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A Maryland Pest Control Strategy – Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

pest control technician examinaing a crawlspace with a flashlight

A Few thoughts about IPM……

First IPM stands for Integrated Pest Management. Beware of any pest control technician or salesperson who suggests that you immediately begin a chemical approach to a problem you are having with a pest. Nearly twenty years ago, Ohio State entomology professor William Lyon produced a fact sheet on the topic of IPM for the pest management industry. This sheet has been continued to be utilized throughout the pest control community.

We have learned, through the overuse of chemical products that far too many of the everyday pests have developed a resistance to many products. All pest control companies should recommend that measures have to be taken to control the environment of the pest to reduce the presence of the pest in your home. Spraying or spreading potentially dangerous agents do little for the family environment. Just what is the homeowner or business owner to do?

To begin: the environment must be closely inspected. Just where and how are the pests gaining entrance to your home? All openings must be sealed: if you have a mouse issue please be aware that mice can gain entrance to the home in a variety of ways.

An opening as small as the diameter of your little finger is big enough for the supple boned mouse to get inside. Check out the rubber seals around your garage door, the openings in your home for the electric lines, dryer vents, gas lines, and cable lines all must be completely sealed. The strategic use of steel wool and caulk will stop mice and keep them outdoors. Make sure that you remove leaves from the perimeter of the house. If possible keep mulch away from the foundation, 6” is a good minimum (may not look great, but…)

Dr. Lyon wrote in detail about “thresholds of tolerance” but at the same time strongly stated that there is no tolerance or threshold for economic or health issues. None of us will go to food establishment with the knowledge that the establishment is infested with roaches, flies or mosquitoes. There have been far too many instances recently in the business world that have resulted in the death of humans. Failure to act in the face of insect issues is nearly always the fault of the lack of IPM measures being taken.

Three little things to remember are:
1. Cockroaches avoid light and air movement
2. Mice are curious, therefore are easy to trap
3. Rats are shy and cautious, therefore need different approaches to management

The knowledge that roaches must have water and seldom travel more than 10-12 feet from there harborage to look for water and food, leads us to the kitchen and bathrooms as a harborage.

IPM is a strategy that is employed to prevent pest activity and infestation by using multiple approaches to achieve long term success. A good pest control company will employ IPM methods before chemical solutions are suggested. Call or contact B.O.G. Pest Control at 410-376-5312.

Have a healthy, pest-free home thanks to B.O.G. Pest!

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