The DIY Mentality: A Better Fit with IPM than with Pesticides?
We’re circling back on this topic: it’s important!
If you take a Do-It-Yourself approach to challenges, preferring to use your wits, common-sense, and the internet to solve problems, then you may have already googled “Best Way to Control Ants,” and headed down to your local garden supply or hardware store, picking up baits and sprays off the shelves and bringing them home.
While this approach can feel empowering and economical, when you are dealing with pesticides, it is important to ask yourself the following questions before you head off to pesticide DIY-land:
- Are you sure exactly which pest you are dealing with? There are a number of different types of ants, for example, that eat differing foods and demand differing methods of control — using an off-the-shelf pesticide may spread unnecessary and ineffective chemicals in your home or garden while doing nothing to address the type of pest that is bothering you.
- Do you fully understand the toxicity of the pesticide you are using? Even if you read the label carefully, and follow the instructions exactly, are you confident that you understand how the pesticide works, and what after-effects it might have on the many other inhabitants of your home and garden (children, pets, beneficial insects, birds, reptiles and so on)?
- Do you even need to use a pesticide? Have you considered first using principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to rid your home and garden of whatever is enticing the pest, and encouraging its population growth?
If you are still committed to the DIY approach, we encourage you research IPM principles and to ask questions about your pesticide risk, or any pesticide-related topic, by calling the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) at 1-800-858-7378 (8:00am – 12:00pm PST), or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hmm, I’m Feeling Less Confident…
Starting to think that these concerns about how dangerous a pesticide maybe aren’t worth the worry?
First, see if the EPA’s recommended Starve Them Out! Dry Them Out! Keep Them Out! plan discourages the pest enough to make pesticide application unnecessary. These action steps are great DIY projects:
- Starve Them Out!: Remove all food sources the pest might be enticed by.
- Dry Them Out! Remove all sources of standing water inside and out, in sinks, garages, empty flower pots, etc.
- Keep Them Out! Seal up or repair all cracks and openings that allow pests to get into your house, and remove hiding places for pests, like stacks of newspapers.
If these DIY steps don’t solve the problem, then it is time to seek help from a pest control professional.
The Benefits of Contacting A Camarillo Pest Control Expert When Pesticides are Indicated
- We’ll be able to educate you about the relative toxicity of any pesticides we recommend.
- We’ll give you choices for management methods based on your family and pet situation.
- We’ll target the offending pest with maximum effectiveness and minimum pesticide use, making sure your money is well-spent.
We encourage our clients to ask questions, state their concerns and be partners with us in ensuring that the least-toxic, most-effective pest control solution will be implemented, benefitting ALL of our health and safety.