Integrated Pest Management: What It Is and How to Protect Your Home this Spring

Residential pest control doesn’t have to mean using insecticides and poisons to help you eliminate unwanted critters. By combining natural pest control and integrated pest management (IPM) techniques, you can control active infestations and prevent new ones in a safe, sustainable way. IPM is a practice green residential pest control companies use to address your pest concerns and protect your family and the environment.


Residential Pest Control: How the Experts Do It

The IPM practices green pest control companies use are more effective, longer lasting and safer than the generalized chemical spraying exterminators do. After inspecting your home and properly identifying the offending home integrated pest management experts will employ the following strategies.

  • Physical exclusion: Blocking a pest’s access into your home.
  • Harborage site removal: Removing nests.
  • Modifying the habitat: Making the surrounding area less attractive to pests.
  • Monitoring: Determine the effectiveness of the IPM techniques used, and making modifications as necessary.
  • Client communication and education: Teaching you how to prevent an infestation by understanding the behaviors of pests and the areas of your property that are vulnerable.

Green pest control companies that practice IPM use chemical treatments only as a last resort. The products chosen contain the least toxicity, and the pros apply it only to targeted areas.


PestControl3When you enlist the help of a residential pest control service to prevent an infestation, the professionals will perform maintenance techniques that are specific to the season. For example, during the months of April and May, a technician will inspect the area around your foundation for signs of emerging spring pests such as rodents, ants and wasps. He or she will also apply preventive treatments around the property to keep pests from entering your home.

As temperatures warm in June and July, a pest expert will inspect walkways, fences, landscaping and openings into the building to see where pests are making their home. Such pests typically include ground and rove beetles, ants, spiders and rodents.


The most common spring and summer pests include mosquitoes, flies, ants, fleas and gnats. Fortunately, you don’t have to be an expert to prevent an infestation. You may already use some of the techniques experts recommend, and the rest are simple to implement.



Pests don’t usually enter a building through the door. Instead, they often get in through cracks on the exterior of your home and navigate via the cracks in interior walls. Inspect your home and seal cracks that are as small as a 1/8 inch with putty, caulk or spackle. Replace or repair damaged window and door screens.


Pests seek standing water for hydration, and some, like mosquitoes, need it for laying eggs. Empty any items that have water pooled in or on them, such as buckets or tarps. Refresh the water in birdbaths regularly. If you have a water feature with a pump that doesn’t work, drain the water from it.


Leaving food out is one of the best ways to attract pests. Avoid leaving food out in the open, and immediately clean spills and crumbs. When you store food in your pantry, place it in tight-lidded plastic or glass containers. Instead of leaving food waste in indoor waste baskets, immediately throw it away in your outdoor trash can, and close the lid. As your vegetables, fruits and berries start to ripen, don’t let any of them rot in your garden.


pest-controls4Overgrown plants can provide a bridge into your home for pests. Make your landscaping seem less inviting by keeping it free of debris, fallen leaves and weeds. Keep your lawn short, and cut back tree branches that overhang your roof.


As you put away your winter clothes, store your seasonal items in hard plastic containers with lids instead of cardboard boxes. Because many pests live off dust and crumbs, regularly dust and vacuum. Messes and clutter attract pests that nest, so this is the perfect time to get rid of stacks of paper and those problem areas that you’ve been meaning to “get to.”

When you notice signs of an infestation, don’t hesitate to call a natural pest control company for an inspection. These signs can include gnawed food packaging, sawdust piles, shed wings and droppings. If you already have an infestation on your hands, call experts who practice integrated pest management so you can enjoy peace of mind and keep your family healthy.

Eden Advanced Pest Control, a leading integrated pest management (IPM) company in Western Washington and Oregon, serving both residential and commercial customers, contributed this post.

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