Daily News Archives
From January 28, 2005
Management Company Wins IPM Star Rating
(Beyond Pesticides, January 28, 2005) D'Bug Lady,
a pest control company in Cincinnati, OH, has been certified as the
first IPM STAR operation in the state, recognizing excellence in managing
pests while reducing reliance on pesticides.
Integrated Pest Management – or IPM – is a common sense
approach to pest control. “Routine pesticide applications are
not economical, effective or smart,” says Tom Green, entomologist
and president of the IPM
Institute of North America, which grants the award. “IPM relies
on long-term solutions.”
A persistent cockroach problem at a local business is a case in point.
According to the food services director, weekly “bombing”
of the cafeteria with a pesticide fogger was not working.
“It was money
down the drain,” relates the director. They were paying to spray,
yet they continued to experience problems.
The business hired Carol Kauscher, CEO of D’BugLady Pest Management,
to try the IPM approach.
with a thorough inspection,” says Kauscher. “We used sticky
traps to help us determine where the roaches were nesting. We caulked
cracks and crevices to seal off possible hiding and nesting places”.
“We also discouraged using cardboard boxes for food storage, and
suggested plastic, glass and metal containers. And we applied small
amounts of boric acid in a paste with a bait that attracts cockroaches
– just a dab here and there in out of the way places where roaches
are likely to hide.”
Boric acid is a component in many low toxicity pesticides and in some
antiseptics, eyewashes and even food supplements. Yet it’s lethal
when ingested by cockroaches.
Within a short time, the infestation was over.
Pesticides are never the first line of defense for Kauscher and with
good reason. According to Green, “Even pesticides with low toxicity
to humans should be used sparingly, and only when non-chemical methods
aren’t enough to solve the problem. The first steps should always
include eliminating pest access to food, water and nesting and hiding
By overusing pesticides, we increase the chance that pests will develop
immunity. Cockroaches have a long history of overcoming the effects
of pesticides. “We need to preserve the options we have,”
The award is presented only after a company passes a rigorous onsite
evaluation, including visits to at least two customer accounts. Company
staff must demonstrate a solid working knowledge of pest biology and
an ability to address pest problems effectively with pesticide use as
a last resort.
The IPM Institute began the IPM STAR program in 2003 with funding from
the US Environmental Protection Agency and the National Foundation for
IPM Education. The Institute is an independent non-profit organization
based in Madison, Wisconsin, working to increase IPM adoption in agriculture
TAKE ACTION: If you have a pest problem that
you need addressed by professionals, consult Beyond Pesticides' Safety
Source for Pest Management. Each company includes information regarding
what least-toxic and non-toxic alternatives are offered. Read up on
Carol Kauscher's business D'Bug
Lady here too! If you know of a company that offers non-toxic or
least-toxic alternatives, please
let us know.