Integrated Pest Management: How it Works

It seems like every other product or service you see is marked “green”. Depending on your personal beliefs, this can either be a sign of positive changes or an annoying marketing technique. Integrated Pest Management is yet another one of those “green” services but there’s nothing phony about it. It’s the real thing, not a gimmick, and it works.

Integrated Pest Management or IPM is a common-sense approach to pest prevention and treatment. It’s different from traditional pest eradication techniques in both its approach to pests and its methods of treatment. IPM isn’t just a “spray and go” kind of pest treatment. It’s more thoughtful and often has longer-lasting effects. It also has the added bonus of being environmentally sensitive.


Art 1 IPMOne of the core principles of IPM is to first identify the pest. You don’t just use a broad-based spray and kill everything in a wide swath. First, you need to learn what pest is bothering you.

Identifying pests isn’t as easy as it may sound. You don’t always get to see the pest in action (although that does happen from time to time as well). More often you are figuring out what pest has been there by what he left behind. Droppings, smells, marks on the walls or furniture, nesting materials – all can be signs of a pest infestation and a pro know what he’s seeing.

Making Decisions

After an identification has been made, an IPM specialist can help the homeowner decide when and if he should take action against the invading pest. For example, in the case of mice a homeowner will want to take immediate action because mice are a health hazard. If you have fruit flies, you may not need to treat the home. Instead, you’ll remove the food sources and wait a few short days for their life span to end. Your IPM specialist will help you determine if and when a problem is actionable.


If a pest problem needs to be treated, your IPM specialist won’t hesitate to do so. He may incorporate steam, insecticidal soaps and other less noxious treatments or he may resort to traditional chemicals too if necessary. He’ll use the safest methods first before moving on to harsher ingredients and then only if strictly necessary.

Prevention and Monitoring

Your IPM specialist won’t stop at spraying like many traditional exterminators. He’ll go the next step and help you find ways to prevent future infestations. Common-sense methods like exclusion (keeping pests out) are employed so that chemicals don’t become necessary again.

There’s no marketing hype when it comes to IPM. It’s just a simple, no nonsense approach to identifying and eradicating pests and making sure they don’t’ return. It just happens to also be “green” and there’s nothing wrong with that.

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