IPM for Kids
IPM stands for "Integrated Pest Management" (wow, that's a mouth-full!). IPM is a way to deal with pests like weeds, insects, and diseases. Pests can grow quickly and can affect people by spreading disease, causing allergies, or bothering us too much. They can come into your home or they can hurt plants in your garden.
When you use IPM, you try to prevent the pest first. Pests in your home need food, water, and shelter to survive so getting rid of these things can help control them. You can do this by keeping your house clean and clutter free. Remove food crumbs, wipe spills, and keep the trash closed tightly. Fixing leaks will help remove water that pests need. Also, close holes in screens and seal cracks around windows and doors where pests can enter your house.
It is important to identify your pest and then decide if you have too many. You must decide if you really have a pest problem because not all insects are pests. Some insects, like honey bees, do good things like helping plants to grow (this is called pollination).
If you need to control a pest, you should use things called "least toxic" controls, which are least harmful to humans and the environment. Using chemicals too much can make kids and pets sick. It also can harm the outdoors and animals living there. Instead of spraying bug spray to get rid of insect pests in your house, try using a fly swatter!