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What is Integrated Pest Management?

Integrated Pest Management or IPM, is an environmentally friendly approach to managing any pests.  For the last 30 to 40 years, ever since widespread use of harmful pesticides has been regulated or banned, a new approach has been gaining strides in the way pests are managed.  IPM is not just for commercial farmers all around the world as it was first developed for.  It is being adopted by many green pest control companies as awareness continues to be raised on the ever expanding carbon footprint we leave.

The Principles of IPM

Ecologists and entomologists have been studying and developing this system of pest management for decades.  They have come up with guiding principles that are effective in any environment, urban, rural, agricultural, international, etc.  The following components are based on the foundational importance of control and not eradication and always using the least invasive approach first.  

  • Monitoring and record keeping to have the big picture in mind.  Are there more rodents around due to a lesser population of predators?  Is there anything in the environment that could be affecting the pest population?
  • Cultural practices that can prevent pest problems: the way we dispose of refuse and the places food is prepared
  • Mechanical controls: traps, barriers, and physical removal
  • Biological controls: natural substances found from plants, fungi and herbs repel pests and increase natural predation of the pests
  • Responsible use of synthetic pesticides: used only as needed and in limited quantities

Homeopathic Version of Pest Control

Integrated pest management can be related to the way many people like to homeopathically treat illnesses and ailments.  For example, if your hands ache from arthritis, instead of taking a strong prescription drug first, homeopathic creams can be used to ease the pain and swelling.  The person can rest their hands with a warm or cool compress to relieve the pain.  It is starting with the least invasive method first.  

Long Term Goals Effectively Reached

IPM is highly recommended for long term pest control management.  By keeping a bigger picture in mind, it becomes easier to maintain a healthier balance in the ecosystem that your home, business or farm resides in.  It allows for a drastic reduction in the millions of pounds of toxic pesticides that are used annually.  Once pests are properly identified, the approach can be targeted to affect that particular pest and hopefully avoid affecting natural predators like lady bugs and green lacewings.

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