Helpful Tips and Practices
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an environmentally safe approach to pest management. IPM uses the current life cycles of pests and how they interact with their environment. This approach can be applied to both agricultural and non-agricultural settings. There are many methods of IPM, including the following practices.
- In cases where bacteria, fungi, or other microscopic organisms are damaging plants, the affected plant material can be removed. Pruning equipment should be disinfected with bleach to prevent the spreading of organisms.
- Insects can be removed by hand (using gloves or tweezers) and placed in soapy water or vegetable oil. Alternatively, insects can be sprayed off the plant with water or in some cases vacuumed off of larger plants.
- Mulching helps prevent weeds where turf is absent. Fencing helps keep out rodents. Netting helps keep out birds and insects away from fruit and leaves.
- Small mammals and birds can be excluded using fences, netting, and tree trunk guards.
- Sprinkling the ground with abrasive diatomaceous earth can prevent infestations of soft-bodied insects and slugs. Slugs also can be trapped in small cups filled with beer set in the ground.
- Store-bought traps can be used, such as species-specific, pheromone-based traps or colored sticky cards.
Rodent ResponseThe Town of Flower Mound responds to questions and concerns about controlling rodent populations throughout the town and in your neighborhoods. Although the Town cannot place traps or rodenticides (bait stations containing poison) on public or private property due to legal liability concerns, the Town can assist in the control of rats and mice. Along with the cooperation of property owners, Town Staff can work to reduce the types of conditions that create habitats that are conducive to rodent harborage and breeding.
5 Basic Factors aiding in the control of rodent populations:
- Water Source: Water sources are all over the Town, whether natural or man made. While the elimination or drastic change in ponds, creeks, streams, etc... cannot occur, together staff and citizens can work in conjunction to reduce or eliminate sources such as stagnant/unmaintained pools, over-watering, improperly draining ditches. etc. Suggestions on your own property are to refrain from leaving pet water out overnight, draining water from vessels/containers, including potted plants. Stagnant pools or yards with trash/debris may hold water. Environmental Health Specialists or Property Standard Specialists can investigate these areas and help to eliminate these areas of water collection.
- Food Source: While many times not as obvious, a readily available source of food is a critical factor in rodents living and thriving. Bird feeders are an example of a prime source of easily accessible food source for rodents. Residents should take up pet food overnight or feed pets indoors, store pet foods indoors, do not put trash out earlier than the night before scheduled pickup, store trash in tightly sealed containers or one with a heavy lid. Contact Code Enforcement to report observed violations.
- Shelter: This is vital to the ability of the urban rat populations to survive and breed. Rats thrive in areas with large amounts of old decaying trash, debris, and other materials, such as lumber, firewood, mulch piles, grass clippings, etc. Seldom used building materials, firewood, etc. should be stored a minimum of 18 inches off the ground. Contact Code Enforcement or Environmental Health Services to investigate and take necessary actions to help eliminate these type of conditions.
- Weather: Dry weather will cause storm drains, ponds, creeks, etc... to dry up thus causing rodents to search out sources of water (and food). Swimming pools, water bowls, bird baths, watered lawns, etc.. are sources of sought out by rodents during drought conditions.
- Cleaning: Before cleaning any rodent infested areas, use a proper insecticide to kill any fleas in the affected and surrounding areas. DO NOT TOUCH RODENTS OR THEIR WASTES WITH BARE HANDS. Pour a properly mixed bleach solution on dead rodents, nests, and wastes. Place rodents and other materials in plastic bags and dispose of in outdoor waste containers. Disinfect any areas where rodents or their wastes are found. When done with all rodent cleaning, be sure to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and warm water.
Rodent Links and Resources
Flower Mound Rodent Program
Centers For Disease Control
New York City Rodent Guide
Environmental Protection Agency