(See endnote 7)

There are several approaches to the elimination of pests from a given area. In past times, individuals were involved in removal of food and water (prevention and control), elimination of harborage (prevention and control), and then the safe use of chemicals to complete control efforts. Evaluations were carried out to determine if and when further control was necessary. In the present, the technique of integrated pest management is being utilized. There is still an emphasis on the removal of food, water, and harborage, and evaluation of control efforts, but now the use of actionable thresholds of levels of the pests has been added, and a determination whether there are other cost-effective options to control the pests. The threshold depends on the pest and whether it constitutes a nuisance problem and how much of a nuisance or health problem. When that threshold is reached, a variety of chemicals is utilized in a safe manner, then becomes part of the process for the elimination of the pest. It is recognized that not all insects, weeds, and other plants or living organisms create enough of a threat to compensate for the potential harm to the environment and to people by use of a variety of chemicals.

Best Practices for Pest Control through the Use of Integrated Pest Management

The integrated pest management approach is the most effective way to get rid of insects and

rodents without having to use chemicals. It consists of the following steps:

  • • Perform a comprehensive inspection and survey, using risk assessment techniques in both agricultural and non-agricultural situations, of all infested areas including all surrounding parts of the structure inside and, depending on the pest identified, outside.
  • • Keep accurate records and maps of all locations where the pests are found and make sure that the dates are included.
  • • Reduce all clutter and remove all sources of harborage and habitat from areas where the pests are found.
  • • Thoroughly clean all areas and remove all live or dead insects or rodents.
  • • Remove all sources of food and water.
  • • Use preventive measures such as naturally occurring parasites and predators; pruning and raking and use of pest-resistant plants; alternative chemicals instead of chlorinated or bro- minated organic molecules or those based on phosphoric acid or carbamic acid; and pheromone traps, boiling water for anthills, or diatomaceous earth.
  • • Use action thresholds (the point at which the pests cause more problems than the potential hazards caused by using chemicals) to determine when to apply appropriate pesticides in proper quantities and under exact environmental conditions.
  • • Use highly trained, certified technicians to conduct the chemical insect and rodent control work and take into consideration time, temperature, weather conditions, etc.
  • • Re-clean all areas and determine if the insect or rodents have been eliminated or reduced in numbers.
  • • Seal all openings where feasible to prevent entrance into the house or business.
  • • Teach people about the reasons for insect and rodent problems and how to prevent them.
  • • Re-inspect periodically and if necessary retreat the areas.
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