Natural Pest Control: Protecting Without Harmful Poisons Integrated Pest Management May Be Healthiest Option
You’re conscientiously updating with environmentally-friendly features. You’ve installed motion-activated lighting, LED bulbs and low-flow water fixtures. Recently, you switched out your current landscaping team with one that provides organic and chemical-free service. Exterior windows have been re-sealed, and common space thermostats are on timers.
Believe it or not, this type of eco-conscious thinking remains advantageous even when applied to less-obvious undertakings like pest removal and control. How can you tackle this pesky issue in a way that best protects your investment as well as our planet? Follow these guidelines.
Take the time to identify and research the habitual characteristics of your most likely pest candidates. If you are in an urban location, for instance, you may not have to worry about field mice. However, get to know rats and their typical behavior well. Being able to anticipate and remain one step ahead of their unwelcome presence may be the difference between safety and infestation.
Is open or hastily-stored food a common problem? Learn about cockroaches. Does your property house a lot of unused books or stored fabric? Check into the possibility of a silverfish infestation. Effective pest control methods vary significantly depending on which rodent or insect you’re most likely to encounter. Targeting probable culprits at the get-go saves time, money and frustration.
Before you directly address the manner of removing pests, investigate factors that may signal their possible arrival. Are ant sightings more frequent during rainy weather? Ants migrate away from moisture in search of food in dry locations. Before you spot a well-organized line of ants marching across your baseboard, consider humidity control options — especially if your structure is located in a balmy region.
Similarly, rodents seek heat in response to cold temperatures. When the weather turns frosty, increase vigilance against burrowing warm-blooded mammals. Plug baseboard cracks by inserting steel wool and re-caulking. Cover dryer vents with 1/4- inch hardware cloth and make sure windows and doors have secure airtight seals.
Insects and rodents alike search for food and water year-round. Establish on-site impenetrable food storage policies and look into pest-proof waste management techniques. Secure dumpsters with integrated latches and situate them in isolated areas on the property.
Once you’ve found definite evidence of infestation, your first instinct is probably going to be quick and efficient extermination. Unfortunately, it’s in your best interest to gather some relevant information first.
Check if the bird, spider, insect or rodent species discovered is endangered. You can look it up by geographical region or picture. If you’re dealing with a protected species, extermination is not an option.
Next, determine whether or not the infestation is causing marked damage. Are rodents chewing through electrical wires or just burrowing in cardboard boxes stored in the parking garage? Are silverfish eating through pages of valuable display books in the clubhouse or scampering up a drain or two in search of water?
Make sure your pest removal plan causes as little harm as possible. Your goal is to remove the infestation, sanitize the area and prevent further infiltration. Birds, for example, need not be targeted directly. If their nests are removed, and preventive pest control chemicals are applied to the nesting area, chances are excellent they will not return.
Similarly, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) lists natural pest deterrents that can be used in conjunction with integrative management strategies to harmlessly clear infestations and keep them from reoccurring. Orange peels repel flies, for instance. Roaches stay away from bay leaves, and rags soaked in peppermint oil cause rodents to turnabout in their tracks.
Integrative Pest Management
Integrative pest management focuses primarily on preventing infestations. Goals include minimizing direct pesticide application, protecting infested structures and making sure sites are retrofitted if necessary to facilitate regulated inspection.
Generalized application of pesticides as a matter of status quo is not 100% effective and only targets the primary presenting problem. In addition, serious side effects such as nausea, headache and vomiting are commonly reported by people exposed to pesticide fumes.
Stop pests from entering and damaging your property from the start with informed, eco-friendly management strategies. You’ll end up saving a lot more than just your bottom-line, and the humans will thank you!