Written by: Helena Kleine
Biocides, rodenticides and other vPBT substances have been the subject of critical discussion not only since yesterday. Despite proven environmental impacts, for example on non-target animals and water bodies, toxic baits are still a common tool for many pest controllers. However, three new publications by the Federal Environment Agency recently provided new discussion material in the pest control industry and gave new impetus to the discussion on possible alternatives.
Anyone wishing to read up on the topics of secondary poisoning, the dramatic effects of toxic baits in municipal rat control in sewers and environmental pollution (even with appropriate risk minimisation measures (RMM)) will find these in the following issues:
Minimising the application of anticoagulant agents classified as vPBT substances is urgently needed. And the good news is that for years there have been valid alternatives available, some of which rely on the latest technology, but some of which are also based on tried and tested methods close to nature, which have almost been forgotten in recent generations of pest control.
The best alternatives to rodenticides and biocides include natural, biological and ecological pest control methods, virtual monitoring and integrated control concepts according to IPM (Integrated Pest Management).
The alternatives presented below not only follow the maxim of environmental protection, but also offer pest controllers the following advantages:
Biological pest control describes the use of living organisms and viruses to control certain pests. This often involves the use of natural enemies of a harmful species (so-called beneficial insects). Theoretically, the undesirable species can also be modified so that it fights itself - for example by using viruses or genetic modifications. However, this method does not play a role in daily pest control.
Note: There is no clear distinction between natural and biological pest control and the terms are often used synonymously.
Especially rodents like rats and mice have numerous natural enemies. Particularly dramatic is the fact that when anticoagulants are used, they are often burdened by secondary poisoning. This phenomenon has been observed in birds of prey that became ill themselves through the consumption of poisoned rats and mice and whose populations declined as a result.
A prime example of a biological method of pest control is the construction of perches for raptors in a field or factory site, or simply the purchase of cats. Many people have also made use of biological pest control in their private lives - in the kitchen. The ichneumon fly or camp wasp is used against food and clothes moths and is another common example of biological pest control.
The term ecology describes the interrelationships between living beings and their environment. Colloquially, something that preserves or protects the environment and promotes healthy interactions is considered ecological. For example, all those methods of ecological pest control that make it possible to protect the environment - in particular by preventing pest infestations - count.
The use of toxic baits would be a clear example of non-organic pest control.
The biological pest control described above is a very good example of a method of ecological pest control. However, the term also includes methods that prevent the spread of a pest from the outset. Common ecological methods include
Whether the advantages or disadvantages of ecological and biological pest control will outweigh the disadvantages will no longer be a question in 2020. The need to protect nature is so urgent that the switch to natural alternatives in pest control cannot be postponed any longer.
Pest controllers who resist new methods will find it difficult to attract large and well-known companies as customers. For not only the legislator and the Federal Environment Agency see the use of toxins as increasingly irresponsible, but also industry standards and the requirements of customers are becoming stricter.
Alternatives to the use of rodenticides have been available for years - mature, effective and economical. We would be pleased to present our products to you.