The word “pesticide” should already conjure up in your mind a meaning similar to this: a synthetic chemical that exterminates pests.  Although this definition is true, it is not entirely true.  There are many different types of pesticides and some of them are botanically derived.  For the purposes of this article, we will call those pesticides “organic” or “green products.”  Now, this may start to get confusing but I intend to clarify some of the most common misconceptions on this subject.

The word “organic” has gained a certain popularity over the last several years within a number of different industries, none more prevalent than in the food industry.  Next time you’re in the produce section of your local grocery store, look how often the word “organic” is used.  IT’S EVERYWHERE!  I have a relative who is a retired farmer and he constantly jokes about how one banana can be considered “organic” and another one “non-organic,”  when in his mind, both of them are “organic” in the scientific definition of the word.  People have a heightened awareness about the word bud don’t really consider it’s true meaning.  The true definition of “organic” can change from industry to industry because it’s such a loose label.  The word “green” is even more loose and can mean just about anything you want it to.  Since we utilize both “organic” and “synthetic” or “traditional” pesticides at proof. Pest Control, we believe in the importance of understanding what each world means and how products differ from each other in both effectiveness and safety.

Organic Pesticide

Organic Pesticides are products that have not been modified in any way from their original composition.  The most common are plant oils.  Many types of plants produce an odorous oil that can be used as both a deterrent for insects as well as a “contact kill.”  Many types of mints are used in our industry and, when placed correctly, can do an effective job at repelling bugs.  Diatomaceous Earth is another type of “organic” pesticide and can work well at drying insects out.  Boric Acid is yet another one used in different types of pest control baits.  The main idea is to understand that organic pesticides have not been changed or modified in anyway, although they are many times diluted in water.

Synthetic Pesticides

Having our definition of “organic pesticide” in place, the meaning of “synthetic pesticide” is much easier to define.  A synthetic pesticide is any product that has been modified by man for the use of killing or repelling pests.  It’s usually easy to spot these pesticides by their name because they have very strange scientific labels.  Deltamethrin and Lamda-Cyhalothrin are common examples.  Synthetic pesticides are more commonly used in our industry because of their longer lasting properties.  Chemists have improved formulations over the last 100 years that make it possible for a synthetic pesticide to control household spider and insect populations for weeks, and in many cases, for months.


Neither of these products is more safe or less safe than the other.  You wouldn’t want to put either in your Cheerios this morning.  The safety of a pesticide is more about the application method and mixing ratio than the pesticide itself, wether organic or not.  As a Michigan Department of Agriculture licensed exterminator, we utilize all pesticides according to state laws and product labels, thus providing a safe service for our customers and their pets.  Safety is our first priority when treating a pest population, and we have developed a service that is safe first and also effective.