Environmental Toxins - IPM Policy for Indoor Pests
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a concept that encourages the use of least toxic alternatives first, and the use of more toxic alternatives only after other methods have failed. The weakness of the IPM concept is that it usually relies on the efforts and decisions of individuals who are trained and experienced in the use of pesticides. Not surprisingly, the IPM concept is widely promoted and supported by pesticide manufacturers.
IPM is most valuable for indoor use because of the great opportunities for non-toxic pest mitigation which it promotes, and the significant health implications of using toxic pesticides inside where people live, work, eat and play. By contrast, there is little rationale for an IPM approach when it comes to outdoor aesthetic pesticides such as those commonly used on lawns, gardens and sports fields.
Sealing pest access routes, removing their food sources, improving housekeeping and using non-toxic methods such as diatomaceous earth (DE) and boric acid can all contribute to significant reductions in indoor pest problems.
The Environmental Protection Agency has an extensive IPM section on their web site.