Integrated pest management (IPM) is a proven, cost-effective strategy to combat pest problems without unnecessary pesticides. By correcting conditions that lead to pest problems and using least-toxic pesticides only when necessary, IPM provides more effective pest control, often
without increasing costs.

NRDC is collaborating with the IPM Institute to promote a more effective alternative to conventional pest control services.

What is IPM? Integrated Pest Management (IPM) begins with an inspection for signs of pest activity and conditions that may lead to pest infestation. Pests need food, water, and shelter to survive and thrive. IPM practitioners eliminate these needs to provide lasting pest management. Preventative strategies include improving sanitation, sealing cracks to eliminate pest habitat, installing door sweeps to keep out mice or insects, and fixing leaking plumbing to remove access to water—among many others.

When non-chemical measures are not adequate, baited pesticide traps in enclosed
containers kill pests and reduce human and pet exposure to pesticides. IPM is included in “green” building standards and certification programs.

IPM is a Less Hazardous Alternative to Spraying Pesticides

Conventional spraying treatments create great potential for health and environmental hazards
from pesticide exposure and are less effective than integrated pest management. Conventional pest control for buildings often involves routinely spraying pesticides on baseboards, floors, and other exposed indoor surfaces where children, pets, and adults may come into contact them.
A national government survey found that more than 90 percent of Americans have a mixture
of up to 43 pesticides in their bodies.

Children are at particular risk. Pesticides have been linked to childhood leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, brain tumors, lower birth weight, and congenital heart defects. Children under age six account for more than half of all pesticide poisonings in the United States.