As science evolves, homeowners, agricultural professionals, and researchers are becoming more involved in developing integrated, healthful, and holistic strategies from doing away with pests. Gone are the days when zero tolerance against any unwanted insects or rodents was the norm. Nowadays, the harmful effect of toxic substances on the environment has become more of a priority—consequently, so has the importance of implemented integrated pest control strategies. Such strategies take into account the existence of beneficial insects. They regard pest control as a matter of structural safety, which both begins and ends with the soundness of a home itself. Here is a checklist of what an integrated pest management approach should look like.
- While gardens are beautiful and useful, too much vegetation around a home can promote humidity. This, in turn, can lead to the apparition of several types of pests, such as termites and silverfish. Silverfish extermination ought to start with vegetation control. Shrubs, bushes, and lawns that come too close to the house have to be removed, as do climbing plants such as ivy. Some of them may have even dug holes into the home’s walls or foundation, which need to be located and covered up as soon as possible.
- Essentially, aside from insulation, the only other thing that can help a structure maintain a non-humid environment is surrounding it with gravel and poured concrete. In order to prevent the access of pests indoors, homeowners can choose to have sweeps mounted at the bottom of their doors – most importantly on front and back doors, which open up to the exterior.
- Pests can be done away with through a wide range of methods, most of which needn’t be toxic. Rats, rabbits, and other rodents can be attracted with pheromones, while insects can be lured with food (or wood pulp for termites). The rooms which have already been infested, or exposed to the presence of pests can be fumigated with oxygen scavenger or various gases.
- Temperature control is also very important, as numerous insects thrive in hot, humid environments. Exterminators that provide integrated pest managements can apply thermal treatments such as freezing or extreme heat, in order to remove current infestations.
- Cleanliness is essential in maintaining a pest-free home environment. Most insects are attracted to food traces, dust, paper waste, and other forms of dirt and debris, which serve as nourishment to them. Old carpeting, for instance, is a particularly favorable milieu for pests, since it attracts dust, collects humidity, and can even grow moldy in time. Homeowners should consider permanent removal of all carpets which are beyond clean-up.
- Plants and very bright lighting will also attract a wide range of pest types, so they need to be eliminated or reduced, until pest management has been completed.