The world is changing to green. “Green” refers to the hue of environmental concerns, the motivation that inspires cutting-edge technology, skadedyrsbekƦmper the buzzword of those who are socially conscious. Environmental concerns and man’s effect on it is leading to an array of innovative products on the market and pest control isn’t an one of them. Environmentally-friendly pest control services are growing in popularity, particularly in the commercial sector. Even the most eco-conscious consumers in residential areas are seeking alternative methods to conventional pesticides. However, their enthusiasm tends to fade when faced with the 10-20 percent cost difference and longer treatments, which can last for up to a few weeks.

The increasing awareness of the environment, along with ever-more stringent federal regulations for conventional pesticides that are chemical in nature, appears to shift the attention of the pest control industry towards Integrated Pest Management (IPM) methods. IPM is regarded as not just safe for the environment, but also safe for animals, humans, and secondary scavengers like Owls. Of the 378 pest control companies that were surveyed in 2008 through Pest Control Technology, two-thirds of them said they offer IPM solutions of some kind.

Instead of lacing pest sites with a poisonous cocktail of powerful insecticides designed to kill, IPM focuses on environmentally-friendly prevention techniques designed to keep pests out. While non-toxic or low-toxicity products are also used to encourage pests to take their bags Elimination and control efforts are focused on identifying and eliminating the main causes of the infestation: entry points, attractants food and shelter.

Popular among nursing homes and schools that are responsible for protecting the health of America’s most vulnerable and elderly citizens, the ones most at exposure to hazardous chemical exposure, IPM is catching the interest of offices, hotels apartments, and other commercial establishments and homeowners who are conscious of their environment. Driven in equal parts by environmental concerns and health hazard fears, interest in IPM is bringing a host of new environmentally-friendly pest management products — both high- and low-tech — to market.

“Probably the most effective product that is available for sale is a door sweep” said Tom Green, president of the Integrated Pest Management Institute of North America which is an organization for non-profits which certifies green extermination companies. According to the course of an Associated Press interview posted on MSNBC on April 1, Green explained, “A mouse is able to squeeze through a gap the size of a pencil. Therefore, if there’s one quarter-inch gap between your door, so it’s a mouse’s concerned there’s not a door even.” Cockroaches may slither through an eight-inch gap.

IPM is “a more effective method of pest control to ensure the health of your home as well as the natural environment and the household,” said Cindy Mannes spokeswoman of the National Pest Management Association, the $6.3 billion pest control industry’s trade group in the Associated Press story. But, since IPM is relatively new element in the arsenal of pest control, Mannes cautioned that there is a lack of consensus within the industry on the meaning of green services.

To establish the industry standard to establish industry standards for IPM services and their providers and services, IPM providers and services, Integrated Pest Management Institute of North America created The Green Shield Certified (GSC) program. Identifying pest control products and companies that eschew traditional pesticides in favor of environmentally-friendly control methods, GSC is endorsed by the EPA, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and HUD. IPM is a proponent of physical, mechanical and cultural techniques to manage pests, however they may also employ bio-pesticides that are derived from natural substances such as bacteria, plants, animals and specific minerals.