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The Best Pest Control = IPM

By Thorn Team • Feb 1st 2022

Controlling pests is tricky. Nature is intricate and delicate and when humans attempt to restrict or manipulate her forces, unexpected things can happen, often with unintended consequences.

Thorn services pest control

Controlling pests is tricky. Nature is intricate and delicate and when humans attempt to restrict or manipulate her forces, unexpected things can happen, often with unintended consequences.

Pests are their own unpredictable force of nature. It's important to keep this in mind and proceed with caution when trying to control them.

Pest control done right means effective, low-risk solutions to a variety of pest scenarios, but pest control done wrong have terrible results.

Anyone performing pest control (professional, homeowner or otherwise) has a responsibility to do their research and look at every angle of a pest problem before carefully navigating their treatment options.

Proper pest control requires:

  • solid knowledge of pest biology
  • investigation and problem solving
  • knowledge of how buildings and homes are built
  • up-to-date info on the variety of tools and treatment options available

When it comes to doing pest control correctly, where should you start? Start with IPM.

IPM: The Best Pest Control

IPM, also known as Integrated Pest Management, is an intricate but easy-to-apply system of pest control touted by the EPA as "an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices".

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is certainly common-sense, but it does go against some very common misconceptions surrounding the management of pests, including the idea that every pest plan needs to include chemical application in order to be effective.

Whether it's rodent poison or spider spray, there are a variety of situations where humans have been conditioned to run for a can of insecticide or a pail of poison before asking why the pests are there to begin with. What drew the pests in?

To address pest issues long-term, use IPM to identify the root causes first and foremost.

How Integrated Pest Management Keeps Pests Away

IPM is a framework for looking at pest concerns. When formulating a well thought-out IPM plan, the primary questions to ask are:

1. What pest(s) are present?

2. What is attracting the pests to your space?

3. How can you keep them outside where they belong?

4. If stronger pest control is needed, how do you do it correctly?

Step 1: Pest Inspection and Identification

Because IPM focuses heavily on the biology of specific pests, the most important step in any IPM program is to positively identify what pest you are dealing with. This will greatly influence what treatment methods you should use and which you should avoid.

Routinely inspect for the presence of pests and be sure to look both indoors and outdoors. Inspections can be done by a homeowner or business owner who feel comfortable with the process, or they can be scheduled with an IPM specialist. Actively looking for pest issues will help you be proactive if a something unexpected pops up.

CAUTION: Accurate diagnosis of a pest issue requires a thorough investigation and an eye for little details. These inspections often involve using a ladder, accessing a roof, and exploring the attic or crawlspace (if the structure has one). If you don't do well with heights or small spaces, you may want to get some help. Be sure to seek out a local company that specializes in IPM.

If you're located in Utah, we are your local IPM specialists! Contact us for more information regarding our service area, inspections, and rates.

Step 2: Remove Pest Attractants

Once the pest has been identified, it's time to start digging deeper into the issue at hand.

While keeping the biology of the pest in mind, consider the following questions:

1. Where are the pests finding food and water?

2. Where do they hide out?

3. Are there any other factors that could be bringing the pests in?

As best as you can, you want to attempt to manipulate or remove these conditions to make the environment around your property less attractive to the pests. This process is called habitat and harborage modification. Here are just some examples of modifying a pest's habitat:

  • Cutting back ground-covering vegetation, especially right up against a building or home
  • Making sure water is draining properly around your property and plants are not being overwatered
  • Removal of garbage and debris to reduce food sources and hiding spots
  • Cleaning up decaying organic matter such as piles of leaves and making sure compost is kept away from homes and structures

Believe it or not, the CDC spends time in communities educating neighborhoods and their residents about the importance of IPM strategies and how to implement them properly. The reason for this? Some pest problems are extensive. In these situations, IPM solutions should involve the entire community if adequate control is going to be possible.

Step 3: Keep The Pests Outside Where They Belong

Whenever possible, look for ways to keep pests outside so they can perform their beneficial functions.

While pests can be freaky and off-putting, humans must recognize that pests are an important part of a balanced eco-system. If we want our communities to thrive, this means learning to live at peace with pests...to a certain extent, at least.

It is important to determine what threshold is reasonable for the pest in question. What is a reasonable amount of pest activity, and when should you be prepared to do something about it?

Some Quick Advice From Thorn: "Extermination", while tempting, is not necessary. Extermination methods set unrealistic expectations and involve the overuse of chemical applications. Integrated Pest Management takes a different approach. By managing pests rather than exterminating them, we can seek to keep pests outside and within reasonable threshold limits by manipulating aspects of the pests' environment. In these situations, chemical methods are needed rarely, if at all.

Step 4: Call In The Pros

There is no shortage of pest information out there, especially on the internet. Some of it is good info, and some of it is a load of bologna. Know what to look for.

Be wary of any DIY pest control strategy that encourages an application of any kind, even if it's just kitchen spices, diatomaceous earth or essential oils. These methods are widely circulated as a fix-all online, but they aren't nearly as effectual as people may hope.

If you've tried every natural IPM solution you can think of and you're still having an issue, it may be time to get a second opinion. Look for a pest control company that has lots of knowledge and experience in IPM.

They should have the proper credentials and insurance with licensed, well-trained technicians and excellent customer service. Their technicians will arrive on time, with the proper equipment and professional uniforms. They will be courteous and take the time to consider all possibilities surrounding your pest concerns. If they notice something out of place, they will mention it to you rather than ignoring it or waiting for it to become a bigger issue. While this may seem like a tall order, these pest pros do exist! Just be prepared that finding them may take some calling around.

True IPM companies take pest control seriously and have a good time doing it!

How Thorn Uses IPM For The Best Pest Control In Utah

If you live in Utah and you're feeling discouraged with your pest problem, don't fret!

Our top-notch IPM specialists at Thorn are held to high training and professionalism standards and specialize in a wide variety of services and IPM treatment methods. Whether you're interested in learning more about our HomeGuard residential pest services or you've read our book on commercial pest control and you'd like some assistance, we're not just here to help, we're here to help you succeed.

About Thorn

Thorn is a Utah local pest management company. We are a QualityPro certified company which is a prestigious accreditation awarded too less than 3% of the pest management companies in the US.

Contact Us Today

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About Thorn

Thorn is a Utah local pest management company. We are a QualityPro certified company which is a prestigious accreditation awarded too less than 3% of the pest management companies in the US.

Contact Us Today