The adoption of green products has gained significant share in the pest control industry, but the growth appears to be slowing in recent years. “While we’ve seen strong continued interest in our Essentria® line of botanical pesticides, we’re committed to the continued growth and acceptance of this technology industry wide,” says Tony Schultz, business manager for Zoëcon Professional Products. According to Schultz, there is still a lot of confusion in the industry about using botanical pest control products. To help set the record straight, the Zoëcon team is here to address the three biggest misconceptions seen in the field.
1. Botanical insecticides don’t work as well.
Most natural pest control products feature active ingredients that have effectively controlled insects for centuries. The challenge, according to some professionals, is teaching modern PMPs to rethink how they apply these natural insecticides. Robert Schoppe has owned Drop Dead Pest Control in Houston for 36 years, and has found great success with natural products, crediting the flexibility of the technology and freedom from current restrictions placed on most traditional pesticides. “With natural products, you can spray like it’s 1981 again,” said Schoppe. “You can do things with naturals that you can’t normally do with synthetics. You can treat what you need to treat— inside cabinets, on ceilings, anywhere there’s an infestation.” One of Schoppe’s most used natural products is Essentria® IC-3 from Zoëcon Professional Products, a versatile formulation that provides PMPs immediate knockdown and residual control with the option to use as a barrier and perimeter treatment, spot treatment or as a fogging application and is approved for sensitive accounts.
2. Selling my customers on natural pest control is difficult.
Though adoption of green pesticides continues to grow, most of that use is driven by clients requesting these services. According to the 2018 “State of the Green Market” study, nearly 60% of PMPs use natural products in fewer than 10% of all applications. For PMPs looking to incorporate more eco friendly pest control products into everyday service calls, but worried about client resistance, Mike Kunka with Zoëcon Professional Products has some advice. “Don’t sell them on the products you’re going to use, sell them on the success,” says Kunka, a sales account manager. “You wouldn’t lead a normal call selling the customer on the traditional pesticides you would use, so natural pesticides don’t have to be treated any differently. If you are confident in the product’s ability, let the results speak for themselves.”
3. There is not enough information on natural insect killers.
In this age of technology, finding new information as well as connecting with like-minded people has never been easier. As an advocate for environmentally friendly pest control, Schoppe has created a community for PMPs to discuss these products. “I have so many people contacting me through these groups, we share experiences, questions and product recommendations with one another frequently,” he said. Schoppe adds that the ability to interact with other professionals from across the country removes any concerns about helping out a potential competitor.
Green pest control technology continues to advance, providing greater variety and flexibility to modern PMPs. By understanding the truth behind some common misconceptions, PMPs can be better positioned to take advantage of these green pest control products.