Daily News Archive
on Lawn Care in U.S., Demand for IPM Rising
Researchers find that the spending increase in the lawn care industry, which is occurring in the midst of an economic downturn, is the result of several factors. The housing market has remained strong because of low interest rates. Mortgage rates have been continuously low. Also, since September 11th, travel has decreased and people are spending more time and investment at home.
Beyond Pesticides has observed a coinciding increase in demand for least toxic and non-toxic lawn care. More and more homeowners are becoming aware of the dangers pesticides pose, and the benefits of alternative landscape practices. Many parents that own homes opt for organic lawn care because of the risk their children face from exposure to toxic pesticides. Children take in more pesticides relative to body weight than adults and have developing organ systems that are more vulnerable and less able to detoxify toxic chemicals. Demand has also been on the rise because of the potential for toxic lawn chemicals to be tracked in the home. A 1996 study found that 2,4-D could be tracked from lawns into homes, leaving residues of the herbicide in carpets.
Chemical use promotes insect and weed resistance, which leads to further pesticide use, all of which costs more money. Alternative service providers say that creating a healthy organic lawn will naturally deter pests from a property for years to come. Cutting back on chemical use and managing the source of the pest problem saves the homeowner money in the long term, according to practitioners.
Landscape companies are picking up on consumer demand for less toxic means of lawn care. Many companies now offer an integrated pest management (IPM) program for interested clients, while others have switched entirely to organic practices. Beyond Pesticides, as a service to these companies and least-toxic structural IPM companies, and to the consumers searching for them, has a free online directory, called the Safety Source for Pest Management, searchable by state and service category.
If you would like your company included in the Safety Source, please fill out our Service Providers Directory Form and mail to Beyond Pesticides, or call 202-543-5450 to give us your information over the phone. This is a free service! For those interested in do-it-yourself lawn care, see Beyond Pesticides' fact sheet Least-toxic Control of Lawn Pests and our article Lawn Mowers and Leaf Piles: Fall is Prime Time for Lawn Care.