Integrated pest management may seem like kind of a boring topic, but it’s actually a very important concept to understand! It’s an environmentally friendly way to help control pests using common sense approaches that can benefit everyone. Here is an overview of the principles of integrated pest management and how you can benefit from it.
What Are the Principles of Integrated Pest Management?
It’s a good thing you asked because integrated pest management actually has quite different principles than more traditional pest control practices. Traditional pest control techniques rely on the application of pesticides on a regular basis – which may not be good for human health or the environment. Integrated pest management focuses on pest prevention through different means and uses only pesticides when it’s really warranted.
In integrated pest management, it is believed that pesticides may do more harm than good, which is why they are used judiciously. There are several non-chemical methods that can offer the same results in pest control as chemicals, and they’re better for the environment.
Integrated pest control is not just one method of controlling pests – it actually integrates several ways to control them through:
- Inspecting a property for infestation
- Monitoring the property regularly for infestation
- Reporting infestations
How to Monitor for Pests
One of the keys to integrated pest management is to be very aware of the environment in order to identify pests early. Also, utilizing the best preventative measures possible helps to reduce the use of pesticides.
You need to identify what pest is the problem to ensure that the good organisms that benefit the environment aren’t eliminated along with the bad ones. Monitoring for pests requires:
- Keeping and maintaining records for your home that detail what techniques are being used to monitor, what areas are being monitored and how often they are being inspected.
- All results from monitoring and inspection are recorded.
The techniques used for monitoring include:
- Pest populations
- How effective prevention and control have been
- Areas that are most vulnerable to infestations
Utilizing Action Thresholds
Integrated pest management also includes setting action thresholds for the pest issues. This puts the infestation into three categories: nuisance, health hazard or economic threat. When an action threshold is set it can help you to make better decisions about the lengths you need to go to in order to rid your home of pests. In other words, it’ll let you know when you need to bring in the heavy hitters.
Of course, one of the main goals of integrated pest management is the prevention of pests. This technique focuses on:
- Reduction of clutter
- Weatherizing buildings to prevent pest from entering
- Removing overgrown vegetation and trash
- Keeping dining areas and areas storing food clean
- Making sure pest barriers are installed
- Getting rid of standing water
The overall goal of integrated pest management is to control pests. If the action thresholds are exceeded then this plan utilizes low-risk options of pest control such as:
- Cold/heat treatment
- Removal of pests
- Pesticide application
This is how you can ensure that the pests will be taken care of while still keeping everyone in your home safe.
The goal of integrated pest control is health – for everyone. Children in the United States especially face risks to their health due to pest infestations along with the pesticides used to treat them. Finding a way to address pests without the overuse of pesticides is paramount.
There’s more to integrated pest management than just the environmental benefits in and around you home, there are health benefits as well. When you reduce pests through an integrated pest management strategy you are improving the problems many children have with allergies and asthma brought on by:
- Dust mites
The debris in the air from these pests in homes can make medical conditions such as asthma much worse. Integrated pest management has been shown as an effective means of controlling the allergens that are dangerous to everyone’s health, especially children.
What About the Cost?
One of the biggest benefits to integrated pest control is the savings. When you use this method to control and eliminate pests then you will inevitably reduce the need to be so diligent about staying on top of pest infestations. This means less time investment over the long haul. It also has the pleasant side effect of making buildings more efficient, which is a great way to save money.
If you have questions about integrated pest management contact the pros at GreenArmy today!