Harlem Word: Ray Lopez -- Integrated Pest Management

Editor March 5th, 2009

We interviewed Ray Lopez, the director of Little Sisters Family Asthma Program.

The Little Sisters of the Assumption (LSA) is a non-profit that has been helping people through home health agencies and family services for 50 years. Through the Family Asthma Program, LSA has been helping East Harlem families whose children have asthma make their homes clean and pest-free for over a decade.

Q: What is IPM (Integrated Pest Management) and why is it important?

A: IPM is not an alternative method for pest control - it is the most effective method for pest control. Traditional methods practiced by professional exterminators (for roaches- base board spraying or just placing baits/gels, and for mice- traps and poisons) without physical controls (such as vacuuming, sealing, or containerizing) are not enough to reduce and eliminate infestations.

For cockroaches, most poisons (like sprays, foggers/"bombs") kill only the pests that are directly exposed to them. Poisoning cockroaches that have plenty of food, water and shelter will never reduce or eliminate the infestation because of how fast they reproduce (one male roach and one female roach with plenty of food, water and shelter will create 100,000 after 12 months!)

IPM immediately reduces pest populations by vacuuming them where they hide and then makes it physically harder for them to thrive in the home by sealing cracks, crevices, cleaning regularly, containerizing food and fixing leaks. The harder roaches have to work to find food, water and shelter, the less they reproduce. Stressing them out by making them work harder will make them reproduce less, and allow you to eliminate them with baits or gels.

Read more from Ray Lopez by clicking here.

Sign in or join now to save events.