Integrated Pest Management
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective method of pest control that is based on accurate information of the life cycle and habits of the targeted pest(s) (i.e., bed bugs, roaches, etc) as well as proper use of some chemical pesticides. When done properly IPM can be an economic way to manage pest damage and with the least possible impact to people, property or the environment.
IPM can be used indoors and outdoors and takes advantage of all appropriate pest management options including the use of pesticides, both those that are produced from natural sources and synthetic chemicals. The IPM approach has four tiers: Set Action Thresholds, Monitor and Identify Pests, Prevention, and Control.
Set Action Thresholds
Before you begin taking any steps to control the targeted pest first establish a point at which pest population or environmental conditions indicate that control actions should be taken. The sighting of a single pest does not always mean that control is needed.
Monitor and Indentify Pests
Not all pests require control and not all control methods work equally on all pests. IPM programs monitor to identify pest accurately so that when control methods are implemented they have the maximum effectiveness.
Steps should be taken to prevent pest(s) from becoming a threat. In an indoor environment this may be reducing clutter for an outdoor environment this may be selecting pest-resistant varieties of plants. These types of control methods are very effective and cost-efficient as well as being very low risk to people and the environment.
Once monitoring, identification and the action threshold have indicated that pest control is needed and that prevention is no longer a viable option, IPM then determines the proper control method for both effectiveness and risk. Effective, low risk controls should be chosen first, including targeted chemicals and mechanical control such as trapping or weeding.
Sources: epa.gov, cdc.gov