Botanicals are Mother Nature’s way of providing pest control. Botanical pesticides are derived from plants (stems, leaves, flowers and oils or resins) and are considered significantly more circumspect than synthetic insecticides. They’re virtually non-toxic to the environment and only low to moderately toxic to humans, pets and wildlife.
A Little History
Botanicals have been used for centuries as a natural way to control pests and insects; they were used widely in the U.S. through the 1940s and 1950s until the introduction of synthetic pesticides. Synthetic pesticides were quickly embraced because they were quick-acting and long-lasting.
Unfortunately, no one then realized the long-term effective damage these traits would have on our environment. The very thing that our grandparents and parents liked about them is the very thing that has contributed to the present deterioration of our natural resources.
The Pros and Cons of Botanicals
How They Work
Generally botanicals act as either a contact poison when sprayed on the insect, or as a stomach poison when sprayed plant matter is consumed by the insect.
However, botanicals are also highly effective as a deterrent because of the essentials oils—insects often find these odors offensive and avoid the area (e.g., peppermint, wintergreen, citronella, clove).
What We Use
EcoFriends Pest Control uses the EcoSmart product line, now known as Essentria. Essentria is the creation of Prentiss who have been on the cutting edge of botanical pest control for 25 years.
Essentria uses in their product line the compounds that plants naturally generate as a defense against insects. These compounds work by blocking octopamine in the insect’s nervous system. However, wildlife does not have octopamine receptors and are therefore safe.
Botanicals are controlled pesticides, and treatments require a trained, licensed pest control operator.
A licensed operator with RIS (Reduced Impact Services) certification, using IPM (integrated Pest Management) practices, will correctly choose and apply the best treatment for you and your home or office.