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When asked about integrated pest management (IPM), 78% of respondents stated that they had fully or partially implemented an IPM program in their facility Figure 9). Although only 7% said they had not, another 14% indicated they did not know what IPM is.

To answer that question: IPM is often said to be a “common-sense approach” to pest management, as it implements a hierarchy of controls to prevent and suppress pests and the damage they cause. IPM begins with inspection for pest presence and conducive conditions, and follows this with non-chemical preventive practices, including sanitation, exclusion, and mechanical control methods. Only then are limited and directed pesticide applications made, if and as needed and approved.

While considered to be the most effective method of pest control, IPM is unlikely to be the least expensive. But, as stated in a World Health Organization publication, “While establishing integrated pest management programs may prove more costly and time-intensive at its onset, the success of such programs are well established. It is also likely that the long-term costs of using a proactive, integrated approach will be far less than those of continuing reactive nonintegrated programs that rely on chemical control.”

Even though nearly one-fourth of the respondents stated that they had not implemented IPM or did not know what it was, the fact that nearly all (97%) did implement preventive practices against rodents shows that they had at least the foundation of IPM in place: prevention. In fact, 98% had their facility regularly inspected, the first step of IPM, which may have been conducted internally or by a pest management provider.

At least 90% also had rodent traps place near doors (95%) and/or in warehouse or storage areas (90%), sealed cracks and gaps through which rodents (or other pests) could enter (92%), and educated their workers, instructing employees to keep doors closed (91%).