Green Pest Control: The Benefits of IPM
Green pest control, organic pest control, integrated pest management. You’ve probably heard these terms tossed around nowadays by pest control professionals, but what exactly do they all mean? Essentially, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a partnership between you, the homeowner and your pest control professional. It takes a common sense, holistic approach, rather than relying on pesticides alone.
Okay… but how is IPM different from the old ways?
In the past, the main approach to pest control was “see it, spray it.” Critter infestations were usually treated once the pests were actually seen, and pesticides and other toxic chemicals were the most popular forms of treatment. Prior to the founding of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, many people believed the notion that “if a little bit is good, more must be better,” so they over-sprayed chemicals in the hopes of exterminating pests.
So why is IPM better?
Most of us are aware that incorrectly-applied pesticides can potentially harm your family’s health, but they’re also not always the most effective option for getting rid of pests. Many people have a professional come spray for bugs, only to see the bugs return days later. Now what? That’s where IPM can help.
Alright, I’m listening. But how exactly does IPM work?
IPM focuses on three basic steps: 1) inspection, 2) identification, and 3) treatment. It also partners with the homeowner, rather than just relying on the pest control professional. So, instead of just “see it, spray it,” your pest control approach becomes a proactive process, taking into account the source of the pests, and any factors that could be exacerbating the issue. With IPM, your pest control professional will work with you to identify your home’s vulnerabilities and the conditions that can cause an infestation. Then they will make recommendations and outline a plan for treatment.
Sounds cool! Can I practice IPM on my own?
Of course! As a homeowner, here are some of the things you can do proactively:
- Repair any leaky pipes, especially in areas under sinks where pests can often go unnoticed.
- Seal up cracks and holes around pipes and wiring.
- Keep all foods in sealed containers, including pet food.
- Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house.
- Eliminate sources of moisture or standing water outside.
- Wipe counters, floors and other surfaces frequently.
- Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
- Vacuum regularly.
It’s important to know that these methods won’t always keep the pests away, so sometimes pesticides are still necessary. IPM isn’t about eliminating the use of pesticides or being 100% organic, but identifying weak spots and recognizing there are other long term strategies and fixes that could be more effective.
If you have any questions or a pest issue you need help with, feel free to give Graduate Pest Solutions a call. We’ll utilize IPM and work with you to craft some pest solutions for your home.