Hello, and thank you for joining me for another episode of the Ben’s Pest Control podcast. Today, I’m excited to address this subject and the subject of today’s podcast is IPM. I know for most people IPM is a term that they are not familiar with. So let’s jump right into it. IPM stands for integrated pest management. And integrated pest management is a term that describes a complete our thought process to how we’re going to control pests at people’s houses. And that includes numerous avenues for controlling pests. And when you actually get down to the the actual concept of IPM, you have really four methods of control that come into play. One of those is biological control. One is cultural controls, you have mechanical and physical controls, and then you have chemical control for pest issues. So I’m going to give you an example. And we’ll start with biological control. biological control would be the use of natural enemies to address pests that we’re having at our customers structures. Take fire ants, for example. Not a lot of people know this, but the import of fire in in Florida does have a natural enemy. where they came from an Africa, there is an actual fly that attacks by our ants, and they lay their eggs inside the fire end. And they are just a natural enemy of fire ants. And they can affect how effectively fire ants spread and take over an area. Now, in the United States, we’re aware of this fly. But other than in one area of Texas, most areas have been reluctant to release the fly, because any creature that flies is harder to control than creatures that crawl.
So that’s just an example of what would be a biological control. Cultural controls are anything that can reduce the establishment or the survival of insects. So one of the things we’ve talked about is when it comes to cultural controls would be things like reducing moisture around the house. As I’ve said many times in my podcasts, all living creatures need three things to survive food, water, and shelter. So cultural controls could be controlling the moisture, and making sure that they don’t have water. Now here in Florida, we get rained a lot. So that’s very difficult to do. But it is possible because in some cases, the water could be something like dripping hose bib, it could be a leaking pool system that did straining water on the ground. So there’s cultural control. And then you get to the last two, which are the third one is mechanical and physical controls. Now mechanical and physical controls are things like looking at your structure, from a pest control state from a pest control viewpoint. And we offer the 58 point inspection and analysis of your home. And most of the things that we look at in our 58 point inspection analysis is this the conditions around the house. So this includes things like cracks in the house. So if you have a crack in the house, you have a space where bugs and insects can get into the house and possibly set up harbourage and take you know invade the structure. Another thing we look at is things like tree branches touching the house. So when a client has pest control and the exterior of the house is sprayed, but there’s a tree branch touching the house, the tree branch now in essence is working like a bridge that can allow them access in some cases to get around that treatment. So tree branches touching the house shrubs touching the house, we look for things like water leaks, we look for excessive water, we look for garbage, we look for anything that gives them access poor screens, open doors, doors that don’t have good sill plates at the bottom doors that don’t have good weather stripping. All of these are examples of areas of let’s say rot in a house that has wood siding or wood facia, if it’s rotten, that’s an area that now could have access for things to get in. And then of course, the last thing is the chemical control. So, with the chemical control, what we’re doing is we’re saying, okay, we’re using this treatment, to try to minimize the ability for pests to affect you or your children, or your pets. So chemical control is actually in the list, the last thing that we normally look at, for a lot of people, and I’ve done this since 1994, when we first started, we just sprayed and in a lot of cases, we only sprayed inside of homes, it at the time, it was actually unheard of to spray outside. And I would say it was probably within the first three to four years of my getting into pest control, that I started hearing more about IPM, integrated pest management, and realizing that most of the pests that people deal with actually come from outside of their homes, and find a way into the structure, and then cause the problems that they cause inside. So we really at that point in time as an industry started focusing more on exterior treatments, and less on interior treatments. And that was it was good. I mean, it was it was a good opportunity for us to start to hopefully minimize the amount of pesticides that people and their families and their pets were exposed to. So one of the things I tell people is that chemical control in some cases is definitely still necessary. But in other cases, if you’re focused on the other controls, you can greatly reduce and minimize possibly the need for chemical control. Not in every case, I mean, there are some pests that are very difficult, and still will require chemical control. But even when you’re looking at it from the perspective, if you can do that chemical control on the exterior of the house, that is a positive for you. And it means that you’re addressing the situation before it hopefully gets too bad inside of the structure. And that is very, very important.
One of the things that I like to say is, you know, when you look at pest control, you don’t, there are areas in this world, and in our lives, where you probably hope and think and say to yourself, you know, I really hope that they aren’t spraying insecticides inside of these areas. And, and a lot of people don’t think of it that way. But let’s be honest, I mean, we don’t want to think that, hey, you know, we’re walking into a hospital, this is a sterile environment, was the bug guy just in there spraying areas like the operating room, I mean, these are areas where chemical treatments are not necessarily, and in most cases not really done. I mean, it’s it’s got to be taken care of, and it’s got to be taken care of in a manner that safe for the patients that are being treated in these areas. I would say in some cases that you have places like nursing homes and, and places where people can’t be removed or even veterinarians offices, where there’s pets going to be brought in, you just don’t want them to be spraying insecticide and exposing your pets or your family to these areas. So if pesticides can be put outside of these structures and control pests, there’s no reason it can’t be done for your house. And so when people hear us talking about our exterior spray program, that’s where the logic comes in. Our program is designed to look at the outside of your house and determine what you need and make the recommendations and make the suggestions. And in some cases, there are things that we offer that we can do. And in other cases, we have to make the suggestion that maybe your house needs to be painted. Maybe it needs to be sealed. And sometimes painting is the ceiling. Sometimes you might need boards replaced or trees Trent. I want to give you an example of one house. We had a client not long ago. And the gentleman called up and he said, we see Palmetto bugs. We have a lot of Palmetto bugs at our house. I don’t know why you guys spray. They’re dead. But we just feel like we see more than we should. So I went out to take a look at the gentleman’s house. And I’ll just give you some examples of what I saw. When I went around his house. One of the things that was of great concern First, the gentleman had a shed right up against the house and the shed was made out of wood and it was falling apart. It was decaying it was rotten. And I can’t tell you that how much that that wouldn’t be an optimal situation. You have a wood floor sitting on the ground rotting away. So it’s dark, it’s wet, and it’s covered and the wood is decaying which can be a food source for roaches and it was right on the house built right up against the house. And here’s this rotting shed. And I had to tell the gentleman, you know, the shed really has to go or be fixed or something because this is a Harbour Bridge, a great Harbour Bridge, especially for Palmetto bugs. So then as I walked around the gentleman’s house, we had wood piles, and the wood piles were right next to the structure. And in one case, we found a wood pile the woodpile was solid as far as not having rock to it, but we actually found termites in the woodpile next to the house. So I had to tell him, sir, understand you have this woodpile here. And yeah, you may not have rot in it. And it may not yet have roaches in it, but it already has termites in it. And you’re actually giving the opportunity for termites be right next to your house. So how long do you think it’s gonna be before the termites find their way into your house.
So we had the shed we had while so wood. As we went around, the gentleman had rocks, big old cement pavers and stones that he was planning to use as decorative barriers around his gardens. And they were all stacked right up against the house. And I had to tell him, I said, Sir, now, this is fine, because there’s no wood is in that regard. But because they’re stack, you still have areas where there’s cracks and crevices, and the roaches can get in and live in there, there may not be wet wood. But if moisture gets in there, now you still have heartbreak, you still have water. The only thing missing in this situation is food, which if they can come out of those rocks and get food out of the planter beds around the house, life is pretty good. So we found that, and then as we continued to circle around his house, the gentleman had an old pool heater and an old pool filter that somebody had replaced. And both the old heater and the old pool filter was just stored right up against the people who replaced them never come away, never throw them out. They were just sitting there. And you’ve got this filter, which is paper and it’s getting rained on, it’s getting wet. And it creates a dark carrbridge again, and there’s moisture associated with this filter, and it’s holding moisture and it’s paper. And the old pool heater, it’s a big metal box sitting on the ground, just rotting away and I’m sitting there going this is another heartbreak where insects could be thriving could be living. You don’t need this here that I had to tell him sir, you need to really consider throwing this away. There’s no reason for this to be here. So finally, I know for most people, you’re thinking this is probably more than you would expect to find out a house. But actually, we have one other situation that that we ended up coming across. And that was the gentleman had numerous boats that he had parked right next to the house and the boats had no cover. They were honestly it to some extent, in my opinion, they were starting to deteriorate, and the boats had holes that were open. And when it rained, the water could get into the halls. And anything could be in there. You could have rats in there, you could have snakes in there. Of course, you could have roaches, you could have ants, you could have insects living in this beautiful home, that’s right up against the house and not being maintained. And I just had to tell him, sir, you know, we can treat these for you. But it’s probably best if you’re not going to use them. Or if they’re not doing you any good that you consider getting them out of here. Because right now, until you get these things covered, and the ability to keep the moisture out and get them protected from the elements, what you really have is you have an environment that is just ideal for for insects. And so that is one example and all of these things that I’m pointing out to you are are things that are in some cases, cultural controls, because you can reduce the amount of moisture around the house, but mostly mechanical and physical controls, you’re you’re taking the areas of the house that are or are possibly harboring the bugs and you’re removing them. And that is a big, big deal when it comes to integrated pest management. So when our customers call us and they they have questions or we say to them listen after the initial treatment or after we solve the problem most of our treatments are exterior that is part of our integrated pest management program. And if you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call. Our phone number is 772-878-1972 or you can check out our website if our program is something you’re interested in, we’d be happy to give you the free 58 point pest survey and analysis. Just call now our number is 772-878-1972. And we’ll be happy to set that up for you. And we can tell you what we see what’s going on at your house and what needs to be addressed from any one of those four avenues that could be causing your pest problem. So thank you and have a great day.