Residential and Commercial Rodent IPM Programs – PCT
IPM is a globally used pest control process defined by the World Health Organization as “a sound approach using a hierarchy of control practices, including public education, hygiene, pest control and other biological and mechanical control methods, while limiting pesticide use”. “As it can be used in both commercial and private environments. However, because this “common sense” approach should be adapted to each environment, there are differences between personal and commercial IPM programs.
“The philosophy is the same, and when you evaluate the situation you take into account the same considerations,” said Steven Sklare, President of the Food Safety Academy. However, he said, “Circumstances will dictate differences in the programs in terms of the tools to be used, the risk tolerance of the customer, and the aspects of the program that are most emphasized.”
But he added, “If an IPM program is to be successfully implemented in a personal or commercial account, the customer must understand that they need to be an active participant in the program and not a passive viewer.”
Trading accounts. Given the differences between residential and commercial accounts, there will also be differences between different types of commercial operations, Sklare said. For example, a food processing facility has different needs than a hotel, and both are different from a non-food facility.
Food businesses often have the strictest pest control requirements as food safety is a key concern. So, Agrecom owner Mike Altomare said you need to keep inspecting a food factory to make sure the facility is sealed, the sweeps are tight, the pallet areas do not require rodent shelters, etc, using metering to determine how well the program works. “Bait is more of a monitoring tool,” he said. If it is not consumed, there are probably no problems; If they are consumed, you need to determine where the rodents are coming from and reduce that population. “That’s the key,” he said.
But no matter what type of operation the facility operates, “letting the rodent populations out of control is not an option,” said Terry Hoselton, owner of Missouri Pest Consultants. This makes IPM a critical program for any facility, whether they have a rodent problem or want to prevent one.
In commercial accounts, customers often want to know how the IPM approach ensures their pest control program is compliant with both government and non-government standards and focuses on root cause analysis and prevention, Sklare said. But, he said, “The most common questions usually relate to tasks that need to be done by the customer.” For example, while they admit that not all of their overhead doors provide proper sealing when closed, they may wonder if it really is is necessary to repair those who do not.
Household accounts. When conducting IPM in homes, inspections are critical to determining what pests are present. conducive conditions exist; and preventive or control measures are required. In fact, according to Altomare, he notes that there are generally not many rodent problems in residential areas. Then he said, “When I see a rodent, I am bringing up this problem.”
More recently, however, due to the limited availability of food due to the COVID-19 pandemic, rats have increased their movement into residential areas, which has resulted in a significant increase in problems and sightings. To combat this, IPM and its preventive tools, including fertility control, are being used to bring the population under control, Hoselton said.
But like any bait application, fertility control needs to be part of a good IPM program that removes all other options. “You have to take everything else out; all garbage must be clear; all other food sources removed, ”he said. “You can’t even leave crumbs on the floor because it gives them an option.”
When working with retail clients, Sklare added, it is important to clearly explain what IPM means and how the approach reduces or eliminates pests while addressing their concerns – be it the safety of their children and / or pets, as they are environmentally friendly are as friendly as possible, etc.
As with commercial customers, the most common questions about residential use are those related to what to do, he said. For example, the homeowner who has a problem with squirrels gnawing holes in their attic may still ask if there is really a need to prune back trees that come in direct contact with their home.
It is precisely this communication that is of crucial importance when implementing IPM on any account, whether commercial or private, especially if fertility control is to be used. “It is very important to explain how and why you use it,” said Hoselton. “You have to explain why you are using this instead of killing them; and you have to communicate that it takes time.