Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an approach that seeks to effectively manage pest populations while having the least impact on the environment and human health. The process involves combining various pest control strategies to produce the most optimal, but safest, pest control programs tailored to each situation. Essentially, IPM prioritizes natural and administrative controls over the use of chemical methods where applicable. The pest populations’ level of severity acts to define each program’s preventative or control measures.
The IPM approach consists of these 6 elements:
- Prevention: The best way to deal with pest problems is to prevent them before they get out of hand. This step consists of setting up preventative measures that can reduce the chance of an infestation. Measures can include fixing water leaks, ensuring no trees or shrubs are touching your house, sealing potential points of entry, etc.
- Identification: Understanding your environment and the type of pest that inhabit it is crucial for identifying the best course of action and techniques for pest control. Once we identify the pest problem, we learn their behavior and life cycle. Each type of pest requires a specific treatment plan that prevents future infestations and doesn’t harm the surrounding environment or non target pests and wildlife.
- Monitoring: The next step in the process is to monitor pest populations, and environmental conditions that may cause problems. This phase helps us to collect data and provides us with the information needed to make future decisions about treatment. We achieve this through regular inspections.
- Action Threshold: This step is different for each type of pest. It helps us identify when the timing is right for control and how much damage can the surrounding environment sustain from the pest control measures. We look at different factors such as the extent of damage, sanitation issues that are being adversely affected, and impacts on human health, etc.
- Management Options: Multiple control methods may be needed to eliminate an infestation or pest problem. This step is usually left to the technician to decide. Potential control methods can include; pesticides, biological control agents, physical methods, and cultural preventative methods.
- Evaluation: Once all the steps have been completed, and the necessary actions have been implemented. We then conduct follow-up monitoring inspections to measure the effectiveness of the chosen method. This allows us to evaluate how effective the pest control was, record what worked and what didn’t and tells us if adjustments are necessary to eliminate the problem. We can take this information to help us make informed decisions for future pest prevention and management.
At 1st Pest Control, the Integrated Pest Management approach is an integral component of our pest control services. We strive to incorporate environmentally-friendly treatment strategies, where possible, that will address your pest problem safely and effectively.