Using the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) there are non-chemical or “mechanical” approaches to pest control, many of which can be easily implemented by the average homeowner. The following is a list of we have compiled that can minimize or even prevent some pests. The Bug Runner is located in New York and New Jersey so our suggestions and “pest highlights” reflect this region’s climate and terrain. Note: You may notice that some of these hints are repeated when discussing different pests, let this emphasize the overall benefits of following these suggestions!

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

*Integrated pest management (IPM) is a systematic approach to managing pests that focuses on long-term prevention or suppression with minimal impact on human health, the environment, and non-target organisms.

IPM incorporates all reasonable measures to prevent pest problems by; properly identifying pests, monitoring population dynamics, and utilizing cultural, physical, biological or chemical pest population control methods to reduce pests to acceptable levels.
*as defined in the NYSDEC Pest Management Information Series

Benefits of Home IPM

Reduces the need for pesticides by using several management methods
Balances proper and minimal use of chemical pesticides with the need to manage pests
Helps protect the environment from excessive or unnecessary pesticide applications
Fosters sound structures and healthy plants.
Well maintained homes and lawns better withstand damage from storms, insects, weeds and other pests.
We hope you find these suggestions helpful. Service, safety and a satisfied customer are our first priority at The Bug Runner

IPM Checklist

  • Make sure all exterior doors shut tightly – fit with anti-pest tension strips – and keep doors shut when not in use
  • Weeds, brush and tree limbs should be cleared away from around the building, no plants, trees or shrubs should touch the building
  • Keep lawns cut short (keeping lawns, weeds and underbrush cut back also reduces resting sites for mosquitoes)
  • Use non-organic mulches around buildings
  • Remove tree stumps, at least within 50 feet of building
  • Repair damaged trees (e.g. sealing rot holes, removing dead branches)
  • Yellow lights outside help keep insect infestations down and away from entrances
  • Correct exterior moisture problems (e.g. leaking flashing, clogged gutters and downspouts)
  • Eliminate all areas where water collects – standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and a water source for all kinds of pests

Some areas to check:

  • gutters- clean debris from gutters early in spring and check them regularly – a huge number of mosquitoes can result from clogged gutters
  • tires, boats, and tarps
  • pool covers- clean, filter and treat pools – empty “kiddie” pools and turn over when not in use- keep pool covers clean by propping them up to drain water
  • recycling bins- make sure they have drainage holes in the bottom
  • children’s lawn toys
  • patio furniture and storage bins
  • Screen all windows and vents – repair broken windows and screens
  • Garbage cans should seal tightly and be kept away from the house
  • Caulk around gas and electric entrance points and crevices around doors, windows and vents to reduce insect entry
  • Store firewood off the ground and away from the house – check firewood before bringing it into the house
  • Eliminate any soil/wood contact
  • Replace any rotted wood
  • Improve grade against foundation walls- water should flow away from the foundation
  • Keep garage clean and free of old newspapers and cardboard
  • Rinse all bottles and cans before storing for recycling
  • Avoid bringing infested plants and flowers into the house
  • Repair plumbing leaks promptly
  • Reduce condensation or ventilation problems (especially in attics and crawl spaces)
  • Replace hollow doors (especially in bathrooms) with solid doors
  • Keep food and garbage in sealed containers
  • Use bottle traps for bees- put an attractant inside (lemon aid or soda works well) and place them around the perimeter of your picnic area, patio or deck to attract and catch them before they reach you and your food