There is no argument that pests are an issue. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about termites eating through your home, mice carrying disease into your property, or flies simply annoying you, and potentially spreading disease.
They are an issue that needs to be dealt with and you’re right to reach for the phone and call the exterminator.
However, insecticides and other powerful chemicals are no longer the first options, even to the professionals. A modern, respectable pest control firm will want to try integrated pest management, (IPM).
What Is IPM?
IPM involves tackling the issue with as few chemicals as possible. Instead of indiscriminately spraying pests and potentially risking your health, as well as pests and plants, IPM encourages understanding the life cycle of the pests to prevent and control them naturally.
How It Works
Stage one is to identify the pests. This means noting where they are located, getting a look at them if possible and even taking a picture. You can then use the internet or your local pest control firm to help you identify what type of pest it is.
You can then move onto stage 2, this is preventing the pest from getting into your home.
For example, termites tend to bury through the soil around your home to get to the wooden foundations and start chewing. An easy way to make this job difficult for them is to replace the soil against your home with a strip of concrete, between 8-12 inches wide. This will not appeal to the termites and you’ll find they no longer come into your home.
You should also clean your house regularly, never leave dirty dishes on the side, and always wipe down the countertops. This will remove anything that is attractive to mice.
Finally, in conjunction with your pest control specialist, you should start planning which steps to take to eliminate any existing issue. The idea is to use low-risk things first, before moving onto higher risk, such as chemicals.
If these control techniques are not successful then it’s normal to evaluate the lifecycle of the pest, this will help you to identify when it is most vulnerable and which steps to take then. Again, the idea is to use as few chemicals as possible.
In effect, IPM is a way of getting rid of pests naturally. Blocking access points, depriving them of the food and water they need, and, if necessary, poisoning them, will ensure the problem is gone and unlikely to return.
Prevention is always better than cure, blocking the pests from entering your home by sealing up gaps, cracks and other entry points is a great start. Keeping your home clean will also help to deter the pests, you can even add plants, such as peppermint and lavender. The aroma of these plants will not appeal to some pests and deter them from coming near your home.
But, most of all, you need to be vigilant, this will ensure any new problems are identified early and dealt with.