Integrated Pest Management: Why It’s Important for Urban Agriculture

Urban agriculture is becoming increasingly popular. Those who keep “city chickens” highlight the fact that even a few hens can provide a natural form of residential pest control by chowing down on pests. Chickens eat a wide variety of insects, including crickets, ticks, lawn grubs, fleas, worms, fire ants, grasshoppers, and even scorpions.
However, if you don’t follow good sanitation practices, your chickens could actually cause residential pest control! Mice, rats, When Are Termites Most Active and other pests are attracted to chicken feed, so be sure to store your feed off the ground, and keep your feeding area neat.
Another potential hazard of raising chickens is contracting avian bird flu. Waterfowl typically carries this disease, so a proper enclosure will prevent chickens from interacting with marauding geese, ducks, and other water birds.
To create a secure, pest-free urban chicken farm, residential pest control experts recommend the Integrated Pest Management practices listed below.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an environmentally conscious commercial and residential pest control strategy. While older “spray and pray” pest management techniques required the use of noxious pesticides, IPM protects your family and pets by leveraging biological knowledge. Instead of using temporary pesticides, Integrated Pest Management suggests creating an unfriendly environment for pests. For instance, an IPM enthusiast would seek to eliminate rodent-attracting food sources, rather than set out poisonous traps. IMP also recommends clearing areas of nest-building materials. In addition to habitat modification and occasional physical removal of pests, Integrated Pest Management encompasses continuing maintenance, so as to quickly resolve any pest problems that do arise.
Integrated Pest Management devotees would see both positives and negatives as far as keeping chickens are concerned. On the plus side, chickens eat insects that could otherwise breed and create problems. This is a clear residential pest management advantage. One negative of keeping chickens is that pests such as rodents are drawn to chicken feed. Once ants, rats, mice, and even raccoons know where you keep your chicken feed, they’re return to it regularly for food. If you don’t address such a residential pest control problem fast, you could even spur a breeding boom among local pests.
To avoid having your chicken feeder turn into a birdfeeder for local pests, you must stop pests from discovering the chicken feed in the first place. Keep your feed off the ground and away from human living spaces. Otherwise, any pests that do discover your feed bowl Homemade Bed Bug Spray Rubbing Alcohol will likely find their way into your home, which represents an endless buffet of human scraps to a hungry rat or ant. Clean out your coop’s bedding monthly at a minimum, and keep track of average feed use levels so that you know when a pest is stealing your grains.
The other potential pestiferous outcome of keeping chickens is contracting avian bird flu. To prevent your chickens from contracting the flu (and then passing it on to you via their feces), cover open runs with chicken wire to protect your hens from predators. If ducks and geese frequent your property, figure out a way to prevent your chickens from interacting with them.
In the end, if a coop is kept tidy and feed is properly stored, chickens can help decrease residential pest control issues. Alternatively, a dirty, poorly maintained chicken coop and feed area is a magnet for pests and disease.