California's temperate climate is home to millions of small crawling and flying creatures, including beetles, flying insects and spiders. To keep the bugs at bay, practice integrated pest management (IPM) around your property.
IPM methods are based on long-term monitoring and manipulation of the ecosystem where you live. You identify local pests and find appropriate strategies to minimize their invasion through habitat alteration, chemical and physical barriers, and other means. To develop your own IPM strategy, get the three things listed below.
Get Expert Advice on Local Nuisances
Whether you need to prevent future pest problems in your home or face large-scale invasions of insects, learn all you can about your local micro-climate. Ask a pest-control expert or your local extension agent to provide you with information about the pests that thrive in the soil, weather and foliage of your area.
Guides are available that include pictures of the various pests near you. Images of insects can also be found online in pest-control databases. Study the pictures so that you can identify the common insects and spiders in your neighborhood.
Become familiar with the life cycles of common insects and spiders too. When you know the stages of development of an invasive pest, you can apply biological controls and other treatments at the most effective times.
A professional pest-control technician will also give you advice on how to protect your home and prevent insect and spider outbreaks. The technician can walk around your yard and home and show you areas that need to be sealed, reinforced or changed to make them less attractive to pests.
Get Motivated to Monitor Your Property
A vital component of IPM is keeping a constant eye out for insect and spiders in your location. In the home, you should inspect rooms and closets weekly for signs of pest damage. Webs, egg sacs and strange spots on walls are all signs of insect infestation.
Store cereals and grains in air-tight containers and check weekly for signs of weevils and moths. Grain-chewing insects are often brought into the home in store-bought flours and other products. Check closets for moths that eat fabric, and look under cabinets and other furnishings for bugs that hide in dark places.
Stay alert to notifications of new bugs in your area. Invasive pests are fond of California, and destructive species are being discovered moving across the state on a constant basis.
Keep current on new invasive species in neighboring regions too. Pests affecting adjacent areas of the state may be driven to your property after wildfires, during drought conditions or via natural migration to find new territory.
Get Physical With Common Entry Points
Modern homes offer many small entry points that are the perfect size for insect squatters to move through and use to set up nurseries and food-rich havens. An important component of IPM is setting up physical barriers to prevent pest intrusion into your space.
Areas to inspect for openings include:
- Attic vents and windows
- Utility/laundry room vents and openings
- Drains and other pipes
- Garage doors
- Home foundations
- Crawlspace cracks and crevices
Screens and other barriers, including caulk, are considered mechanical or physical control of pests. For example, a fine-mesh screen over a chimney stack or rain barrel keeps most insects from falling down the chimney or into the catchment water.
Cultural methods are also part of getting physical with your IPM strategy. Preventative tasks including rotating garden crops and removing host weeds can also help. Storing rubbish cans and compost away from the home and landscaping is also recommended by IPM experts.
Contact Shelby's Pest Control Inc today and schedule an inspection of your property. We help property owners develop effective, safe pest-control strategies.