The Truth About “Green” & Natural Pesticides

April 4, 2019

Recent years have seen an increase in pesticides that dub themselves “green.” These pesticides promise to be more friendly to the earth than conventional pesticides, while also being safer for humans. However, often these “green” pesticides are not all that they seem to be. In this post, we’ll take a look at some studies on green and natural pesticides, and debunk some of the common myths about green pest control.

What are Green Pesticides?

This is one of the big problems with the term “green” or “natural” when it comes to pesticides: there isn’t an established standard that sets parameters for being categorized as green or natural. Under EPA regulations, the only term that is cleared for use is “organic,” which leaves the possibility open that the sorts of pesticides being used by companies dubbing themselves green are not actually all that they claim to be. In some cases, companies may be using the term “green” or “natural” to make their pesticides more appealing to customers who are looking for alternative options. Because there is no regulatory mechanism that defines “green” and “natural” pesticides what they actually are can vary wildly--they might not all be as eco-friendly as they’re advertised.

To get a better understanding of green pesticides and pesticides in general, here are some frequently asked questions.

Q: What are the benefits of green pesticides, when compared to more conventional pesticides?

A: That’s sort of a difficult question to answer, because the term “green pesticides” isn’t exactly well defined. But generally we’ve observed that pesticides that call themselves green work less effectively than the traditional ones.

Q: Really? Less effective?

A: Yes. Because they aren’t standardized there’s a lot more product variability. We can’t say for sure that they’re all less effective, we’ve just found that they don’t always do the job as well as other pesticides.

Q: Would you recommend using them?

A: We wouldn’t recommend using something with so little oversight.


So, How Safe are Common Pesticides?

Common pesticides can be safe, when they’re applied properly. Many of the concerns that common pesticides and herbicides elicit are caused by improper use or application. Proper application of a pesticide requires a careful analysis of the surrounding area (to ensure none gets into a water supply), correct decision making when choosing the kind of pesticide, properly following label directions, wearing the proper protective gear, and using the correct amount of the actual product to ensure that there is no damage or danger, just to name a few. That’s why, when it comes to making these decisions and deploying properly, we recommend consulting a professional--and no one lives up to high standards of effectiveness and professionalism like A1 Pest Control.