What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)?

Mouse - Integrated Pest Management

Pests and wildlife are just like us – we’re all in need of food and shelter.  But that doesn’t mean we’re all supposed to be living under one roof, right? Of course not! To help keep Termiguard Services out in front of the rest of the pest control industry, we try to educate homeowners on good practices of IPM, or Integrated Pest Management.

What is Integrated Pest Management?

IPM, or Integrated Pest Management, is a pest control strategy that keeps insects and wildlife separate from you and your home or building. The goal is to proactively stop pests before they invade, instead of waiting until a problem arises before taking any kind of action.

Hmm, sounds like common sense, doesn’t it?

Well in fact, a successful IPM plan consists of just that! It’s a blend of some common sense and old fashion concepts and practices – getting back to the way things used to be when home service providers and homeowners worked together toward a common goal – normally something along the lines of a happy, healthy, pest-free home.

Sound like something you could be interested in?

The 4 Steps to Effective Integrated Pest Management

Step 1: Pest Inspection

A thorough pest inspection is important for several reasons. Generally, it’s used to identify any present pests, a.k.a. infestations. An inspection is also beneficial to help determine other issues the home or property could be suffering from that could promote an infestation or pest problem in the future – for example, a home currently facing an issue with water intrusion is much more likely to face a termite problem in the near future. So wouldn’t it be great to have a pest control professional who’s trained in other areas and who has the ability to look out for warning signs? 

Inspections are an important part of prevention, and you should have at least 1 general pest inspection per year.

Step 2: Identification of Pests

You’ll want to know what kinds of pests you’re dealing with before you work towards a treatment plan. Think of it this way: You’re doctor wouldn’t recommend medication without first diagnosing the illness, right? Your pest control professional should look to identify pests so they are able to know the right course of action, or treatment. Even if those “buggers” just aren’t visible, a pest professional should always look for signs that say “pests are here”. Depending on what your pest control professional finds should be able to tell him or her a few things, like:

  • The kind of pest you’re dealing with
  • The unique characteristics of their biology and ecology
  • And, what treatment will best fit your pest situation

Step 3: Treatment

Treatment options vary from proactive to reactive, but are normally based on a set of steps you and your pest control professional take together to prevent infestations from occurring. It’s also the more obvious – targeted and effective applications of pest products that control existing problems.

For the most part, steps 1 through 3 will be managed by your pest control professional, however they should always keep you in the loop with any findings and should always discuss treatment options.

But it’s not all left to them. A pest-free home is your responsibility too!

As a home or property owner you also play a big role in exercising good practices of IPM – in fact, a lot of your responsibility is maintaining the upkeep of your home through preventative measures. Most would agree prevention is often times one of the most important factors to a lot of things – a pest-free home being one of them!

Step 4: Prevention

Here are some measures you can take – inside and outside your home (or building) – all on your own to help prevent pests of all shapes and sizes from getting in:

  • Check and repair leaky pipes. Insects are attracted to moisture!
  • Seal cracks or holes around pipes and wiring. Rodents can squeeze through a hole the size of a nickel!
  • Keep food in sealed containers.
  • Wipe kitchen counters to avoid food crumbs from building up. If you don’t, you’ll just be leaving out the welcome mat for ants!
  • Leave out pet food only during meal times. Again, the ants will come if you don’t!
  • Vacuum carpets and floors regularly
  • Keep the perimeter of the outside of your home clear of places for pests to hide. Get rid of all that old “junk”! Termites, spiders, and even rodents like dark places to hide.
  • Trim shrubs and trees away from the house. Overhanging branches on your roof line give animals like squirrels, mice and racoons easy access to any vulnerable entry points
  • Keep firewood and mulch away from your home’s foundation – don’t give termites an excuse to begin their munching!
  • Clear gutters & downspouts, and make sure to channel the water away from your home – water that pools right next to your home’s foundation is bad news bears!
  • Keep standing water free from your yard. Like I said, insects are attracted to water and moisture, rodents and wildlife too!

Time to Decide on Integrated Pest Management

Are you going to let your home be the next pest motel, or are you going to start practicing a little bit of IPM?

I’d go for option 2. You’ll give yourself the peace-of-mind you deserve knowing your doing your part to help protect your home, all while reducing the likelihood of a pest infestation!

If you think you could have a pest issue on your hands or are in need of a new pest control program and want more options, contact us TODAY! We’re ready and standing by!