This Earth Day consider how a few small changes to your pest control routine could make a big impact on our planet. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to eradicating pests. IPM has often been used in agriculture and the same principals are now being applied to homes and businesses. Instead of simply using chemicals to kill-off a pest, the IPM method requires that you identify the pest, alter the environment in which the pest is found, and use pesticides as a last resort.
The next time you are struggling with a pest infestation in your home instead of immediately reaching for the can of bug spray, be kinder to our planet and take a green approach to managing pests with these simple steps:
Step #1: Properly identify the pest. Before any steps are taken to control a pest you should be certain you know exactly what you are dealing with. Monitoring your home with glue boards or traps can help to catch and then properly identify the pest at hand. The internet, your local cooperative extension or a pest professional can help you to properly identify the pest. A monitor will help to ensure that you have a clear sample of what is in your home.
Step #2: Be sure your environment isn’t conducive to the pest. Try to identify where the pest is most likely entering the home. Mice can enter the home through a crack or hole the size of a dime and insects like ants can come in through holes that are even smaller so it is a good idea to check your home for cracks or holes that lead pests inside. Take special care to check around doors and windows. Attics and basements are also notorious entry points for pests.
Glue boards and monitors will help narrow down the possible entry points into your home. Placing traps along walls will help to find rodents, placing traps near windows and doors will be a better place for insects. It is ok to use as many traps as you like around your home to help you narrow down the pest’s entryway.
Besides shelter, pests will enter your home in search of food or water. Remove these two requirements and you will likely see a reduction in pests. Make sure that all food items are stored in containers with tight fitting lids. Glass and metal containers give you the most protection against rodents. Make sure to clean any crumbs or spills up as quickly as possible. Ants are especially attracted to sweat smelling liquids like soda or juice. It is also important to remove the trash from your kitchen frequently.
Step #3: If altering your environment has not worked to control the pest select an appropriately labeled trap or pesticide. Although the primary use for glue traps and glue boards is to identify where the pests are entering the home, many times traps alone can solve a pest problem. Traps are becoming more sophisticated. For example, the Catchmaster® Multi-Catch™ Mouse Trap can trap many pest animals at once. This product is easy to use and versatile. It catches between 10 and 12 mice per setting and can be used with the glue board or without the glue board (so that it traps the mice alive).
By using the IPM approach DIYers can now monitor their home and trap pest like the pros do! These green pest control ideas are easier on our planet and on you.