensitive chemicals. For example, instead of using harmful chemicals to prevent the return of a pest, pest control specialists may install preventative materials such as new window and door screens, fresh caulking, new door sweeps, and so on. The professionals may also set up traps to learn about additional areas a pest may live or install solar powered repellants as an alternative to using harmful chemicals.

The Benefits of Green Pest Control

Pest control products that are green are made of organic and natural ingredients. Additionally, these products are engineered to be biodegradable and equally as effective as their non-green counterparts.

Green pest management practices help promote the health and structure of plants, as they provide a biologically based alternative to chemical sprays. The control tactics used in IPM are benign and therefore reduce the environmental risk often associated with traditional pest management, such as ground water contamination. IPM also helps reduce the risk of an infestation and is a cost effective solution.

How It Works

Rather than spray a multi-purpose pesticide all over an infested property, IPM experts use a process that sets an action threshold, monitors the pests in order to identify them, prevents their return and uses control methods.

When an action threshold is set, the professional learns how large an infestation is, how much of a danger the pests pose, and determines the type of immediate action needed.

When an IPM professional monitors pests, he is making sure he is identifying the pest correctly. Proper identification of a pest helps ensure the right types of pesticides are used, but pesticides are avoided if they are not needed.

Prevention of pest invasions is one of the key components to green pest control. IPM includes identifying and correcting problems that make a home or building welcoming to pests. Prevention is cost effective and does not risk the health of individuals or the earth.

If pest prevention methods are ineffective by themselves, control methods are required. When professionals implement a control method, they first evaluate it for risk and effectiveness. Methods that pose the least risk, such as traps or the use of pheromones to disrupt mating, are used first. If the thresholds in place indicate these methods are not effective, the control process then moves to the use of pesticides in targeted areas.

What to Look for in a Green Pest Control Company

When looking for a green pest control company, seek one that will create a plan that meets your needs. The company should take into consideration the type of pest, the size of the infestation and the environment in which the pests live.

Learn about the process and chemicals a company uses before hiring them. Some professionals use green pest control products initially and then follow them with traditional chemicals, which you may not want. A good environmentally friendly exterminator should focus on using quality products that are low or non-toxic rather than products that are the least expensive, which are often highly toxic. Additionally, quality green pest control companies educate their clients on how to prevent the return of pest, help correct conditions that are inviting to them and offer to install pest-proofing materials.

The observation, prevention and intervention approach to green pest control helps consumers have peace of mind knowing that evicting pests from the home does not mean hurting the environment. Whenever you need the help of professionals to assist with unwanted pests, keep in mind that green pest management is the only method that has both your personal and financial well-being in mind.

~Flora Richards-Gustafson, 2010

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How to Finish a Wood Patio Deck

Having a patio deck in the garden will create an amazing place for you to entertain friends, and family. If you lay it correctly, seal, treat, and maintain it the decking will last for many years. You have to consider where you want the decking to be placed, and what weather conditions it will need to deal with. Water is the worst component that can damage the wooden decking, and you need to consider this when choosing your deck plans.

Planning the decking well and ensuring that you use the correct sealant will ensure that the deck will look fantastic for many years. After the patio deck has been laid you will need to work quickly to have it sealed and ready for the weather. The decking will need to be sanded to ensure that the waterproof material can soak into the grain. Although sanding the patio deck will take some time it will be worth it when you see the end result.

Once you have sanded the deck you will need to ensure that all debris, twigs, and leaves have been removed as these can cause problems. With a completely clear deck you can begin to weatherproof it.

Using the best possible wood sealant is essential as water is the biggest problem where decking is concerned. If you allow water to penetrate the patio deck it will dry out and cause the wood to crack. The expansion and contraction of the wood over time will cause it great damage, and in extreme cases the patio deck will need to be replaced.

You will need to try and wait for the weather conditions to be just right. If it is too cold or too hot the wood will have either expanded or contracted making it harder to seal. You want the sealant to be applied in the best possible conditions, to allow it to dry and begin to protect the wood. When looking at your deck plans you will need to ensure that you can reach every part of the decking easily. Every single inch of the decking will need to be sealed including the gaps, and cracks.

If you allow even the smallest of areas to be unprotected, the water can penetrate it and cause damage to the patio deck. You should apply the sealant in the direction of the grain, and for larger areas a mop can be used to make it far easier. Allowing the sealant to dry is essential, and once it has you can decide if you want to stain the wood. Depending on the design you have chosen on your deck plans will determine what color you want the decking to be.

There are many different stains available, which can help to enhance the color of your patio deck, and make it look great. Once you have sealed the patio deck it will not need doing for several years, however, if you experience severe weather it may need doing more often. Remember that you will need to clean, fix, and reseal the patio deck to keep it looking great.

Peter Craft is a woodworker lover and is a garden enthusiast who h

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