When an infestation in a residential or commercial property requires immediate treatment or intervention, pest control companies should choose the safest, most effective methods appropriate for the situation.
However, there are instances wherein pest control companies simply recommend and implement generic techniques – methods that will do nothing to address the issue. They may even cause more harm than good to the residents or occupants.
Leading Modesto pest control specialists say that to effectively get rid of an infestation and prevent the problem from recurring, an IPM program is necessary.
But what is IPM?
IPM or Integrated Pest Management is an approach to pest control that emphasizes pest prevention by eliminating the root causes of the infestation. An IPM program aims to provide more effective, long-term control than the traditional spray-based approach to pest control. This approach also has the important goal of eliminating or reducing the need to use pesticides.
An IPM approach covers six important steps or aspects:
The areas where infestations often occur have to be inspected regularly. Traps and other monitoring tools or techniques also have to be in place to identify the types of pests present and their infestation levels.
Record-keeping is crucial in IPM since this offers insights on trends and patterns in pest infestations. During inspection or treatment, important details should be recorded such as:
- The type of pest/s present
- Population size
- Information regarding the treatment
- Recommendations for future prevention
3. Action thresholds
Just because you see one or two bees doesn’t mean you need to call an exterminator immediately. Practitioners of IPM will determine an action threshold – the point or level at which the pest population indicates the need for immediate action. Pest control companies know the level at which pests will become an economic or health threat. They will recommend and implement the most appropriate and safest pest control methods.
4. Prevention and elimination
Prevention is the main goal of pest control in an IPM program. A good way to start is to eliminate the pests’ sources of food, water, and shelter. This means cleaning and removing debris from the yard and fixing leaky plumbing. It is also important to prevent them from entering homes or buildings by sealing or caulking cracks and crevices, repairing screens, and installing door sweeps.
5. Selection of pest control methods
Chemicals or pesticides will only be used as the last resort under an IPM program. Less risky yet effective pest control tactics such as trapping and weeding and the use of pheromones have to be chosen first. In case pesticide has to be used, your service provider will select the least-toxic materials or products.
6. Regular assessment
The IPM program has to be evaluated frequently to determine the success of the pest management tactics and to know if they have to be continued.
An IPM is a more personalized, safer approach to pest control. If you are constantly grappling with a pest infestation problem, ask your pest control specialist if they offer an IPM program.