Are Pests Bugging You?

Use less-toxic pest control methods to help you get rid of or prevent unwanted pests.

Use less-toxic pest control methods to help you get rid of or prevent unwanted pests.

Unwanted pests can create health risks for people. Cockroaches and rodents can cause allergies and asthma in children. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a less-toxic pest control method that reduces and prevents pest safely by denying them what they need to infest: shelter, food and water. These creepy uninvited pests need notice-you’re in charge and they’re not welcome! Here’s what you can do:

Mechanical Measures
Block them & deny them a home
• Seal out pests by caulking and installing door sweeps or other barriers
• Screen all vents and entryways into buildings
• Remove cardboard boxes, crates, used tires, piles of wood and overgrown plant material
• Thin out dense trees, vines and shrubs that shelter rats, mice and mosquitoes

Building Maintenance
Seal them out & deny them water
• Seal cracks, crevices and holes in walls, the ceiling and around pipes, especially under the sink
• Repair broken door sweeps or torn screens. Replace if missing
• Seal leaky pipes to avoid water leaks
• Maintain interior and exterior water, drainage and sewage systems
• Clean out drains and rain gutters
• Rinse garbage and recycling bins frequently

A Clean & Dry Home
Deny them food & water
• Clean dishes, crumbs and spills; don’t leave dishes in the sink overnight
• Store & seal food in containers. Many pests chew through paper, cardboard and thin plastic
• Remove clutter
• Avoid sprays, foggers or other over the counter products
• Ventilate using windows and fans to reduce humidity and moisture
• Take out garbage frequently; rinse containers before recycling

For more advice on a pest-free home without the use of pesticides, contact San Mateo County Environmental Health Services’ IPM Outreach Program at (650) 207-3115, or go to

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