Greg Baumann: Hi! I'm Greg Baumann, Senior Scientist for the National Pest Management Association. Today, I'm discussing Integrated Pest Management or IPM. And now, I'll discuss the different pests which pose serious threats to your health and home, that Integrated Pest Management proactively seeks to prevent.
Rodents are one of the most prevalent home invaders, especially in the fall and winter months, when these pests seek out shelter from the harsher elements. Rodents only need an entry point the size of a nickel to access your home. Once these pests take up residents, they can reproduce quickly. More significantly, rodent droppings can trigger allergies and spread disease, including Hantavirus. In fact, mice are capable of dropping up to 25,000 fecal pellets each year, an estimated 70 times each day. Beyond the health risks, rodents can chew through wallboards, cardboard, wood and even electrical wiring, increasing the risk of a house fire. Clearly, the presence of rodents can cause serious issues for your family and your home, which is why prevention and subsequently proper treatment is key.
Another pest that IPM seeks to prevent is termites. Termites build distinctive mud tubes to gain access to food and to protect themselves from open air. Their colonies can contain up to two million members. Although termites are hidden, their aggressiveness cannot be forgotten. Termites can chew 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can quickly chomp through floors, walls, carpeting and even wallpaper.
Research conducted by the National Pest Management Association shows that termites causes $5 billion in property damage across the United States every year. No one wants to be included in that statistic. One good way to avoid that is to work with a licensed pest professional to inspect your property, identifying the potential termite threats and quickly treat any infestation that may occur.
With termites, consider treatment in terms of medicine. Just as you wouldn't prescribe medicine for yourself when you're sick, you shouldn't attempt to control termites if you believe your home is at risk. Working with an expert, with an IPM program, positions you well to implement the best prevention and treatment methods possible in preventing termites.
Finally, cockroaches are another pest that IPM is critical to preventing major infestations. Many people just don't know that cockroaches spread nearly 33 different kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms and at least seven kinds of other human pathogens. More, cockroaches can carry bacteria such as E-coli and salmonella on their bodies, which can easily contaminate food, cooking equipment and food surfaces.
From the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, we know that one in every five children in the US has severe sensitivities to cockroach allergens, allergens that have shown to increase the severity of asthma symptoms. Cockroach allergens which pose the greatest threat are almost commonly introduced through droppings and the decomposing bodies of these pests, which often go unnoticed or untreated.
These are just a few of the pest related health and property threats that Integrated Pest Management works to minimize. Next, I will discuss some of the outdoor and indoor prevention tips that you can take in partnership with your pest professional to keep pests at bay.