According to the book Common-Sense Pest Control, integrated pest management is, “an approach to pest control that utilizes regular monitoring to determine if and when treatments are needed and employs physical, mechanical, cultural, biological and educational tactics to keep pest numbers low enough to prevent intolerable damage or annoyance” (p. 38).
OK, so what does that mean? Basically, integrated pest management involves monitoring your house and backyard, or any other area where pests are a concern for you, and taking action when the pest problem is likely to cause economic or aesthetic damage, or become a medical issue. A wide range of pest control treatments are possible, as mentioned in other parts of the site, and you should choose one that is going to be, “most effective and least disruptive to natural pest controls” (p. 38).
It is important to consider whether the cost of any particular pest management program will be more than the value of the damage. As attractive as a beautiful green lawn is, you must ask yourself whether preventing the damage is more important than exposing “your family and pets to the potentially health-impairing chemicals in conventional pesticides, or, alternatively, whether you’re willing to put the requisite time and effort into less-toxic alternatives” (p. 38). In the end, the decision is yours, but please consider all of the alternatives carefully. Read books such as Common-Sense Pest Control, discuss plans with your local pest control specialists, and of course, check web sites such as this one.