Previously, we introduced to you the concept of IPM, or integrated pest management, as an option for the DIY pest controller. It is a holistic process of reviewing and addressing pest control needs, with increased outcomes and decreased toxicity
for our ecosystems. Presently, I would like to enlighten you to the more detailed steps involved in implementing IPM in your own pest control endeavors. Our discussion included the accepted IPM protocol of monitoring, action threshold, control technique selection, and control tactics. Let’s look closer at step one; Monitoring.
To effectively monitor your home for pests, you will need to educate yourself regarding baseline levels for your pest management situation. For example, if you are working toward a summer vegetable garden, are you aware of the look of a “healthy” plant? The internet offers a limitless wealth of information on any subject matter at the tip of your fingers. When researching, be certain to utilize your areas local extension services, university, and government websites as a first
resource to avoid viruses and phishing scams. You can use search criteria for images in order to get an accurate
visual of what your plant “should” look like.
An alternate example would be if you are a homeowner concerned with the possibility of termites. Do you have any distinct knowledge on the signs to look for concerning termites? How do they differentiate from winged ants? Do they leave tell tale trails of their existence? Again, educating yourself with basic knowledge of the signs of pests is the first step to beginning an IPM program. With a small amount of research initially, you may be able to save your pocketbook substantial stress by identifying pest problems at the onset, and not once the pest problem is too large to effectively manage for yourself.
Be certain to take photographs of any change in foliage or unidentified insects. This will allow you to easily seek assistance from the larger community of pest control specialists when necessary.
You should also monitor environmental variances such as climate changes and seasons. If you only witness browns
spots on your foliage after a summer rain, taking note of such could assist you in pin pointing one pest as opposed to alternate source of the affliction.
Initially, monitoring your environment may seem like a massive undertaking, be aware that you
will receive numerous benefits from educating yourself on the fundamental environmental aspects of your in and outdoor living space. Not only will you accentuate your self esteem while expanding your knowledge base by becoming a budding entomologist, you will become in tune with the gentle ebb and flow of your personal environment, allowing you to better appreciate the balance and interdependency of ourselves and nature.