Integrated Pest Management: A More Strategic Pest Control Plan
Integrated pest management is an effective way to take care of those pesky little critters that wreak havoc in your home, yard, business, crops, etc. without having to rely heavily on harmful pesticides. The IPM approach involves utilizing knowledge and evaluation combined with various tactics to regulate infestations in the least hazardous and economical way possible. This is a method that can be applied successfully to most any situation that calls for pest control. Though each pest management professional may vary slightly in their practice of IPM, the fundamentals of the strategy remain the same.
Proper identification is one of the most important steps of any pest control plan. Pests differ in their habits, life cycles, purposes and vulnerability to treatment, making it crucial that information is gathered on the species you’re dealing with before implementing a method for elimination. Without adequate knowledge, there’s a good chance you could execute the wrong type of plan, which can result in killing insects that are actually beneficial, using toxic pesticides unnecessarily and putting your property at risk for a worsening pest condition.
Monitoring, or sampling, the situation allows for data to be collected on the seriousness of the infestation (if there’s an infestation at all). It’s significant to know which areas of the building and/or property have been affected or damaged, if the problem is spreading, whether this is a new outbreak of pests or a recurring one, etc. Monitoring also allows the IPM professional to establish an action threshold and determine if there is an actual need for pest control.
Take Preventative Action
Prevention is key in all IPM programs. Before applying any treatment, current conditions of the property must be assessed and addressed in an effort to take the appropriate actions to prevent a growing or future infestation. Seal entrances where pests can enter a building, maintain nearby water sources, clean out drainage pipes and gutters, minimize clutter, landscape upkeep and crop cultivation are all steps that will help to make your property less attractive to bothersome creatures and steer them in the opposite direction.
Once it is deemed that a pest control plan is required, it’s time to select the best method for management and put it into effect. IPM utilizes a variety of tactics depending on the situation. These can include biological control (using non-toxic pesticides or beneficial insects), chemical control (a lower-risk pesticide) or physical and cultural controls (crop rotation, irrigation scheduling, etc.).
The last step in integrated pest management is to re-evaluate the conditions to ensure the desired results have been achieved. This is important in keeping recurring pest problems at bay and for handling any future ones that may arise.
Following the steps of IPM is a more efficient and practical way to get rid of pest infestations. If handled correctly, pest control doesn’t have to be a major disruption or health risk to your life.
About the Author: Tiffany Olson is a full-time blogger from California. She enjoys writing about home related topics and sharing information via guest blogging and social platforms. Some of her hobbies include cooking, traveling, and reading.
February 12, 2014 at 10:58 pm