A healthy home is a home that is pest-free. Pests include mice, rats, dust-mites and cockroaches that invade your home, leaving behind urine and feces (referred to as frass) while potentially causing structural damage, lead to asthma attacks, bite, contaminate your food, and transmit diseases. Homeowners often use pesticides to control pests which are known to irritate your eyes, nose, and throat, cause skin rashes and nausea, lead to kidney damage and increase the risk of cancer.
For pests to thrive in a home, they need food, water, and shelter. Without one of these three variables, pests cannot thrive in your home – this is the basis of integrated pest management (IPM).
Integrated Pest Management focuses on 1) inspecting and identifying pests in the home, 2) excluding and denying pests access to the home (sealing holes where they can gain access to the home for example), 3) educating the home owner about pests and safe pest control methods, 4) keeping the home clean and sanitary, 5) physical control (such as mechanical mouse traps for example) and 6) continued monitoring for more pests.
Pests are best controlled when we eliminate their food, water, and harboring ability while using the least-chemical control methods needed and proven prevention techniques.
While most are drawn to harsh chemical treatments such as poisonous bait traps or roach spray, the risk of poisoning, asthma triggers and the potential ill-effects to our children are not worth the benefits when safer and less-toxic alternatives are available. Pesticides may be the only option but make sure that they are used in a manner to prevent over-contamination to everyone in the home and limits the exposure to only those areas that need to be exposed.