Frequently Asked Questions
Green Shield Certified is an international, structural pest management certification program that evaluates and certifies the pest control practices of pest management providers and facilities. Pest management providers may certify their entire company (100% Green Shield Certified) or a single service they can offer to customers interested in less-toxic pest management.
- "IPM is a sustainable approach to managing pests by combining biological, cultural, physical and chemical tools in a way that minimizes economic, health, and environmental risks."
Green Shield Certified ensures strict adherence to Green Shield Certified standards by requiring pest management providers and facilities to undergo a rigorous, on-site evaluation by an IPM specialist.
Green Shield Certified ensures that pest management providers and facilities that attain certification use advanced IPM practices to provide effective, prevention-based pest control that reduces pesticide use, toxicity and potential exposure by preventing pests from entering the building and addressing pest problems at their source. Learn more about advanced IPM and its benefits.
Green Shield Certified is operated by the IPM Institute of North America, an independent, non-profit organization that has been working in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) since 1998. Learn more about the IPM Institute, including our US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) awards, by reading about who we are and what people are saying about our program.
Effective pest control through IPM: Green Shield Certified services offer effective, long-lasting pest control through the use of advanced IPM techniques. By focusing on prevention and non-chemical approaches, Green Shield Certified services address pest problems at their source. Learn more about advanced IPM.
- Reduced pesticide use: Non-chemical approaches such as monitoring, inspection, identification, sanitation, exclusion & mechanical repairs must be the first actions taken. Regularly-scheduled pesticide applications are not allowed.
- Reduced pesticide toxicity: Green Shield Certified prohibits the use of pesticides that are classified as known, possible or suspected carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, reproductive or developmental toxins, cholinesterase inhibitors or that are labeled "Danger" or "Warning." (See page 11 of Green Shield Certified standards for details and standing exceptions.)
- Reduced pesticide exposure: Residual-active pesticides cannot be applied to exposed surfaces. In general, pesticide applications are limited to crack and crevice or bait applications that are inaccessible after use.
Rigorous audit by an IPM specialist using a published, third-party standard: While many pest control companies or facilities say they offer Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Green Shield Certified sets a published, third-party, industry-tested standard for advanced IPM practices and uses a rigorous 63-point, on-site evaluation by an IPM specialist to verify these standards.
Choice: certify your entire company or a single service: Pest management providers may choose to certify their entire company (100% Green Shield Certified) or a single service. The single service option allows pest management providers to offer the certified service to clients looking for less-toxic pest management, while retaining their more conventional service offerings. (See page 7 of Green Shield Certified standards for additional requirements and restrictions for service certification.)
Assistance setting up IPM program: The Green Shield Certified interim report will identify and describe how to address each required improvement. Model documents such as a sample product list, training program and protocols will be provided for reference. Pest management providers must document all procedures as well as provide an IPM policy and training plan, MSDS and labels for all pesticide products and pesticide application records. Pest management providers interested in offering a single certified service must segregate their Green Shield Certified service accounts from their more conventional, non-certified service accounts and must create separate service names, logos and reports for recordkeeping purposes. During the certification process, Green Shield Certified will review and provide feedback on submitted documents, track your improvements and notify you once you've become Green Shield Certified.
Promotion: Pest management providers who offer Green Shield Certified services are posted to the Provider webpage and have use of the Green Shield Certified logo and name. (See page 7 of Green Shield Certified standards for restrictions.) After certification, Green Shield Certified will promote your certification by adding a narrative profile of your company to the Green Shield Certified website and provide local media release in your area. Promotional products and materials including vehicle decals, shoulder patches, and brochures are available in the Green Shield Certified Promotional Catalog to help market certified services.
Backing by an award-winning, independent non-profit: Green Shield Certified is operated by the IPM Institute of North America, an independent, non-profit organization that has been working in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) since 1998. The Institute has won a number of awards for its longstanding expertise in promoting pest control that protects the environment, health, and economics, including from US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). Learn more about the IPM Institute and organizations that support its efforts.
View a list of current pest management providers offering Green Shield Certified services by location.
If there is not a Green Shield Certified service offered in your area, ask your local pest control provider about becoming Green Shield Certified. Doing so lets local pest control companies know that their customers want less toxic, IPM services that are verified by an independent third-party.
You may also call Green Shield Certified at 1 888 GRN SHLD (1-888-457-7353) or email to see if a pest management provider in your area will be certified in the near future. We can ask them to contact you once they have become certified.
For Facility Managers or Pest Management Providers
Green Shield Certified evaluates and certifies both facilities and pest management providers. Certification requires a full-day, on-site evaluation of the facility or pest management provider. During the evaluation, an IPM specialist inspects the facility or pest management provider's business practices and records to determine if they meet Green Shield Certified standards. Pest management providers can choose to certify their entire business or a single service. Certification must be renewed annually, with an on-site re-evaluation required every three years.
After the evaluation, the pest management provider or facility will receive a detailed, confidential interim report which summarizes the results of the evaluation, including any areas that require improvement. Green Shield Certified will work with the pest management provider or facility to ensure that all improvements are satisfactorily addressed. Certification is awarded once all required minimum requirements and a score of at least 80% has been attained. Learn what promotion to expect after certification.
For pest management providers: Costs for certification start at $500 and run up to $2,000 per year depending on the size of the certified service operation. A fee of $1,000 plus travel is charged for pest management provider evaluations. Travel estimates will be provided upon request.
For providers with six or more locations managed centrally (including central technical direction, service protocol development, product selection, staff training and quality assurance), a custom proposal will include on-site evaluation of at least 20% of all locations. Costs will include travel to each location. For multiple locations managed independently, a separate evaluation and certification is required.
For facilities: Annual certification fees start at $500 per year depending on the size and number of facilities certified. A fee of $1,000 plus travel costs is required for facility evaluations. Travel estimates will be provided upon request.
For programs: Program costs for certification are $500 per year and $1,000 plus travel costs for the evaluation.
Renewals: To maintain both certifications, a brief annual update form must be returned each year, with an on-site re-evaluation (and fee) required every three years.
See our fee schedule for more information on costs for pest management providers, facilities and programs with one or more locations.
The time to complete the certification process can vary greatly and is usually dependent upon three factors:
- How well the pest management provider or facility has prepared for the evaluation.
- How closely the pest management provider or facility's practices match Green Shield Certified standards.
- How quickly the pest management provider or facility can work to address necessary improvements.
The process from the evaluation to final certification can fall anywhere from six weeks to six months plus, with the average at about four months.
Yes, provided that each location is managed directly from a central location (i.e. central technical direction, service protocol development, product selection, staff training and quality assurance). See our certification and evaluation guidelines for additional details and restrictions.Back to Top.
Yes. Your evaluation will remain completely confidential throughout the evaluation and certification process. Neither the evaluator, Green Shield Certified nor the IPM Institute will share your information with other companies. Your participation will only be announced with your permission after you have become certified.
1. Review the standards: View or download the Green Shield Certified standards online. We highly recommend reading them thoroughly and doing a self-evaluation by comparing your practices to the standards before scheduling an evaluation. Feel free to call 1 888 GRN SHLD (1-888-457-7353) or email for more information about certification.
2. Schedule your evaluation: Call 1 888 GRN SHLD (1-888-457-7353) to schedule an evaluation.
3. Prepare for the evaluation: To greatly improve the efficiency of the evaluation process, both pest management providers and facilities will need to prepare the required items (page 19 of the pest management provider standards, page 21 of the facility standards) before the evaluation. Pest management providers must also schedule the required one to two customer site visits in advance.
A certified, trained evaluator with experience in the pest management field and a professional background in IPM performs the evaluation. Evaluators may be consultants, educators or former pest management providers who do not have ties to specific companies. Learn more about our evaluators' credentials.
Less-toxic pesticides: In general, Green Shield Certified prohibits use of pesticides identified as known or possible carcinogens, reproductive or developmental toxins, cholinesterase inhibitors, endocrine disruptors, neurotoxins or that have high acute toxicity (e.g., "Warning" or "Danger" labeled products).” For a complete list of criteria as well as standing exceptions, see page 11 of the Green Shield Certified standards.
Reduced exposure applications: Approved products may only be applied per the reduced-exposure application methods sited on page 9 and 10. In general, approved application methods include residual-active pesticides to non-exposed surfaces, e.g., crack and crevice applications or bait stations. Fogging and regularly-scheduled (e.g., weekly or monthly) applications are not allowed.
Sample product list: Green Shield Certified does not have a published list of approved of products. Such a task would be both difficult and time-consuming due to the vast number of pesticides and the high frequency of chemical reformulations. Instead, we review the products you're currently using during your evaluation and in your interim provide a sample approved product list for your adoption with recommendations on effective alternatives for products that do not meet our standard. For assistance on developing an approved product list, please call Green Shield Certified at 1 888 GRN SHLD (1-888-457-7353) or email.
Green Shield Certified standards are modeled after the IPM Institute of North America's IPM STAR for schools program, which certifies schools that reduce pesticide use, toxicity and potential for exposure. IPM STAR has been honored with a number of awards by the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), including:
- 2008, 2005, 2004 Champion, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program
- 2005 Children's Environmental Health Recognition Award, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Children's Health Protection
- 2003 Environmental Protection Agency, Region V, Award of Recognition for Service to Schools in Wisconsin and Nationwide
The IPM Institute's Board of Directors, comprised of university professionals and researchers, make decisions and revisions to these standards. Green Shield Certified'sTechnical Advisory Committee of industry leaders reviews technical questions and advises the board, but has no decision-making power per best practices. Learn more about who we are, including other awards.