Many pest control and building inspection business owners may not realise that they’re an integral part of the sustainability puzzle. With the public becoming more and more aware of the importance of eco-friendly and sustainable products and practices, this will likely play an increasingly key role in how business owners market their services.
With that in mind, what about your business makes it sustainable and how can you improve on that? Find out below.
Pest control as a sustainable practice
A couple of weeks ago, Rapid Solutions spoke to the President of the Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association, Vasili Tsoutouras, about Pesticon 2023 and, among other things, the future of the pest control industry.
Vasili mentioned that it will become progressively important for pest control and building inspection business owners to become more sustainable. He also went into the need for industry to focus on marketing to the public how it fits into the sustainability puzzle.
“We need to make sure that we actively talk about being a sustainable industry and our importance to the environment and to people’s health,” Vasili said. “We’ve got a good future ahead of us if we’re clever and if we maintain our position and really excel in those areas around sustainability, health, asset protection … these are the things that I can’t see ever going away.”
Vasili mentioned several aspects that make ours a sustainable industry.
“Our work prolongs the life of buildings. We also minimise food being wasted by ensuring rodents aren’t entering the building causing food spoiling. We do larval control for mosquitoes so that other species that were already there, should have been there, or weren’t competing because of container imported species, can thrive. So, we’re stopping the spread of invasive species.”
These are all important jobs the industry performs that business owners don’t talk about enough. Here are some other sustainable practices that can be marketed:
Rodent control maintains a healthy ecosystem
Rodents play an important role in the ecosystem by consuming insects and other pests. However, when rodent populations become too large they can cause problems for other animals and plants. By controlling rodent populations, we can help to maintain a healthy balance in the ecosystem.
Termite management protects timber resources
Termites feed on wood, so by managing termites we can help to protect timber resources. This is important because timber is a renewable resource, but it’s also a valuable resource that we need to conserve.
Cockroach control protects the life of buildings
Cockroaches can cause significant damage to buildings by contaminating food and surfaces with their droppings and urine. This can lead to the growth of mould and mildew, which can damage building materials and infrastructure. By managing cockroaches, we can help prolong the life of our structures.
Sustainable pest control methods
We’ve spoken about some of the ways business owners can market themselves as being part of the sustainability puzzle. There are also more direct ways you can make your business sustainable, for instance by using more sustainable forms of pest control.
In recent years, there’s been a growing awareness of the need for this. These methods aren’t only better for the environment, but they can also be more effective in the long run. We spoke to Samuel Wood from Bell Laboratories – a US based, privately owned company that specialises in the manufacture of rodent control products – about their methods.
Hi Samuel. Tell me a bit about some of the sustainable products and solutions you offer
I think sustainable probably means different things to different people.
Among other things, Bell Labs manufactures chemicals that are designed quite specifically to kill rodents. Of course, these products have the potential to have some negative environmental impact if they’re used inappropriately. By some interpretations, that alone may mean the products are unsustainable, but as a company we take our responsibility for stewardship very seriously.
That’s why a large part of my job, and that of my colleagues across the world, is to provide the technical support and training required by our users to ensure that the products are being appropriately used.
Most recently, we’ve launched our range of iQ products. These are rodent control devices that contain sensors that capture information about rodent movements. This previously unavailable data gives pest managers the ability to be more targeted in their use of chemical rodenticide. To me, that’s sustainability.
At a manufacturing level, Bell Labs utilises recycled plastic for the vast majority of our injection moulded plastic items. We also have a plastic waste elimination program in place throughout the manufacturing process.
We’ve fairly recently moved into a new, purpose built and state of the art manufacturing facility, which was designed to be more sustainable and efficient. The most obvious example of that is the cooling system for the injection moulders. Our manufacturing facility is in Wisconsin, where it gets incredibly cold in winter. So rather than using mechanically chilled water, we use water that’s stored outside. The water is pumped through, and re-stored, re-chilled and re-used.
Why is it necessary for the industry to use sustainable products/methods?
There’s really two parts to the answer to that question. Firstly, it’s necessary to protect our planet, but it’s also necessary to protect our businesses and our industry. We can’t stand still and let the idea of sustainability be about other people or other organisations and expect to still have a role to play. Customers are more interested and conscious of the impact of their decisions than ever before, so pest managers have to ensure that they’re meeting expectations.
What does sustainability in pest control mean to you?
When I consider sustainability, I think about more than just environmental sustainability. For me it’s about sustainability of business practices and sustainability of my workload too.
That’s something that I think is often overlooked. Our industry is full of incredibly hard-working people and that’s very inspiring. But I’d like to remind everyone of the importance of taking care of themselves and taking time away from their businesses to avoid burnout. It doesn’t matter how environmentally sustainable your service offering is if you’re not around to deliver it!
On that note, for more business tips check out some of the Rapid Solutions blog articles below:
- Business planning for the new year
- Reducing your business costs
- How to take your business online
- Improve your website ranking and grow your business
- Training your business for the new year
- Optimising employee efficiency
- Steps to a happier financial year
- Getting recruitment right
- Value of upselling in pest management
Another form of sustainability – insuring your business
You may have the best sustainability marketing in the business, but your business won’t be sustainable without appropriate insurance. Without it, if anything goes wrong – like a job that didn’t deliver on promises or one that results in damage to property, people or pets – your business can be held liable for a LOT of money. Contact Rapid Solutions today to find out about cost-effective professional indemnity insurance and general liability insurance and how much cover this can provide your business.