What is IPM and How Does it Affect Me as a Homeowner?

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a new mind-set regarding pest management. Back when I started in the pest management industry, in 1983, the idea what to eradicate pest infestations as they were and when they were found. Chemicals were considerably more harsh and typically families were required to leave their homes for approximately four (4) to six (6) hours until the odor dissipated and the chemical dried.

Present day pest management, IPM, focuses less on chemical applications and more on identifying the reasons (harborage, access, food or water sources) that are attracting rodents and insects to your homes. Things like, overfilled gutters that trap rainwater provide food, water and harborage areas. American roaches and other occasional invader pests will use gutters to breed and gain water. Piled up decaying materials–last fall’s leaves, twigs and grass clippings–offer harborage and food sources.

IPM is a cooperative method of pest management between the Pest Management Professional (PMP) and the homeowner. Our PMP’s are trained to investigate and explain problematic areas. Things like plumbing line chases, or electrical lines can provide insects and rodents with unfettered access to your environment. Rats and mice need a hole no bigger than the size of a quarter to gain access into your home.

Pesticides are used only after access elimination is accomplished. When necessary, chemical applications are applied from chemicals that have the least impact on the environment to those with more impact. As your PMP’s visit your home, you will likely see them investigating more than ever before; there is a method to their madness.