Integrated Pest Management Practices

What is IPM?

IPM is a combination of common sense and scientific principles. It’s a way of thinking about pest management that values:

  • Using knowledge about the pest’s habits, life cycle, needs and dislikes
  • Using the least toxic methods first, up to and including pesticides
  • Monitoring the pest’s activity and adjusting methods over time
  • Tolerating harmless pests
  • Setting a threshold to decide when it’s time to act

Visit the National Pesticide Information Center

Why IPM?

Integrated Pest Management Practices are used to reduce and prevent harm to the environment and potential health problems to humans. There are different methods that when combined to control pests are economical and less hazardous to protect people and the environment. Use precaution when controlling pests through chemical pesticides to prevent harm to humans

See EPA’s publication Citizen Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety:


  • Choose the right pesticide
  • Read the product label
    • DANGER means poisonous or corrosive
    • WARNING means moderately hazardous
    • CAUTION means least hazardous
    • Determine the right amount to purchase and use
    • Use according to the instructions
    • Store and dispose properly

  • Identify the pest problem
  • Decide how much pest control is necessary
  • Choose an effective option to remove pests
  • Evaluate the results

What are Pests?

Pests are living organisms that occur where they are not wanted or that cause damage to crops or humans or other animals.  Pests include unwanted plants, insects, mold, mildew, rodents, bacteria and other organisms.

Visit the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Pesticide Information Center for more information


The 2000 Institute of Medicine Report identified cockroaches and housedust mites as factors having enough evidence in the literature to be causally linked to exacerbation of asthma.  Housedust mites are also casually linked to the development of asthma (National Academies Press, 2000). Asthma alone is estimated at close to 8.1% and 9.2% prevalence nationwide for adults and children, respectively (Centers for disease Control, 2010). It is imperative for all households to understand/access the triggers and adverse exposures for asthma and other respiratory illnesses (Huss et al., 2011; Ciaccio et al., 2012; Wada et al., 2011; Tovey and Ferro, 2012; and Torjusen et al., 2012) and to maintain a clean home free of pests (Gao, 2012, Page, 2012). In the 2011 Housing Survey, it was estimated that over 13 million housing units across the nation (out of 132 million) had seen signs of cockroaches in the last 12 months, with southern regions having 6 times more incidents of occurrence than the Northeastern region. Many homes also show problems with mice and other rodents (US Census Bureau, 2011). This means families must engage in pest management in and around the home. Pest management practices entails maintaining a clean, dry and sealed home and storing and using pesticides when necessary in a safe and appropriate manner. These pests and other pests in the home can result in other health problems (e.g. cockroaches, rats and mice are all linked to the transmission of salmonella), damage to the home property and emotional trauma. Pesticides themselves are linked to a multitude of health problems (e.g. cancer, neurodevelopment disease) and call for precautionary approaches in their use in around the home (Eskenazi et al., 1999). Primarily, their application by experts is recommended, and, additionally, certain home use foggers and broad band applications are discouraged by home owners. Experts better understand integrated pest management practices and managing the environment as opposed to managing the pest (Center for Disease Control, 2006).

Integrated Pest Management Brochure

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