What is Integrated Pest Management?
If you’ve experienced pests invading your property, you know why people call these animals “pests.” For instance, mice and roaches are really annoying. Also, they bring serious health issues.
Some pests can injure and/or infect humans and other animals. They can also destroy your plants, structures, and belongings.
It’s been a common practice to use chemicals to remove them right away.
Today, we know a better way: Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
What is IPM?
Traditional methods of pest control have included using artificial chemicals. But, they bring danger to people, animals, and the environment.
Nowadays, you can practice IPM. It is safe and will save you time and money.
IPM involves an “integrated” plan of action. It’s about being proactive and taking preventive steps. These include carefully checking pest damage. Also, it shall help decide which best treatment to use.
As the name suggests, Integrated Pest Management employs various techniques. This includes biological control agents and physical barriers.
Biological controls include mites that consume crop pests, or wasps that become exploitive to the greenhouse whitefly. Meanwhile, physical barriers include netting over fruits and screens in greenhouses.
It’s not really just about going all-natural. You may even use artificial solutions. Just go for more eco-friendly options. For best results, use a pesticide specific to the pest. Also, use the one that’s suited to the particular life stage of the pest.
IPM combines common knowledge and science. This creates the best methods of pest control.
The strategy follows a sensible and socially bearable model. Note that this model avoids simply killing the pests. Instead, it focuses more on keeping pests at bay and a population size you find tolerable.
Key concepts for IPM include:
- Sustainable solutions that will work in the longterm
- Proactive prevention, like screens, door sweeps, and sanitary conditions
- Identifying and monitoring pest triggers
- A mix of tactics, like traps, removal, and chemicals (when necessary)
Why not just pesticides?
Pests tend to develop resistance to chemicals. This happens when these chemicals are often used to kill pests. In time, these chemicals become futile in pest control. This is more likely to happen with artificial chemicals.
Moreover, some pests may survive simply because the chemicals are not applied correctly. Or when they are washed off or unable to cover enough area.
In other words, be mindful and thorough when you use chemicals. Always read and follow the instructions to ensure you are using them the right way.
How does IPM work?
IPM requires opening your mind and putting thought into how you control pests.
You may think you need to start from scratch. But, if you’ve assessed the pest damage and decided which action to take, you’ve already done some of the work.
Below is a list of what you need to begin practicing IPM:
- Locate the pest’s home or nest
- Identify the pest’s physical traits
- Learn and identify the pest’s physical traits to better control them
- Remove the tempting items, like food or water
- Monitor the pest’s activity and adjust your techniques
- Analyze the pest’s habits, lifecycle, likes and dislikes
- Employ the least toxic methods, including pesticides
- Tolerate harmless pests
- Set a boundary and decide when it’s time to act
Why Practice IPM?
In the past, you might have believed the ads that promote the “kill ’em all” philosophy of pest control.
However, this is not really true. Some pests can’t just be taken out the easy way. Some of these pests are termites, fleas, and bedbugs.
Also, if you care for the environment and other living things, you’ll want to practice IPM.
We are happy to provide reasons why you should.
It protects the ecosystem
An ecosystem is a community of living organisms. They are interconnected through nutrient cycles and energy flows. Every organism affects every other organism in the system. Every organism plays a role in the ecosystem that helps maintains its balance.
When you introduce or remove something from the ecosystem, you upset its delicate balance. This often comes with unpredictable effects.
Please note that while pesticides directly kill pests, they indirectly affect other insects. Also, there might be more species that get affected after that.
- It protects the environment
We know chemicals alter the environment and can harm living beings. But we still have much to learn about their effects.
Every year, we hear of more cases of environmental damage, contaminated groundwater, and cancer-causing pesticides.
Common sense tells us that it’s best practice to use natural over artificial solutions. But due to several factors, we settle for the artificial ones instead. So, if you choose to use chemicals, simply use them strategically.
Protect your finances
IPM is very economical. It avoids costly treatments and potentially dangerous pesticides.
Treatment is provided after a careful and thorough assessment. So, it provides assurance that you are using the most proper treatment. Also, it means you are not wasting money on ineffective solutions.
One of the main principles of IPM is about getting to the root of the problem, rather than throwing chemicals at the symptoms. This offers more practicality and ensures more effectivity.
For instance, if you had a dying tree, you would want to know why it was dying before you started chopping off its branches!
It protects your reputation
A company that practices IPM relies on strategy and prevention, rather than blasting pesticides with dubious effects.
As a business owner, it is important to understand your pest situation. It will help you deal with the problem properly. Also, it will serve you well. You will know how not be in this situation again in the future. It is a protection not only for you and your business but also for your employees and customers.
IPM invites you to know and understand your pest’s biology and behavior.
Consumers who care deeply about the effects of pesticides on the environment, their families, and their communities might negatively affect your business. Why not be proactive?
It is valuable whether you are a homeowner, a food producer, a pest control professional, or contractor, or practicing integrated pest management. If you’re a business owner, it can ease your and your customers’ minds. Your business can set an example for others when it comes to best practices in pest control.
Remember that practicing IPM can give you the edge when controlling pests.
You are on a mission to protect your home or your property from pest. You know you need the help of a professional pest control company. Obviously, you want to get the most out of what you can afford, right?
The main goal of pest control is to protect, prevent pests from your property. Or to remove them, in worse cases like an infestation.
But what if you can also achieve this goal and at the same time do other things? Let’s say, protect the environment. Also, what if you can minimize the harmful effects? Like, spare other creatures that could get affected by the harmful chemicals?
Would you consider that process?
That’s what Integrated Pest Management can do for you. It’s not really hard to do which makes it the best measure against pest protection.