German cockroach (Blattella germanica)
This 8-month project was a pilot for a larger IPM Rowhouse project. PA IPM partnered with a local pest control company (Pest Free Maintenance) and a community development corporation (People's Emergency Center) to assess and improve the living conditions of the occupants in one home in West Philadelphia.
The house was severely infested with German Cockroaches due to structural problems of the house and the behaviors of the occupants. The occupants were assisted with cleaning and personal issues. Least toxic methods of pest control were implemented including improved sanitation practices, heat flushing and HEPA vacuuming, trapping and baiting and boric acid applications in the walls, which were then sealed. At the last visit to the home, only 2 roaches were seen which was a dramatic improvement in the situation.
This house will be used as an example for neighbors and other community members to show them how effective IPM can be as a least-toxic method for controlling pests.
IPM in Neighborhoods and Communities
Pests such as flies, ants, cockroaches, rodents, moths, pigeons, mosquitoes and aphids, and weeds are not only common irritants but they can also have serious impact on human health and property. Pest infestations and unwise pesticide use in and around schools and other urban dwellings often result in unhealthy indoor and outdoor environments. Children, especially those with asthma, are particularly at risk of exposure to both pests and pesticides - both of which can cause and exacerbate this serious health problem.
This situation is alleviated by the use of Integrated Pest Management protocols, yet obstacles exist for IPM education and implementation. Everyone is susceptible to pests, but residents of many urban communities are plagued with pests due to the old age of buildings and the close proximity of homes and apartments. But no one needs to be at the mercy of pest problems. Educating people to overcome their fear and panic responses will make them choose their pest control methods wisely, knowing fully the advantages and disadvantages of their choices.