Enjoying the outdoors can bring plenty of great memories, but certain pests make it hard to truly take in those moments. Treating a yard for mosquitoes, ticks and fleas with certain pesticide solutions can be expensive and cause harm to the environment, humans and animals.
After searching for an environmentally-friendly solution to keep the pests out of her yard, Benesafe Solutions CEO Esther Salata leveraged her degree in environmental science to create her own yard spray – and named it after her dog, Benny. As a women- and minority-owned business, she created a plant-based yard and garden spray that kills and repels against pests, while also protecting loved ones and the nature around them.
The business launched in November 2020, and the locally-produced product met environmental protection agency standards in May 2021.
“When we had the idea, we talked to other people in business about it and they were like, ‘You need to do this.’ so I gave it 100%,” said Salata. “I took the whole fall and winter to network because that’s the only way people know who you are as a small business.”
When COVID hit, Salata was spending more time with friends outside due to state restrictions. She found that mosquitoes were eating her and Benny alive. Trying many methods such as thermacells, candles, sprays, and wearing long sleeves and long pants on 90 degree days helped but didn’t solve the problem completely.
“Watching my dog eat grass and roll around in our yard, I could not get myself to buy a product with warning labels and ingredients that I could not pronounce,” said Salata. “Those products could potentially harm him, my family, and wildlife around my house so I decided to create a safer solution.”
The product consists of only four main all-natural ingredients, cedarwood oil, citronella oil, soap, and water. The cedarwood and citronella oils are the solution’s main components, combining to help to kill and repel pests, especially mosquitoes.
Benesafe can be found in 14 stores, six in Ohio, including Groovy Plants Ranch and several Ace Hardware locations, and eight in Pennsylvania. Benesafe has attracted many DIY residential customers, and the spray is actively being used by a landscaping company.
“Coming from a science background, we want to make sure we do this the right way,” Salata said.“We have gotten positive feedback from our customers and they go on to say that our products also help with spiders and ants around the outside of the house.
Lawn care treatments can take hours to days to saturate a yard, not to mention the harsh chemicals that can affect families and the wildlife around them. Benesafe provides an eco-friendly, affordable yard treatment that allows pets and families to remain safe from not only pests, but harsh chemicals as well.
“It’s not going to cause harm to your kid or your baby that rolls in your grass after you spray it,” Salata said. “There is a time that we say on the directions to wait until it’s evaporated before you let your dog out, so 30 minutes, which is not too long.”
Down the line, Benesafe plans to expand their product line. Salata has her sights set on making indoor products, along with a solution to put on pets like Benny for extra protection.
Salata takes the job of pup parent very seriously, and is using her business to give back to various environmental and animal-friendly organizations.
“We do have an impact-driven component of our business website,” said Salata. “If you buy online we have a tip jar. That money goes to different environmental sustainability animal welfare organizations and right now it’s Mercy for Satos, which is Benny’s rescue.”
Salata has been showing compassion for the environment and creatures her entire life. With an environmental science degree, she plans to continue her growth as a business owner, leaving her mark on others who care about the environment as much as she does.
“I hope to use my position as a business owner of this company to empower other women to do something similar because there needs to be more representation,” Salata says. “My personal mission has always been from a young age to make the world a better place and I know that sounds so cliche. I think this product is my contribution to making the world more sustainable which is something I’m passionate about.”
For more information, visit benesafesolutions.com.