You can help reduce the demand for toxic pesticides and encourage ecologically sound alternatives by finding a responsible company to help you with your home’s landscape and lawn maintenance. If you don’t have the time, don’t have the expertise or find a pest problem is beyond your skills, it might be time to hire a professional. By asking the right questions, you can ensure your home is both pest and pesticide-free. Download our Guide to Choosing an Eco-Friendly Landscaping Company.
Find a company that shares your values of protecting community and environmental health. Hire a company that uses Integrated Pest Management (IPM) or has certifications in organic land care or sustainable land care. If you live in an apartment or condominium complex, talk to the property manager about your interest in these qualifications. For help finding a company, check out our landscaper card below with helpful questions in English and Spanish. Ask if the company determines the cause of a pest problem before recommending treatment. Make sure they monitor for pests and share those results with you, and that they offer organic or less toxic options. They should also recommend alternatives, such as baits, traps and other non-chemical treatments.
If you live in the state of Washington, you also have the benefit of a certification program for sustainable professionals called ecoPro. Washington State Nursery & Landscape Association (WSNLA) and the Washington Association of Landscape Professionals (WALP) jointly administer the program. EcoPro is the premier program to provide sustainable land care education and certification to landscape professionals across Washington State. An NCAP employee serves on the ecoPro steering committee to provide policy and technical expertise.
Breanne Chavez, Executive Director of WSNLA, understands why hiring a certified professional is so important. “EcoPROs have demonstrated their knowledge and commitment to sustainable landscape practices, and also have obtained an additional professional certification or degree, as well as demonstrated landscape experience. Because of this, you can rely on their qualified knowledge as your partner in creating and maintaining a sustainable, safe and healthy landscape or garden for you, your family and pets to enjoy.”
The ecoPro guiding principles are based on sustainable landscaping and the design, construction and maintenance of landscapes to conserve and regenerate water, air, soil, plant and wildlife resources. The program focuses on protecting and enhancing human health and well‐being. Sustainable practices focus on the environment of an ecoregion while striving to be socially equitable and economically feasible.
If you don’t live in Washington, ask your landscaping company to practice this method of sustainable landscape to design, construct and maintain landscapes that will be aesthetically appealing and ecologically resilient in the ecoregion they are located.
For Washington residents, find an ecoPro practitioner here.
Outside of Washington, use the card below to guide you in the right questions or read our complete Guide to Choosing an Eco-Friendly Landscaping Company.
NCAP and WSNLA worked together on a survey for landscape professionals to help better understand local approaches to landscape pest management, and frequent or difficult pest management issues. By better understanding the needs of the landscape professional, maintenance and groundskeeper community, we can provide customized, educational workshops and resources for pest management alternatives. The results will be used to determine training needs for the region and help improve resources for landscaping professionals.