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The Shawnee News-Star
Healthy House Principle #5
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By Sonya McDaniel
Feb. 1, 2013 12:01 a.m.



Keep it Pest Free

Many people are having an increased pest issue with the milder winters and long hot summers.  At our house we encountered scorpions for the first time since we moved into our house seven years ago.  This made late night trips around the house a little more adventurous!

When controlling indoor/household pest there are some important things to remember.  The first being it is better to take preventative steps, then it is to start treatments for a problem.

 Control pests instead by using Integrated Pest Management (IPM)



  • IPM is all about putting several pieces together to take a holistic approach to pest management


  • IPM is concerned with making home environments inhospitable to pests and if necessary, using the least toxic method to remove pests


  • Use the least toxic method first!




 All pests are looking for food, water and shelter.  Make sure you are not providing any of these! 



  • Make sure all food is properly stored in sealed containers and never left out on counter-tops or stored on the floor.


  • Clutter = Housing.  Make sure your pantries, closets and cabinets are free from excess goods.  Pay close attention to storing plastic or paper bags.


  • Seal up cracks, gaps and holes around doors, windows and pipes.




If pesticide is necessary be sure to pick a product labeled for the pest you need to control.  Use it according to label directions; don’t use the “if a little works more will be better” mentality.  Safety relies on you using products correctly.  If using Boric Acid remember it is a toxic substance and can be harmful, even though it is a natural product.  Be sure to use it with care by dusting it in places that won’t be touched by others. 

Information provided by Dr. Gina Peek, Oklahoma State University Housing Specialist – 7 Principles of a Healthy Home Workshop Series.

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