It used to be that when there were bugs or pests in a home, you’d get rid of them by spraying chemicals. While this is still sometimes necessary, more and more people are looking for alternatives. The theory is that if the pesticide is bad for the pests, it may also be bad for people and pets. And there’s also the environmental consideration. Integrated pest management is a safer and more environmentally sound approach. It is designed to minimize exposure to chemical pesticides.

What is Integrated Pest Management?

Integrated pest management (IPM) works with the life cycle of pests to create an approach that prevents and controls pests. There are three phases to IPM. The first phase is to monitor and identify pests. The second phase is to focus on prevention. For example, if a home is having trouble with mice, then preventative methods may include blocking entrances as well as eliminating items that attract mice.

The Control Phase

The third phase is to create a control process that balances risk and effectiveness. Lower risk pest control methods are usually chosen first. These may include chemicals but may focus on more natural chemicals such as pheromones.

If initial control methods don’t work then new steps are taken and might include baits or pesticides. The IPM process begins with monitoring the situation. In some cases little or no additional steps need to be taken.

If there is a pest problem the next step is to explore opportunities to prevent pests and to evaluate their life cycle appropriate action. Finally, if more action is necessary, then the control phase is implemented and steps are gradually taken starting with the safest and most effective option first.

Integrated Pest Management for Any Situation

Integrated pest management is appropriate for both large scale and small scale applications. From agriculture to your home, it’s a method that has been embraced by the Environmental Protection Agency. Schools, farmers, business offices, and homes all benefit when IPM is used. Chemicals are reduced, exposure is minimized and health risks are minimized. The environment benefits as well.

IPM is a growing trend. It is widely becoming a popular approach to dealing with pests. If you are in need of an exterminator or you have a pest problem, look for a business like Pest Patrol that offers integrated pest management.