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Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, is a natural pest control method that’s at the heart of all pest management. Good pest control programs will include IPM recommendations. These suggestions will include things that you can change around your home to make it less hospitable to pests such as ants, centipedes, spiders and even mice. And the best part? You can do many of these things without hiring a professional. 

IPM uses a “common-sense” approach to pest management, and can be applied in a variety of environments including residential homes, municipal buildings, schools, or commercial properties. With a focus on eliminating the things that attract pests to your home, IPM is an environmentally conscious  pest control solution that minimizes the need for pesticides. In cases where pesticides are needed, best practices indicate the use of the least toxic pesticides as the first choice.


There are 5 fundamental components that make up a good IPM program. The first step is to identify any areas with pest activity, and take note of how much activity is present. Then, look to see what items on your property may be providing food, water, and shelter to sustain those pests. And finally, inspect for any entry points that may be allowing pests to access you home.  

Typically, IPM practices that can be done by homeowners include mechanical pest control tactics as well as maintaining good sanitation. Mechanical control is the use of physical barriers such as caulking to block out pests. Sanitation refers to the cleanliness of an area, including dirt, grime, and clutter. In this article, we’ve included a few ways that you can improve the conditions around your house in order to make it less enticing for pests. 

natural pest control methods include consistent inspections and monitoring pest activity

Prevention is the Best Natural Pest Control

While natural pest control is very appealing to many people, there are few methods that are scientifically proven to help eliminate pests and prevent them from returning. Depending on the level of infestation, good IPM practices may be enough to keep pest populations at a level that you are comfortable with. Sometimes the activity level is very high, or the pests in question are unaffected by normal IPM methods. In those cases, chemical treatments may be required to bring the pest population to an acceptable level before implementing IPM practices. If you have a high level of activity, we recommend contacting a professional exterminator to help you bring it under control.

Eliminate Creature Comforts For the Best Natural Pest Control

Every living creature needs the same things to survive, and nuisance pests are no different. Something as simple as eliminating sources of food and water can help reduce pest activity around your home. Some insects, such as centipedes, pillbugs, ants, earwigs, and spiders thrive in cool damp areas. Walk around your property and look for any trace amounts of water that can be remedied. This can often include leaks from hoses or sinks, garden mulch that retains moisture, clogged gutters, or even a bird bath. Without access to water sources around your home, these crawling insects will be encouraged to find a new home. 

It is equally important to eliminate food sources on your property. Depending on the pest, items that constitute a food source will vary. Some pests love seeds or grain-based food products, such as rice, bird seed, or even dog food. The best way to limit access to these types of foods is by storing them in air-tight glass or plastic containers. We also recommend hanging bird-feeders about 20-30 ft away from the house, which puts them outside the typical feeding range for a house mouse. 

natural pest control methods include eliminating water sources for pests


When they are not busy eating or drinking, most pests spend the rest of their time in search of suitable shelter. For some insects, this can be found in a stone wall or under a wood pile, for others it’s the corner of your kitchen or in your basement. For mice, safe haven can be found inside the walls of your home. Regardless of where in your home you are finding these pesky intruders, they are usually not welcome. 

Richland Pest & Bee services to get rid of problems with rats or mice

A key part of preventing pest issues inside your home is to reduce their access to the structure. Pests as large as mice can gain access to your home through gaps as small as a quarter of an inch in diameter.  That means that insects such as ants and spiders can get in through even smaller gaps. One of the best ways to prevent pests from getting inside your house is by performing exclusion tactics. You can use a silicon based caulk to seal off small cracks around windows and doors, and steel wool or copper mesh for gaps that are a little larger. Sealing up gaps and cracks around the outside of your home will help to reduce pest activity inside the house.

Combining Control Methods to Reduce Pests Naturally

You may find that some methods of integrated pest management will overlap with each other. For example, reducing clutter on the outside of your home will not only minimize areas of shelter, but can also reduce moisture build-up by allowing for proper air circulation. The same concept applies to trees or bushes that are too close to the exterior of your home. By trimming shrubs or tree branches back at least 1-2 ft from the structure, you can minimize the sheltered areas on the outside of your home while also reducing access to the structure. 


For some pests or properties, IPM alone is not enough to get rid of existing problems. When working with a professional pest control company, there are typically four stages of IPM. The first stage consists of identifying the pest and the current activity levels. Second, a threshold will be established to determine what level of pest activity is acceptable, and at what level action will be required. The third stage is to prevent pests, which can be done by reducing access to food, water and shelter. Finally, if the pest activity exceeds the acceptable threshold, the fourth stage of IPM is implemented. This stage is designed to control pests. When chemical treatments are needed, the least toxic pesticides are the first choice. 

Integrated Pest Management combines common-sense with scientific data. Experienced professionals will have a deep understanding of pest biology and can help you to determine the best steps to take. However, many prevention tactics can be done by a handy homeowner. The success of an IPM based plan also depends on your tolerance level for pests. In some environments, like restaurants or food processing facilities, the tolerance level will be much lower than what you would find acceptable in your own home. By following some of the methods outlined in this article, you may be able to keep pest activity to a minimum without the need for pesticides. 

pesticide treatments are sometimes necessary in combination with natural pest control


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