Interview with Colin Hickey from Green Planet
We already know that pesticides, bed bug sniffing dogs and heat treatments are being used to treat infestations, but what about another green alternative for pest control professionals?
Entomologists at the Allston, Mass based company, Green Planet are using steam and a vacuum to deliver an eco-friendly option to customers. “The steam will reach about 100 degrees and in about one to two seconds it will burn the bed bugs. There’s also an adhesive on the eggs, and the steam will open the eggs before they hatch and make them explode. This means that the eggs are not viable,” Hickey said.
To avoid trapping cool air into the vacuum, a towel is placed on the end of the steam gun. It’s also important to make sure the steam is not coming out too strong, which would cause a reverse reaction and blow the bed bugs away as opposed to sucking them in.
Hickey also stressed that green techniques are used as part of his team’s IPM (Integrated Pest Management) plan, but that the products they use are not necessarily green. “The goal is to try and limit people’s exposures to pesticides, reducing the amounts used, and localizing the areas,” Hickey said.
According to National Geographic, their definition of the phrase “Eco-Friendly” means “Earth-friendly or not harmful to the environment. You can engage in eco-friendly habits or practices by being more conscious of how you use your resources.”
Other methods used by Green Planet also include encasing mattresses, box springs and sets up monitor traps. Thhe traps, also referred to as “bed bug moats” and have a glue-like substance that will catch the bed bug. The monitors are placed on the leg of the bed. “Most of the cases we have seen are within close proximity of the bed—within five feet,” Hickey said.
For more info. on Green Planet, go to www.greenplanetpest.com