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IPM: Integrated Pest Management, Schools, Homes, Public, Private Facilities

First things first:

The first step in any IPM program is pest prevention. Indoor pest prevention begins outdoors. Most pest experts agree that most of our lawn, ornamental, and indoor pests live out their life cycles on the property where they are a problem. In short, this means that they originate with us, by something we have done, or neglected to do. Following is a list of those things, and what we need to do about them.

How and where to use this list:

This list is appropriate for all types of landscapes and structures from homes to commercial facilities, including schools, and other public properties, as a first step for IPM programs. Public schools in most of the United States, are required to have an IPM program in place. This is done to safeguard school age children from both the harmful effects of insects and rodents, and from the harmful effects of pesticide misuse. This list is a good starting point for such programs. It can be used as a checklist for property inspection. You will find that this form of IPM is a little different from the standard methods. It goes straight to the source of where the pest problem begins, and works toward the interior. Stop them at the source! This page is written with pre-existing structures in mind, but can be easily adapted to work in new facility construction.

IPM Pest Prevention List For Commercial And Residential Property Including Schools And Other Public Properties

1. Get rid of all debris on the property, especially rotting wood! Rotting wood is food for several types of insects and fungi.

2. Remove all overgrowth and brush from the property. It provides housing and cover for insects, reptiles, and rodents, and serves as a seedbed for weeds.

3. Do not scalp the lawn. This weakens the turf, making it more susceptible to weed growth, and insects.

4. Do not leave lawn grass too high. This provides cover for insects and rodents. It also can allow weeds to reach the flowering and seeding stage.

5. Do not allow thatch to build up in the lawn. Thatch provides cover for insects, and weakens the turf allowing weeds to compete. It should be removed or cultivated to allow natural decomposition. Frequent mowing is the best defense against thatch.

6. Do not wait long periods of time between mowings. This will allow for thatch to build up since the larger clippings will be harder to break down. The nutrients from the cuttings will be less available to the growing plants. The higher grass will be a cover for insects and rodents. Weeds will have more time to mature and produce seed.

7. Never remove more than one third of the plant at a time. It will cause weak turf, and weak turf is more susceptible to insects and weeds.

8. Mowers should be cleaned and kept free of weed seeds. After mowing a weedy right of way, the mower should be cleaned prior to mowing other turf.

9. Always mow away from landscape beds.

10. Do not over irrigate lawns and landscape beds. This can cause conditions favorable to fungus, insects, and weeds.

11. Do not over fertilize. This can cause some of the same problems as over irrigating. It can also cause spikes in growth potentially creating problems with thatch.

12. Do not fertilize lawns too late in the year. You may be fertilizing winter weeds.

13. Do not aerate or otherwise cultivate lawns too late in the fall. You will be planting weed seed which would have rotted on the surface.

14. Lawn compaction causes poor quality turf. If you have an area where this is a problem, try to either build a walkway in the area, or build or grow a barrier.

15. Use native plants when landscaping. They are more resistant to fungus and insects.

16. Keep vines and shrubs a foot or more away from structures.

17. Keep mulch a foot or more away from structures.

18. When pruning: Know your trees natural growth habit. When you prune, prune to a lateral branch. Make a clean cut just outside the callous of the limb or branch connection. Never leave stubs of branches. Support the branch being removed. Make three cuts if needed. Do not use pruning paint.

19. Do not create low areas that might retain water. Fill or provide permanent drainage for such areas that already exist.

20. If hornets and ants are a problem, removing sugars and carbohydrates will help keep them away.

21. Repair any leaky plumbing, or dripping outdoor faucets will help to keep all pests away, including rodents, carpenter ants, and fungus.

22. Keep lids tightly closed on trash cans and keep the cans as far away from structure entrances, and from where people congregate as possible.

23. Make sure that rain gutters are cleaned regularly, and are in good working condition. Clogged gutters are a prime place for insects.

24. Be certain that no tree limbs are on, or near the roof. Insects and animals might use this as a highway onto the roof and probe for a way to get inside.

25. Check all upper vents, especially attic and soffit vents and add screens if not already in place.

26. Check and screen all vents if needed.

27. Make sure that weep holes are not blocked by soil or mulching materials. Fungus can result.

28. Check for soil contact with untreated lumber. Termites can result from such exposures.

29. Often, the best chemical for use in the prevention of pests is a tube of caulk! Caulking around doors and windows, inside and out should be checked, and resealed if needed.

30. Door sweeps should be checked and replaced if they do not reach the floor, or do not go all the way to the edges of the door.

31. All weather-stripping around doors and windows should be checked.

32. All screened doors and windows should be in good order with good fit, and no holes.

33. Check the window surface to surface seals where they open and close, make sure the seal is tight enough that bugs can't crawl between.

34. Check indoor plants before bringing them inside when first purchased or brought in from a greenhouse, or after watering outdoors.

35. Check all food packages, bags, fruits and vegetables carefully for insects.

36. It goes without saying, that all structures should be clean, with no food sources for pests.

To get started on your very own home pest management program, just see: How To Use This Site,Prevention Starts Outdoors, or our Prevention Program page. Just follow the links at the bottom of each page, for a step by step program. There are many other resources on this site so be sure to take a look at our Main Directory .

If you live in the Tyler, East Texas area, and have a problem with bugs and weeds,  TexPest Services isyour source for IPM based pest control.


Contact us at: james@bugsandweeds.com

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