Integrated Pest Management: An Inexpensive, Safe, & Sensible Way to Avoid Pests
By Jenn Snider |
Briefly, Why is Conventional Pesticide Use Harmful?
Globally, 972 people die each day of unintentional pesticide exposure, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).1 Conventional, synthetic pesticides are indiscriminate killers affecting not only insects, but also “non-target organisms” - humans and every living creature.2 In adequate doses, pesticides can cause immediate death in humans, though most pesticide exposure results in short and sometimes long-term health consequences.3Pesticide exposure has been linked to short term symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, headaches, nausea, muscle twitching, nerve, skin, and eye irritation, and more.4Serious long term impact includes development of asthma, neurological damage, increased risk of birth defects, Alzheimer's 5 and Parkinson's disease 6, reproductive harm, endocrine disruption, and cancer.7 Children are especially vulnerable to pesticides - a 2002 study links exposure to household pesticides to an elevated risk of childhood leukemia.8 In addition - exposure to pesticides has also been tied to autism, behavior/mood disorders, ADD/ADHD and other learning difficulties in children.9 To learn more about pesticides read: How to Remove Pesticides from Your Home in 8 Simple Steps.
And Actually, Pesticides Don’t Always Work
Pesticides are a big business, pulling in $50 billion annually, according to the Freedonia Group.10 But the truth is, insects can produce an immunological response to the pesticides in their environment in a short time (unlike humans). So using conventional pesticides one time may not be enough to keep pests from returning. Instead, you’ll have to keep applying and even switching pesticides to treat new, stronger generations of pests. In the process, you will end up exposing yourself to serious doses of harmful chemicals - truly, poisons.
What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)?
Instead of potentially poisoning yourself, family, and neighbors, look to integrated pest management (IPM). Integrated pest management is a commonsense, tailored approach to pest management designed to treat and prevent pests in your home, yard, school, or workplace. IPM is a proactive method of learning the particular causes of pests in a location and removing the habitats that encourage them to enter and breed in your building or property. This method is human safe, environmentally sensitive, and is often the most economical method for the treating pests. By employing IMP strategies you will:
take a preventative, logical approach to pest management
reduce a pest’s access to food, water, and shelter
disrupt the breeding cycle and prevent the pest population from growing
negate the need for harmful pesticide use
What Can You Safely Do About Pests?
Start Using Integrated Pest Management Today
The most important thing to know about pests is that they come from the outside into your home. To prevent this from happening or to get rid of existing pests, you need to stop inviting them inside. You can do this by addressing simple sanitation issues, sealing up entrances, and removing outdoor pest habitats. The following integrated pest management steps will help you prevent and remove pests right away, without needing to call an exterminator! IPM is so safe, you can even enlist help from kids, roommates, or even your family dog (an expert kitchen floor cleaner).
Integrated Pest Management Inside Your Home
educate everyone in the house about the IPM procedures so they’re all on board for the new program
reduce clutter and places where insects can hide
keep trash in a covered trash can and take out the trash often
Is Integrated Pest Management More Expensive Than Conventional Pesticides?
According to the EPA, integrated pest management can actually be cost-saving! While IPM may require more labor and time - and sometimes more up-front resources - costs associated with integrated pest management are “generally lower over time because the underlying cause of the pest problem has been addressed”.11 As a bonus, certain IPM practices will provide long-term financial benefits unrelated to your pest problem. An example of this would be weatherizing buildings (particularly entrances), which keeps out insects and saves energy costs. Overtime, this measure will also reduce moisture issues, which can be a costly problem for a building.