Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management. IPM programs combine information about pest life cycles and how they interact with the environment, with available pest control methods to manage pests and minimize damage caused by pests. Integrated Pest Management is the most economical means to manage pests with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.
A successful IPM program consists of a partnership between you and your licensed pest professional. Working together, you can have the peace of mind that your home or facility is protected against pests. An IPM approach can be broken down into three basic steps:
Inspection of the area
Identification of any existing pest problems
Once pest problems have been identified and trouble spots located, it is best to implement IPM techniques and practices to resolve current pest problems and prevent future pest activity. Specific IPM actions include:
Judiciously applying chemicals
Implementing mechanical controls such as trapping or weeding
Excluding pests by performing structural repair and maintenance (sealing gaps around plumbing, wall outlets and switch plates; caulking cracks and gaps in and around the property, etc.)
Modifying behavior to prevent insect and rodent problems (properly storing garbage containers, vacuuming, and sweeping floors and furniture frequently, moving wood away from the house, etc.)
Before you begin your search for a pest control company in your area who practices Integrated Pest Management, make sure you understand what IPM is. Remember you are looking for a comprehensive solution to your pest problem that includes inspection, identification, and treatment.
Tips for finding a pest professional who practices IPM
Contact neighboring businesses or schools for recommendations.
Make phone calls to local pest professionals to find out if they practice IPM. ( Make sure their program is consistent with the description on this website.)
Solicit bids from several pest control companies.
Take your time making a decision. Remember: you are paying for this service, so contact a company you can trust.
Before you sign a contract, be sure you fully understand the nature of the pest, the extent of the infestation and the work necessary to resolve the problem. Also make sure your pest control company of choice has liability insurance to cover any damages that might be incurred during treatment and find out what guarantees are given, what they cover and how long they last.