Organic Mosquito Control
The term “Organic” has a specific meaning in the U.S. as it is related to pesticides and crop inputs. This definition is linked to the USDA National Organic Program (NOP).
Most important: only inputs used in the production of agricultural products can be called, “Organic”. – So therefore, Organic Mosquito Control, isn’t really a thing, according to the USDA definition.
I know, I know, some of you are shaking your heads. Please leave your heat in the comments section at the bottom of this post.
Now, the term “Natural”, what does it mean?
Natural Mosquito Control
Natural Mosquito Control does not have an officially sanctioned meaning. In this instance, it is up to each of the companies or people using this term to define what they mean by “Natural“.
Photo Credit: "Veggies" Andrea_44, 2010 via Flickr
According to the strict USDA definition of “Organic”: No, there is no Organic Mosquito Repellent. This is because the definition is tied to the intent for the use of the product, “to produce Organic agricultural products”.
“Organic” is a labeling term that denotes products produced under the authority of the Organic Foods Production Act.”
But it even goes deeper than that, pesticides, and other crop inputs, can not be “Organic”. Only agricultural products can be “Organic”. – (Agricultural in this sense applies to food, animals, textiles, wine, beer, & cosmetics).
In order for an input to be able to be used in the production of Organic agricultural products, it needs to pass a product review by one of the independent material review certifiers.
Among the most well known of these certifiers is OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute). The OMRI certification is an easy way for Organic agricultural producers to immediately know that the input they are considering is okay to use in Organic food production.
However it is not easy for the input to gain the OMRI certification. The review is thorough and exhaustive. If a product is OMRI certified it has been heavily scrutinized.
Whew… Yes, I know, that is a lot to digest. Now let’s talk about “Natural“.
Grandma Lake Wetlands Wisconsin State Natural Area #305 Photo Credit: Joshua Mayer "Lake & Wetlands" 2016 via Flickr
Yes, there is such a thing as “Natural” mosquito control products for professionals.
The catch here is that there is no clear definition about what “Natural” means. In all instances, Natural mosquito control products need to be defined by the manufacturer and distributors of the product.
For example, with Stop The Bites!, when we say that we have the best Natural mosquito and tick control product – We mean that our product uses Natural essential oils to control the pests.
However other suppliers call their products, “Natural” even when it gets some of its efficacy from non-natural sources such as Piperonyl butoxide (PBO).
PBO is a synthetic (read non-Natural) synergist that inhibits specific metabolic enzymes within mosquitoes.
Their trick here is that these other suppliers claim they are still Natural because PBO is a synergist and not actually causing the activity of the product.
Since there is no national standard in the U.S. of what Natural means, they are allowed to advertise themselves as “Natural Mosquito Yard Treatments”.
"Dedham to Flatford" Photo Credit: Karen Roe - 2011 via flickr