At Sigma Pest, we use integrated pest management or IPM, to rid your home and yard of all the creepy crawlies that can infest it. IPM is a long term pest management strategy that utilizes a combination of strategies to reduce and remove pests from your home with a minimum effect on the environment.
The main principles of IPM are:
- Identifying pests, their hosts, and any beneficial organisms before taking any action
- Establishing guidelines for monitoring each pest species
- Establishing a threshold of action for each pest
- Evaluation and implementation of control tactics
- Monitoring, evaluating, and documenting the results of the treatment
Integrated pest management can be applied to a multitude of pests from insects to various vertebrate pests including mice. This process is unique because it integrates prevention, cultural practices, and mechanical and physical pest controls, along with biological and chemical controls to prevent and stop the spread of pests.
It is important to know that integrated pest management isn’t a new practice. Rather, this form of pest management has been used to keep pests at bay throughout orchards and on field crops around the world.
A Deeper Look at Integrated Pest Management
In order for integrated pest management to be successful the cause of the pest problem has to be correctly identified. After that our highly trained technicians will then implement the other key principles.
Monitoring and Establishing Guidelines
Routine monitoring of pests in your area and their natural enemies is a huge component of integrated pest management. The monitoring practices that are utilized during IPM include sweep nets (nets that sweep through vegetation to collect insects that aren’t easily seen), visual inspections, pheromones, and sticky traps. After this, the pests are then documented and tracked in order to take into account the ratio of natural enemies. This step is very important to conduct before any pesticide is applied.
The Action Threshold
A key part of integrated pest management is knowing that there is a certain number of pests that can and should be tolerated. Essentially this step in the process is determining what happens if no action is taken and then deciding the level of action that will be taken. The action threshold is typically based on economics. What this means is that the action threshold is determined by comparing the pest population that causes damage to the cost of preventing that damage and controlling the pest. Another factor that may impact the action taken in preventing pests is aesthetics. Some homeowners are concerned about the appearance of their landscaping, and if this is the case it is then factored into the action threshold.
Implement Control Tactics
It is important to select tactics that will be the most effective in riding your home and yard of the targeted pests while still making sure that the tactics have little to no impact on non-targeted species and the environment.
Evaluating the Results
The evaluation step in the integrated pest management process allows for adjustments to be made to improve the effectiveness of future pest management services.
Integrated Pest Management Strategies
The most effective integrated pest management services utilize multiple strategies to control insects around your home. These IPM strategies can be split into five different categories:
In relation to IPM, prevention methods include practices such as utilizing pest free plant stock and other materials. Another form of prevention consists of removing pests before they can lay eggs.
When it comes to chemical controls we are talking about the use of insecticides to control pests. There are a few different insecticides to choose from.
Biological controls utilize a living organism to control pests. The success of these methods depends on multiple factors, but it is important to know that biological controls will not eradicate the pest entirely. However, they will help to reduce the pest population to a level that is more manageable level.
Mechanical and Physical Controls
These types of controls include handpicking insects and the use of barriers like row covers. They also involve the use of mechanical equipment that disrupts the soil in an effort to make the conditions unsuitable for the pests. Some examples of physical barriers include window screens, sealing cracks, and in some cases sticky traps.
Cultural controls refer to methods like proper sanitization, lawn management, and changing the environment to discourage pests by controlling temperatures, light, or humidity levels.
Benefits of Integrated Pest Management
IPM has a proven track record of significantly reducing the risks related to pesticides while also improving the quality, health, and welfare of the environment. Some of the other benefits of integrated pest management services include:
Integrated Pest Management and Sigma Pest
Our team at Sigma Pest utilizes IPM to keep you and your family safe from all the pests that can bump in the night. Contact us today for more information about how we can keep your home safe year round!