What is Integrated Pest Management?

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IPM and IPC are essentially the same thing - Integrated Pest Management and Integrated Pest Control. It is the management or control of ‘pests’, designed to be humane, safe, as non-toxic as possible, and also whilst still being effective — keeping numbers of these pests to a level where they are not a danger to the local ecosystem. This type of pest control or management has shown to be especially helpful when invasive species have taken over — when foreign snakes are released into the wild, in America, for example.

IPM - The Idea

The main idea behind this kind of pest control, is to ensure that the animals classed as pets are kept to safe numbers. They aren't left to overrun, killing other animals off within their local territories, and maybe even wiping some species out entirely. At the same time, they aren't eradicated either. These animals have their place in our ecosystem, so the cannot be eradicated entirely. If you were to get rid of bats, for example, you would soon have a problem with mosquitos and other flying bugs. Those are what the bats eat, and they eat many thousands of bugs each night. Without bats, the flying bugs would be so plentiful, the air would forever be filled with them.

IPM - Putting into Practice

You must first monitor to get your integrated pest management underway, and this will be to build a case of what is going on in that specific area. Weak spots will be identified, as will damaged patches, and these will be repaired, as well as further potential entry spots also reinforced. The idea behind this is create a barrier for those wild animals, without causing them harm. If you use something like a one way exclusion device, and then seal up the holes once you are sure all wild animals have been evicted, the fate of the animal itself won't be in your hands, it will be in natures hands.

At the same time as ‘naturally’ encouraging these wild critters to move along, IPM ensures that dangerous or inhumane practices are not used. In certain situations, such with rodents (rats and mice), snap traps are used because the population of the species is overrunning, and it needs to be urgently kept in check. Diseases like the plague are spread when there are more rats in the world, and we certainly don't need another outbreak like that. Humane measures must still be used, however, even when you are dealing with an animal as seemingly insignificant as a rodent. Snap traps, purposefully designed for rats or mice, are the most humane way to keep numbers down. The same traps do not work for larger ‘pests’ though, and in these cases, other measures may be necessary. Live cage traps can be used to trap the animal, before relocating it somewhere safe and non-problematic, and the one way exclusion devices we have mentioned also come in very handy.

At no stage within your IPM journey will you be advised to use inhumane pest control measures, such as poisons and fumigants, and also dangerous insecticides and pesticides. The aim of the game is to keep things as natural and as humane as possible, to ensure the outcome works out well for all parties involved — humans and animals alike.

For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How To Guide: Who should I hire? - What questions to ask, to look for, who NOT to hire.
How To Guide: do it yourself! - Advice on saving money by doing wildlife removal yourself.
Guide: How much does wildlife removal cost? - Analysis of wildlife control prices.
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