If the goals are to prevent pest entry into your building and make your property unattractive to pests, then maintenance staff members and building contractors are essential. They will be the ones incorporating design features that prevent pests and (literally) plugging the holes.
Which maintenance projects should be done with pest control
in mind? What control options are available? Which have been field-tested by an
These are all very important questions that the person making the purchasing decisions needs to ask. Being an informed consumer in pest control is daunting. Ads in the industry trade magazine, Pest Control Technology or the IPM Practitioner’s 2012 Directory of Least-Toxic Pest Control Products give you a snapshot of what’s out there.
The Pest Prevention By Design Guidelines is a new resource for designing buildings that are resistant to common pests. This free set of guidelines aims to reduce both pests and pesticides for the lifetime of a building. It will be invaluable to housing providers that need an easy-to-use reference for the non-chemical aspects of IPM.
The project was funded by the US Centers for Disease Control as part of a larger project addressing environmental problems in low-income housing. The Center for Environmental Health was contracted to coordinate the project, and the guidelines were reviewed by the International Code Council and a national, cross-sector team of experts. Allie Taisey was part of the committee that put together the guidelines, as was Leo Saylor from Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority who has worked with the StopPests Program to reduce pests and pesticide use at CMHA through maintenance repairs.
The experts on pest prevention who worked on this resource will join together on twitter on Wednesday 1/23 from 10am-noon PST using #pestchat. Join in on the conversation to share your experiences and ask your questions.
Are you planning construction? Is your maintenance team making a unit ready for a new resident? Do you have a work order for a repair or a specific pest issue? There’s no time like the present to start using the Guidelines!
The specific guideline tactics are organized by building area category. So if you are renovating kitchens, check out the chapter on kitchens. If you are looking for recommendations for a certain pest, search the .pdf. Birds, ants, bedbugs, cockroaches, fleas, flies, mosquitoes, wasps & bees, dampwood termites, Formosan termites, drywood termites, subterranean termites, miscellaneous wood-destroying insects, miscellaneous insects, spiders, mice, rats, opossums, and raccoons are all in there!
For example, searching for “mice” highlights 60 instances. Reading each tactic where mice are mentioned under “pest affected” tells you exactly what to do. A few of the tactics are below (click to enlarge).
The guidelines are for non-chemical IPM strategies.
The person overseeing the IPM program should know about pesticide options in order to evaluate the pest management professional’s service and best advise residents, but ultimately the licensed applicator should be the pesticide expert for the site. Use the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) (www.npic.orst.edu) for all your pesticide questions. NPIC is also a great source of information on cleaning products. Everyone should consider the risk of using cleaning products too. Remember: read the label!
On the topic of mice, feel free to share our previously-posted sample newsletter article on how to set a mouse trap!