Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an environmentally friendly, common sense approach to controlling pests. The IPM principles and benefits described below apply to any type of structure and landscaping.
Principles of IPM
Traditional pest control involves the routine application of pesticides. Whereas IPM, focuses on pest prevention and Uses pesticides only as needed.
This provides a more effective, environmentally sensitive approach.
IPM programs take advantage of all appropriate pest management strategies, including the judicious use of pesticides. Preventive pesticide application is limited because the risk of pesticide exposure may outweigh the benefits of control, especially when non-chemical methods provide the same results.
IPM is not a single pest control method but rather involves integrating multiple control methods based on site information obtained through inspection, monitoring and reports.
Consequently, every IPM program is designed based on the pest prevention goals and eradication needs of the situation. Successful IPM programs use this four-tiered implementation approach.
Tier 1, Identify Pests and Monitor Progress
Correct pest identification is required to:
- Determine the best preventive measures.
- Reduce the unnecessary use of pesticides.
Additionally, correct identification will prevent the elimination of beneficial organisms. When monitoring for pests:
- Maintain records for each building detailing:
- monitoring techniques;
- location; and
- inspection schedule.
- Record monitoring results and inspection findings, including recommendations.
Many monitoring techniques are available and often vary according to the pest. Successful IPM programs routinely monitor:
- pest populations;
- areas vulnerable to pests; and
- the efficacy of prevention and control methods.
IPM plans should be updated in response to monitoring results.
Tier 2, Set Action Thresholds
An action threshold is the pest population level at which the pest’s presence is a:
- health hazard; or
- economic threat.
Setting an action threshold is critical to guiding pest control decisions. A defined threshold will focus the size, scope, and intensity of an IPM plan.
Tier 3, Prevent Pests
IPM focuses on prevention by removing conditions that attract pests, such as food, water, and shelter. Preventive actions include:
- Reducing clutter.
- Sealing areas where pests enter the building (weatherization).
- Removing trash and overgrown vegetation.
- Maintaining clean dining and food storage areas.
- Installing pest barriers.
- Removing standing water.
- Educating building occupants on IPM.
Tier, 4 Control Pests
Pest control is required if action thresholds are exceeded. IPM programs use the most effective, lowest risk options considering the risks to the applicator, building occupants, and environment. Control methods include:
- Pest trapping.
- Heat/cold treatment.
- Physical removal.
- Pesticide application.
Documenting pest control actions is critical in evaluating success and should include:
- An on-site record of each pest control service, including all pesticide applications, in a searchable, organized system.
- Evidence that non-chemical control methods were considered and implemented.
- Recommendations for preventing future pest problems.
IPM is an effective and environmentally-sensitive approach that offers a wide variety of tools to reduce contact with pests and exposure to pesticides. When choosing a pest control program, consider the Integrated Pest Management Specialist at Stormin’ Norman Termite and Pest Control for all your pest control needs.