An IPM program can contain any of the following elements.
- Cultural practices are those factors influenced by humans and their environments. Sanitation is the most important cultural practice affecting the success of a pest management plan and it is a customer responsibility. Sanitation removes the essential elements for pest survival, i.e. food, water, and harborage. Some examples include waste removal, cleaning, grass mowing, exterior clean up, etc.
- Biological techniques involve the use of living organisms or their bi-products to control pests. Parasites and predators are very useful in controlling outdoor pests; however, there is very little application indoors. Insect growth regulators and chitin synthesis inhibitors, which abnormally affect growth and development, are included in this category.
- Mechanical devices have been used for hundreds of years in controlling pest populations. There are wind up fly traps, sticky traps, snap traps, and a variety of other devices for controlling rodents. Screening, netting, hardware cloth, caulking, and expendable foam are examples of a few products used to exclude pests from a home. Very valuable tools in preventative pest management.
- Pesticides are products used to manage pests by affecting their growth or behavior. For example repellents, insect growth regulators, plant growth retardants, etc all play an important role in IPM.
Remember successful pest management programs depend on locating the problem and harbor age areas that aren’t always apparent. It is our role to educate, investigate, implement, and observe the best pest management practices.