Greg Baumann: Hi! I am Greg Baumann, Senior Scientist for The National Pest Management Association. Today I am discussing Integrated Pest Management or IPM, and now I will discuss the best prevention tips that you can implement as part of an individualized IPM program. There are many components of IPM, but one of the most critical is the preventative measures that you can take to prevent pests from taking up a residence with your family and your home. Often, these tips come as advice from the pest professional, with whom you have partnered in an IPM effort. Other times, you can take these steps by being personally vigilant and keenly aware of the potential for conducive conditions developing in and around your house. When implementing an IPM program, it is important to recognize that prevention is just as valued as treatment. Here are a few pest proofing tips for you to consider. When indoors, keep windows properly screened and seal window frames. Vacuum frequently. Keep garage doors closed to prevent entry by wildlife and birds. Inspect boxes, grocery bags, and other packaging thoroughly to curb hitchhiking insects from entering the home. Properly seal all food containers, especially those stored in pantries and other cabinet areas. Wipe counters frequently to remove any food debris; seal all food on counters, such as baked goods. Seal up small cracks, holes, and crevices in visible areas and in hidden areas, such as under the kitchen sink and around pipes and wiring. Store pet goods in sealed plastic containers and limit the amount of time that pet food is out to avoid pest. For the outdoors, keep tree branches well trimmed, as they offer highways for pests into your home. Stack firewood and lumber away from the house to eliminate harborage by rodents, termites, and other pests. Clean out gutters thoroughly, especially after the fall, when a majority of leaves have fallen. Make sure gutters and downspouts are unclogged. Pull soil and mulch back from the foundation of the house to reduce chances of infestation by termites. Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly. Seal up any cracks and holes on the outside of your home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter your home. Screen crawl space vents. Moisture problems can cause major pest issues for homes with basements or crawlspaces.
Taking proactive steps to prevent pest is critical, but not full proof, which is why working with a pest professional is an integral component of IPM. Integrated Pest Management is about collaboration, and more proper inspection, identification, and treatment. The focus is on an individualized approach to pest management, but also an effective approach. By better understanding the threats that pest can cause, knowing the proper pest proofing tips within an IPM program, and working with a professional, you can implement an IPM program that protects your family and your home. Thank you for watching.