Thursday, October 29, 2009

Natural Pest Control: Bug Brigade is Central Florida's Green Pest Control Provider

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Going greener in my lifestyle has led me down many unexpected paths. Beginning with organic foods, I soon moved toward Eco-friendly personal care and cleaning products. Later, we added organic lawn care, and next up was pest control. This one was a little scarier for me, yet I quickly learned that help was out there. While DIY (Do it yourself) is an option, I'm not very dilligent about bug stuff, so that reduces the success rate.

I interviewed 3 companies in my area, all of whom were advertising natural pest control, using some of the usual terminology:
  • Organic
  • All-natural
  • Eco-friendly
  • Holistic
  • Non-toxic
Each company had various versions of non-toxic pest control, as well as providing traditional pest control to those customers who prefer it. I found one company whose idea of “natural” was far from my own comfort zone and quickly ruled them out.

The company I ultimately ended up with uses mostly “botanical pesticides”, which are merely plant extracts that have a negative effect on insects. Most of these do lack the residual effect needed for outdoor use, but a couple of  products with a bit more of a punch, work as barriers on the outside, without being highly toxic to the environment or my pets.

Finally, after researching the meaning of “Eco-Exempt”, a term found on many of Bug Brigade’s product labels, I found the reason that cinched our deal. Pest control products that contain active ingredients with no known (or minimal) toxic effects to humans, animals or the environment, generally bear this label. I was sold. Bug Brigade was hired.

Bug Brigade also earned my business when they willingly agreed to provide me with copies of the labels from their product arsenal. More on those labels later in the post. Additionally, the owner, Scott Milliron, was willing to modify his use of any products, at my option. It is great to work with a business that will customize their usual service to your particular preferences or needs; this was key to my decision.

Bug Brigade also offers rodent control, a service I learned about when a family of rats moved into my attic. I hadn’t realized what a science it is to eliminate critters from an attic. Bug Brigade’s staff visited every few days, diligently dealing with all the issues of home invasion. These critters can chew (and did!) through dry wall and air conditioner ductwork, as well as crawling through the tiniest of holes around piping, finding their way into garage and attic spaces. Locating these entries was Bug Brigade’s primary approach to catching the feisty rodents. They were ultimately successful, again earning kudos from me.
A year later I can happily report I have found only one or two roaches inside my home (truly a feat in Florida!). Bug Brigade’s dedicated service and Eco approach, coupled with their willingness to consider my personal needs and preferences has continued to solidify our relationship.

I certainly have kept Bug Brigade busy. Just last week we had a talk about the ticks that followed us home from our camping trip. It seems we may have inadvertantly brought whole families into the house, so a plan was formulated to move them out. Scott's patient, willing ways continued through our discussions, again reinforcing my decision to patronize this hard working company.

A multi-faceted program will attack the critters from every direction, hopefully getting control as quickly as possible, without using toxic chemicals:
  • Daily grooming and removal of any parasites found
  • Containing the dogs to one section of the house, to keeping them from transporting the ticks around the home continuously. With a large, screened porch included in their space, and nicer weather finally here, this plan is quite doable.
  • Plant oils and other non toxic products will be used to treat the yard and home, paying particular attention to the cracks and crevices that ticks like to lay their eggs in. Weekly treatments will be required for a while to eliminate all the new families that hatch, as well.
  • After a discussion about the issues with traditional top spot type treatments, we decided on using a non-toxic plant oil spray on the dogs, found to be quite effective.  The day we had our initial treatment, I was fascinated to watch the little critters crawl out of their hiding spaces and die, all the while my home was smelling like a holiday candy cane. This stuff was clearly doing the Ghostbuster thing on the ticks, that I have feverishly vacuumed up.
  • Scott also suggested a product with a bit more residual staying power, if I have continued trouble after our treatments are through. A derivative of the Chrysanthemum plant, Pyrethrin has been found highly effective. You can get more information on this at Doctor's Foster and Smith at this link. Hopefully I won't need this, as Scott generously left me a suppy of the wonderful-smelling peppermint oil to create a household spray (with water) and a pet spray (with mineral oil).
I suppose I should decorate for Halloween with ticks this year. I have quite a bottle of ones I have collected--Eeek! With my yard and home smelling like peppermint, the children will probably all think they are getting candy canes for treats. I'll keep you posted. Meanwhile, if you're in the Central Florida area, you may want to check out Bug Brigade, or look them up on Twitter.


Pest control NJ said...

Its really a nice thing to observe that for greenary every possible measure should be applied.Which will also beneficial in increasing the quality of oxygen in the near by field area.Pest control NJ

Pest Control Services NJ said...

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