Marketplace: Nature’s Balance keeps pests away
At the beginning of this year Utahns were shocked by the news that two young Layton girls were killed by toxic fumes from a poison placed too close to a house by an exterminator.
Local pesticide expert John Walters said the chemical was misused, but it further confirmed to him the importance of using organic alternatives when possible.
Walters moved to the area three years ago after practicing the trade in Houston, Texas for 20 years. Because of the climate, Houston is one of the hardest places in the county to control pests.
"It was the best place to cut my teeth in pest control," he said.
But nearly immediately after moving here he began realizing that if used properly, pesticides made from botanical oils were just as effective as harsher brands. That’s why he founded his own company, Nature’s Balance.
"I didn’t want to play with chemicals anymore," he explained. "If it works, why would I do anything else?"
Unfortunately, the natural pesticides don’t work in every situation. He’s still struggling to find a formula for tip weevils in spruce trees and they don’t work for weed control, but eco-friendly brands work perfectly on insects and rodents.
Because they’re natural, they do break down more quickly, requiring Walters to spray more often. Industrial chemicals can stay active for up to eight years.
Nature’s Balance’s bait traps for rodents have to be set quarterly, and insect control may be even more frequent. But Walters said he doesn’t mind earning his money.
"I don’t have a bunch of clients, I have a bunch of relationships," he said. "More visits mean I strengthen that relationship."
He also doesn’t charge more for coming by more often, he said. His prices are competitive with any national outfit.
That’s why organic chemicals are taking longer to catch on, he said. But as their effectiveness is proven, they’re being used more often. He predicts them to be more common within five years.
Even though his pesticides are safer for humans, Walters said his strategy is to keep the fight outside.
When baits are set inside, the mice will die inside often in a wall, he explained. His strategy is to line the perimeter of a home with baits and pesticides so rodents and insects never get inside the house.
In over a year of using organic rodent control, he’s never had a client say they found a mouse in their home.
Rodents are the No. 1 problem in Park City, he said. Living on the side of a mountain, it’s natural for them to come to homes looking for food. Most poisons use anti-coagulants so the animal bleeds internally.
Unfortunately, that poison also harms pet cats that find them; sometimes dogs eat the bait, he said.
The organic control is full of Vitamin D-3. It’s lethal to mice but digestible by other animals making it better for pets, Walters explained.
Bernie Newberg, grounds superintendent at Zermatt Resort, uses Nature’s Balance.
"He’s a very friendly guy very knowledgeable. He knows his products and whatever he’s done for us we’ve always been satisfied.
Nature’s Balance also does lawn treatments, and Newberg said he hired him to do his own home.
"I have the greenest lawn in the neighborhood and there are no weeds," he said.
ISA Certified Arborist
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Park City and Summit County make the Park Record's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Hideout’s original master developer is suing the town and planner for $100 million.