What is Integrated Pest Management? And How It Can Benefit You
Maybe you’ve already heard about Integrated Pest Management (aka IPM), or maybe it’s an entirely new concept to you—either way, we’re going to help you better understand how exactly IPM can benefit you, your family, and pets. So what’s the deal with this newer, supposedly smarter approach to pest control? We have your answers below.
WHAT IS IPM?
There are countless definitions floating around the internet, but this info from the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources seems to get it just right:
Integrated pest management, or IPM, is a process you can use to solve pest problems while minimizing risks to people and the environment. IPM can be used to manage all kinds of pests anywhere—in urban, agricultural, and wildland, or natural areas. IPM is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage
HOW IPM WORKS
After years of saturating our crops, lawns, homes, families, and pets with notoriously harmful chemicals, we now know there are safer, more effective ways to control pests, prevent their damage, and avoid bites. In fact, many traditional approaches have proven unsustainable, affecting not only the health of our families and pets but also the health of our lawns, ultimately resulting in even larger, hardier pest populations around the home.
In short, Integrated Pest Management is about taking proactive steps to prevent or mitigate pests before they can become a serious issue. But don’t worry, even if you’re currently struggling with a heavy, ongoing bug problem, IPM is still an excellent option for you.
You may be wondering, “What exactly do you mean by “proactive steps?” It might sound technical, but don’t worry it’s quite simple. It essentially comes down to three main components: prevention, monitoring, and family-safe pest control maintenance. Read on for the specifics.
HOW TO GET STARTED
Here’s how to start incorporating Integrated Pest Management to protect your family, pets, home, and lawn from bugs, their bites and damage.PREVENTION
When it comes to personal pest prevention, your focus will be on making your lawn and home unappetizing and inaccessible to insects and other damaging pests. Arguably the most important step is to remove potential hideouts, food, and water sources. Below are some guidelines to get you started.
- Clutter is your enemy—any unnecessary clutter both indoors and in your lawn needs to go, and fast. Whether it’s stacks of old newspapers, piles of laundry, or general messiness inside your home, or unused equipment, brush, or tall grass in your lawn, pests will use these spaces to hide and thrive.
- Lawn maintenance is vital. Regularly mow, weed-eat, trim shrubbery and hedges to remove potential breeding and hiding spots.
- Nothing attracts bugs like excess moisture, especially outdoors. If your home or lawn readily provides access to standing water, such as via poor drainage, clogged gutters, poorly maintained bird baths or pools, leaky hoses, faucets, drink spills, or water-filled dishes in the sink, you’re going to struggle with constant pest problems. Remove or address these water sources ASAP.
- It’s all about cleanliness. If your flooring, sinks, or countertops regularly offer crumbs and food residues, we promise you the bugs will come. It’s crucial to keep these spaces and all food storage areas free of edible debris. For best results, keep all your food items sealed in tightly closed containers or baggies. For similar reasons, take out your trash and recycling often and periodically clean the bins to keep them clear of potential food sources.
- Block their entry. Bugs and other pests enter our homes via cracks or holes in foundations, walling, screens, doorways, and windows. Do a thorough check both inside and outside your home looking for potential entrances. Repair or replace any broken screens or seals you notice, and use caulk or another appropriate material to fill any cracks or holes you discover, too. Similarly, many bugs such as ticks are introduced into our lawns via wildlife like deer. In these instances, installing fencing or other wildlife deterrents is strongly recommended.
- Team up with nature and install bug-repelling plants inside or outside your home to naturally limit bug populations. Click here to learn more.
- Consider replacing standard mercury vapor lights outside doors and windows with halogen lights. This will really help cut down on those nightly flying insects and the additional predatory pests they attract.
Periodically checking your home, lawn, and pets for bug problems is an important element of Integrated Pest Management, and can save you and your family tons of pain and money in the long run. This will allow you to gauge the extent of your pest issue as well as help identify the exact pest you’re dealing with, which will ultimately determine your pest control approach.
If you need help diagnosing a pest issue or unknown bug bites, give us a call at 800-842-1464 or chat us on our website.PEST CONTROL MAINTENANCE
Prevention is always the best form of pest control, which is why periodically treating your lawn, home, and pets with family-safe pest control products can save you tons of time, money, and headache. It’s simple: the longer a bug problem persists, the more difficult and costly it becomes.FOR OUTSIDE:
Old school lawn chemicals are scary, dangerous things. They not only wreck the natural ecosystems that keep your lawn healthy, including pollinators like bees and butterflies, but their toxic ingredients almost always find their way into the home. And when you compromise the health of your lawn with chemical-based pesticides, you're only making it more vulnerable in the long run to pests now immune to traditional approaches.
Instead, spray your entire lawn and all shrubbery with family and pet-safe PCO Choice monthly to help kill and repel bugs in all life stages. For warmer regions, this should be done monthly until the temperatures consistently drop below freezing for more than a few weeks. If you live in a colder climate, start spraying monthly in late February and then taper off in November as winter sets in.
Unlike the gross, toxic sprays, there’s no downtime required with PCO Choice, meaning you and your pets can safely enjoy your yard immediately after application.
For additional pest protection, spread single-ingredient Cedar Granules throughout your lawn and garden, especially along your home’s foundation and the areas with the most pest traffic.
The next time you reach for a bottle of bug spray to kill pests indoors, consider the ramifications. Old school, chemical-based bug sprays have been linked with a laundry list of side effects, including brain damage in children, canine cancers, and infertility, dementia, and several cancers in adults.
Family-safe Cedarcide All-Purpose Bug Spray is a non-toxic insecticide that won't expose your family or pets to harmful chemicals, or pollute your home’s air quality. Whenever you see unwelcome bugs inside your home, deliver a quick spray for instant results. To protect your family and pets from bug bites, apply before outdoor activities in potentially bug-infested areas.
To help prevent pests from moving indoors in the first place, spray common trouble spots and known entry points weekly with Cedarcide All-Purpose Bug Spray.