Everyone, whether you live in the city, suburbs, or country will have some sort of pest problem whether it be bugs or wildlife. Often infestations have more than one source- For example, if you are having a problem with fleas, you probably also have a tick and mosquito problem. For instance, if you see rats, mice are usually also around. IPC, also known as Integrated Pest Control, is a broad-based approach to integrating multiple techniques for a practical and economic control of pests. The purpose of IPC is to use forms of pest control that work together better than separately. The most accepted form of IPC uses a combination of Biological Control, Cultural controls, Mechanical or physical methods, and chemicals to reduce the pest problem in your area.
Biological control combines the use of pest’s natural enemies to control their breeding and damages they cause. This can be anything from introducing another bug, such as ladybugs to control aphids, or cats to control rodents.
Cultural controls keep down the ability of a pest to establish itself in an area, such as controlling standing water to control mosquitoes or eliminating weeds and brush that normally provide shelter for rats and voles.
Mechanical controls such as traps to catch/ kill a rat can quickly cull the population, while
Physical controls make the environment impossible for the pests to live. Some Examples are sterilizing soil to kill parasites, installing nets and screens to deter birds, or caulking holes used by rodents, bats and squirrels to enter buildings.
Chemical control is self explanatory. It is the use of pesticides, most often for long term control. This should be used only when all other options have been exhausted, because of the long range effects and dangers often associated with poisons. If you do integrate chemical control into your IPC, it is important to choose the insecticide that will accomplish the task at hand, while doing the least damage to surrounding soil, water, and air.
Contact your local agricultural extension agency for help in creating a comprehensive Integrative Pest Control Plan that will work best for you.
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