May 12, 2009

Integrated pest management more effective

Using integrated pest management to control cockroaches is more effective than conventional methods in reducing cockroaches, U.S. researchers said.

North Carolina schools are mandated to convert to IPM by 2011, so these findings give credibility that IPM has superior and longer-lasting results than pesticide use alone, study author Dr. Godfrey Nalyanya of North Carolina State University in Raleigh said in a statement. In fact, the study was so convincing that the two school districts using conventional pest control quickly made the switch to IPM.

Unlike conventional pest-control methods, which often involve periodic scheduled spraying of insecticides, integrated pest control combines close monitoring for signs of specific pests with baits and traps to control them.

IPM may not only more be more effective and ecologically superior to conventional pest control methods, but may have greater long-term economic benefit, too, Nalyanya said.

The monetary costs for IPM might be higher initially, but it pays for itself down the road and provides a healthier school environment, Nalyanya said.

The feces, saliva and the bodies of these insects can cause several allergic reactions ranging from skin rash or stuffy nose to acute asthma attacks, the researchers said.

The findings were published in the Journal of Medical Entomology.