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INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT
"Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a decision making process that anticipates and prevents pest activity and infestation by combining several strategies to achieve long term solutions. Components of an IPM program may include education, proper waste management, structural repair, maintenance, biological and mechanical control techniques, and pesticide application", According to the National Pest Management Association Urban IPM Handbook.
Integrated Pest Management Changes Pest Control. We know that our job is to protect the environment and yet control troublesome pests in and around your home. That’s why we’ve adopted many methods of pest control service. We believe this is a very intelligent approach to a complex problem. We call it Integrated Pest Management or IPM. IPM puts together many pest control practices, which prevent, suppress and eliminate pest problems. These include physical, sanitation, mechanical and chemical methods. Our IPM techniques eliminate the requirements that support an insect population: food, shelter, and water. In fact, removing just one of the requirements can disrupt the balance and help control pests. That’s where the term “integrated” comes in. It integrates many pest control methods into one service. In order to protect the environment and your home at the same time, we may not use as much chemical as we used to. And we may be inspecting and monitoring more. In addition, we may ask that you help by disrupting the needs of the insects by removing harborages (sealing cracks and crevices), food (cleaning in “hidden” areas) and water (removing sources of moisture).
Although IPM has become a popular term, especially with the public and media, it is really a return to the way people have successfully managed pests throughout history. Cultural wisdom tells us we must discover a pest, identify it, find out where and how widespread its population is, then deny that population access to food, water, and harborage; then catch, trap or somehow kill off some of the pests, if we want to bring pest numbers down to acceptable levels. Today, IPM means using two or more of those same steps of surveys, identification, sanitation, exclusion, physical methods (like trapping, swatting, glue boards, vacuuming, etc.), and when needed, resorting to chemicals (as baits, attractants, repellents, growth regulators, etc.). Science has given us a wide range of excellent pest management tools along with more knowledge about the pests themselves. That gives our pest control professionals a lot of choices. We will plan an IPM Program that is the most effective, specific for you and the environment. Our IPM approach involves a lot more surveys, uses a lot less chemicals, and requires you, the customer, to do your part through good sanitation, fixing leaks, fixing structural problems, and telling us what you see when we’re not there. It’s a partnership. Neither you, nor we, can possibly solve any pest problem for very long without our partner’s help.
Our Five Step IPM Program
1.) INSPECTION AND IDENTIFICATION Thorough inspections reveal pest harborages and correct identification provides the basis for the development of the most effective pest management strategies. Threshold levels are established for each pest so unnecessary control measures are eliminated. Our report clearly identifies pests observed, harborages and conducive conditions.
2.) PREVENTION Educated service technicians and homeowners can prevent further infestations by improving sanitation, repairing structures and sealing off pest entry paths from outdoors. Our report lists any structural and housekeeping deficiencies and recommendations.
3.) MONITORING Careful monitoring of pest activity detects population increases or decreases, as well as previously undiscovered food sources and travel paths. We use glue boards and pheromone traps to help with the inspection of pests that may enter the structure. When threshold levels are exceeded control measures are increased.
4.) CONTROL Appropriate mechanical traps, baits, biological controls, physical barriers or pesticide treatments are used to control pest populations both indoors and out. The outside perimeter and harborage sites are treated to help keep pest populations low. Our optional report lists all actions, mechanical, chemical or otherwise, taken by the technician.
5.) EVALUATION The technician and the homeowner evaluate the program's effectiveness and make adjustments to the program if needed.
More on Integrated Pest ManagementAccording to Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE), a trade group representing the specialty chemicals industry, "IPM is a system of controlling pests in which pests are identified, action thresholds are considered, all possible control options are evaluated and selected controls are implemented. Control options - which include biological, chemical, cultural, manual and mechanical methods - are used to prevent or remedy unacceptable pest activity or damage. Choice of control options is based on effectiveness, environmental impact, site characteristics, worker/public health and safety, and economics. The goal of an IPM system is to manage pests and the environment to balance benefits of control, costs, public health and environmental quality. IPM takes advantage of all appropriate pest management options."
"IPM is the concept of trying to move from traditional methods to more environmentally friendly ones"
Dr. Phillip Koehler, entomologist at the University of Florida
"IPM lets the operator make a judgment if and when to use pesticides, which can mean reducing pesticide use, reducing exposure to the pesticide and reducing the pest problem".
Dr. George Rambo, well known pest control industry consultant based in Herndon, Va.
The federal definition of IPM as defined in the Food Quality Protection Act of1996: IPM "is a sustainable approach to managing pests by combining biological, cultural, physical, and chemical tools in a way that minimizes economic, health, and environmental risks."
Today's Emphasis on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques almost gives the impression that it's a radical new idea. Actually, the practice known today as IPM involves essentially the same methods that progressive pest control operators (PCO's) have espoused for years.
What's changed is that consumers now take a more active role in the management of pests, and the professional's tools are more sophisticated and effective.
Structural pest control, like other industries based on research and development, has changed dramatically due to new technologies and techniques. Although the image of pest control of years past, heavy reliance on broad-spectrum pesticides applied throughout a structure, remains strong.
Today, structural pest control involves the use of pesticides, as well as other pest management options: mechanical and physical control, structural repairs, preventive maintenance, non-toxic materials, targeted pesticide use, sophisticated applications and the active involvement of the homeowner. IPM brings all those elements together.