Integrated Pest Management

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An important step towards staying safe at home is ensuring that your home is free of pests. Rodents and their droppings can spread diseases and viruses, including hantavirus, salmonellosis and rat-bite fever. They also trigger asthma and allergies. Cockroaches are an extremely common asthma trigger and are highly problematic for those with allergies. Some research points to their presence around young children as contributing to the development of asthma. 

Due to Covid-19 and Michigan’s statewide order for residents to stay home and only leave for essential business, we are spending close to 100% of our time in our homes. Now is a great time to do all that we can to reduce our exposure to pests that trigger asthma and allergies. This week, Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan will provide information on how to combat mice and cockroaches in the home using integrated pest management or IPM.   

IPM uses an environmentally and family-friendly approach to eliminate roaches, mice and rats from homes without using toxic bombs or sprays. Here are some simple strategies to eliminate the pests and keep them from coming back:

Step 1: Starve them OUT!

  • To us a few crumbs are just a few crumbs, but to pests they can be an entire meal.
  • Clean up spills and crumbs right away.
  • Eat meals at the table or in a designated area, not all over the house.
  • Store trash securely outside of the home.
  • Empty trash weekly and use a garbage can with a tight fitted lid.
  • Store food, snacks and pet food in tightly sealed containers.

Step 2: Dry them OUT!

A leaky faucet or dish with water can provide a drinking source to pests.

  • Wipe off counters and floors when wet.
  • Do not leave standing water overnight.
  • Report and/or fix leaks.
  • Drain water out of sink and dry wet dishes.

Step 3:  Keep them OUT!

Pests are small and can fit through tiny openings. Mice can fit through a hole smaller than the size of a dime. Cockroaches can hitchhike in on bags and furniture.

  • Get rid of clutter where mice and cockroaches like to hide.
  • To keep mice out, seal up holes with copper mesh and spray foam or caulk. Seal all holes up to five feet. Make sure all windows and doors close tightly, including underneath.
  • To get rid of hiding places for roaches, seal cracks with caulk.
  • For mice, place snap traps along walls and in areas where children can’t reach. Use peanut butter instead of cheese and check them daily.
  • For cockroaches, use bait stations and insect growth regulators.
  • Do not use toxic sprays or bombs. Bait stations work better.

With a few simple changes, the pests will be gone!

For more information, visit: http://www.healthyhomescoalition.org/pests


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