Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is not a singular activity (such as spraying an office with a pesticide), but a number of services used together to provide long term pest control along with a reduction in pesticide use. The components of an IPM program are:
The regular surveillance of an area using traps, visual inspections, and interviews to locate pest infestations, personnel practices, and conditions that contribute to pest infestations.
By improving sanitation and personnel practices, reducing clutter and pest harborage, an area is less likely to support a pest population.
Staff cooperation is important to correct personnel practices and conditions that contribute to pest problems. Training is conducted on subjects such as pest identification, biology, the importance of sanitation, pesticide safety, etc.
Monitoring data on pest activity and observations on housekeeping and structural deficiencies are recorded in a log book. These records are summarized as part of evaluation and training programs.
Pest management practices such as trapping, caulking, steam cleaning, and freezing can be used with a high degree of safety and are very effective in controlling pests.
Once a survey is completed, the pest management technician may decide to perform a limited pesticide application. Pesticides are one of many different IPM methods that may be used when needed and appropriate.
Monitoring data and observations summarized and reviewed by those people performing and receiving IPM services to evaluate program effectiveness. IPM services are designed to meet the unique needs of each patient care unit, cafeteria, animal care facility, office or laboratory.
IPM eliminates the routine use of pesticides and encourages more permanent non-chemical control practices. This reduces the potential hazard of pesticide exposure to patients, the research environment, and the NIH staff.
Technical oversight is part of an IPM program as it provides an objective evaluation of program activities and effectiveness. Without objective program oversight, IPM programs are likely to regress back to a traditional pesticide based program.