Using common sense instead of pesticides is the first course of action in integrated pest management, which has been adopted by a number of professional pest control services including Abell Pest Control.
That doesn't mean pesticides aren't used when they're warranted, but as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency put it, IPM "is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property and the environment." It relies heavily on understanding the life cycle of pests and how it interacts with the environment around them.
In short, getting rid of conditions that foster pest growth and re-population goes a long way toward removing the pests.
The EPA characterizes the integrated approach as a series of common-sense practices that can be applied to homes and residential gardens as well as workplace and agricultural settings. IPM is a cousin to organic farming, which uses pesticides produced from natural sources rather than synthetic chemicals after other methods have been exhausted.
At Abell, pest services using IPM can often solve rodent and insect issues with minimal and sometimes no use of pesticides. Once proper sanitation and structural changes are in place, the ideal breeding grounds and living conditions for pests are eliminated. The goal is to control populations before they grow into a full-blown infestation.
According to the EPA, this pest control approach isn't necessarily simple and involves a series of evaluations in a four-tiered sequence.
First, it's determined how much action is required to solve the problem.
Pests are then monitored closely to identify them properly. Not every pest, weed or organism needs treatment because they may be benign or even beneficial to some environments.
Preventive steps are taken to remove the intruders to the greatest degree without relying on chemicals.
Finally, when it's determined that preventive methods are no longer working, IPM may introduce the use of chemicals, but starts with the least risky and most targeted methods possible, such as pheromones to disrupt pest mating. Other non-chemical methods also continue to be used, including trapping pests and weeding to eliminate their habitat.
By eliminating pest problems before they have a chance to grow, IPM offers a safe and effective alternative to harsher methods.