Most homeowners have encountered a problem with rodents, cockroaches, flies, or other pests at some point. These pests can destroy property, spread diseases, trigger asthma episodes and compete for human food sources.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices, such as sanitation, exclusion, trapping, and applying low-toxicity, low-risk pesticides only as necessary.
The Department of Health uses integrated pest management to help control vectors, specifically rodents and mosquitoes. This includes education, code enforcement and, if necessary, larviciding in ponds and ditches and the placing of rodent bait in alleyways and around the exterior of homes.
For homeowners, IPM simply means (1) don’t attract pests, (2) keep them out, and (3) get rid of them, if you are sure you have them, with the safest, most effective methods.
Below is more information on each of the components of effective pest management.
If you have additional questions, please call the Environmental Services Division – Vector Control & Healthy Homes Program at (260) 449-7459.
To reduce the use of toxic chemicals, homeowners/occupants should clean up crumbs on the counter, sweep and mop the floors, put food into containers with tight-fitting lids, place trash into containers with lids, clean up after pets indoors and outdoors, remove any debris (containers and tires that can hold water) outside the house, clean out gutters and birdbaths, and fix any leaking pipes or hoses inside and outside the house.
To reduce the use of toxic chemicals, homeowners/occupants should seal any holes or cracks into the house, place sweeps at the bottom of exterior doors, put covers over any vents or pipes that enter the house, use window screens, keep house and garage doors closed when not entering or exiting, inspect any boxes or bags from grocery or other stores before taking them into the house, and inspect luggage for bugs after returning from a hotel/motel before taking the luggage inside.
To reduce the use of toxic chemicals, homeowners/occupants should use snap traps or glue traps for rodents and glue traps for cockroaches or other insect pests inside the house. When traps are used, the location of the dead animals or insects are known. They can be discarded easily.
Using poison baits or sprays does not control where the pest dies. Also, children or pets can come into contact with the pesticides and become ill or die due to the exposure.
Low-risk, Low-toxicity Pesticides
To reduce the use of toxic chemicals, homeowners/occupants should allow trained, professional pest management operators to place rodent bait around the exterior of the house. If bait cannot be placed into burrows, then it should be secured in bait stations that only allow rats and mice to enter to access the bait.
For cockroach and other insect control on the interior of the home, gel bait, bait stations or non-toxic products should be used. The baits and non-toxic products should be placed where children and pets cannot access, such as behind counters, refrigerators, stoves, and other hard-to-reach places.
Click on the links below to find out more about different pests and methods to control them.