Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a way to control pests that helps keep people, pets, and the environment safe and healthy. It emphasizes pest prevention and reduces use of chemicals. IPM requires learning about the pest in question and doing what's necessary to eliminate their access to food, water, and shelter. IPM uses physical barriers that block pest entry. For long-term prevention, choose these control methods:

  • Keep kitchens and garbage areas as clean as possible.
  • Use physical barriers such as screens and caulk to keep pests out of buildings.
  • Set baits or traps to prevent problems or get rid of them early.
  • Use natural predators, like ladybugs, to control lawn and garden pests.
  • Select plants for landscaping that resist disease.

Use IPM at Home

  • Inspect - Be a detective. Look for signs of the pests, such as dead insects and rodent droppings. Look for damage caused by the pests and conditions they need to survive such as moisture and food.
  • Learn About the Pests - Identify the pest and learn about what it eats, how it reproduces, and where it prefers to live.
  • Decide if You Have a Problem - Many pests are just a nuisance, but some can cause serious health problems or damage your property.
  • Keep Track of the Pests - This helps you find out if your control methods are working
  • Choose the Best Option to Manage Pests - You want to control the pests without harming people, pets, or other creatures and plants that share our environment. Do this by choosing the least hazardous method of pest control. Prevention is the best place to start.
  • Evaluate - Check often to see if you still have the pest problem. Decide which methods work best and remember that it is much easier to get rid of a small number of pests than a huge number.

More Resources

Integrated Pest Management for Households - Brochure (PDF)



Household IPM, National Pesticide Information Center

IPM, Washington State University

IPM, University of California


Content Source: Zoonotic Disease Program