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Integrated Pest Management: New Approach to Pest Control

It is well known that chemical pesticides are hazardous and harmful to people, animals, and the environment, for this reason, a new approach to pest control is now being promoted and it’s called the integrated pest management, which is a cost-effective strategy in combating pest problems without the unnecessary use of chemical pesticides.

There’s a possibility of an existing pest infestation in an area when signs of pest activity and existing conditions, such as food, water and shelter are available for pests to thrive, such that the first approach of integrated pest management starts by inspecting the concerned area. By eliminating the existence of the basic necessities of pests, you succeed in eliminating, too, their existence in your area; therefore, this measure is a starting point of preventive method of pest management and other preventive strategies are: improving sanitation, sealing cracks to eliminate pest habitat, installing door sweeps to keep out mice or insects, and fixing leaking pipes and fittings to remove the presence of excess water.

It is the children’s health that is mostly affected by pesticide spraying since children have fragile bodies, such that the effects of chemical spraying to control and eliminate pests have been linked to the following ailments: leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, brain tumors, lower birth weight, and congenital heart defects. Integrated pest management approaches were applied and succeeded in eliminating large cockroach infestations in buildings and facilities in San Francisco in 1996, instead of using spray pesticides, and ever since, the city has largely reduced the use of pesticide in eliminating the breeding of cockroaches for its buildings. When chemical pesticides are sprayed in buildings or tracked in from out of doors, the chemical presence remains for months, presenting a risk exposure to the residents and pesticides that are sprayed outdoors may contaminate runoffs and waterways.

A study was conducted using separate application of integrated pest management and conventional pest treatments in the homes of pregnant women, and it was found out that insecticides were found in the blood samples of pregnant mothers whose home were sprayed with insecticides, while none were found in the blood samples of pregnant mothers whose homes were applied with integrated pest management approach.

On top of the effective approaches of the integrated pest management, the most significant benefit is its cost-effectiveness which is significantly much lower than the cost of using traditional spray-intensive pest control, and which consequently results into savings for the homeowner or clients. Such is the case of Cape May County in New Jersey which saved $45,000, between 1993 and 1998, in eradicating cockroaches in their locality, using the integrated pest management approach.
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