As PestScan, we fully support the idea of IPM. It is a good way to focus on prevention. Thanks to IPM, less biocide and ultimately insecticide is needed. This is eventually good for people, animals and the environment.
Reducing the use of these biocide and insecticide prevents secondary poisoning, resistance build-up in pests, but also more or less stops pets and wildlife from being poisoned in the wild. As a pest controller, what are you doing to conserve biodiversity?
As PestScan, we think it is a positive development that poison use is being reduced within the mandatory framework. For instance, we are also supporters of the World Wild Fund for Nature. We feel it is intensely important to leave a good earth to our descendants.
With IPM, prevention is largely used. We see, for example, that buildings are increasingly being sealed on all sides to keep out different animal species. A good example of this is food businesses. At the same time, we also see houses in urban areas being increasingly and better insulated. As part of the energy transition, more and more houses have all the cracks sealed. This is also done to prevent rodents from entering. As PestScan, we think this is a good development, however, these developments also have a downside.
Urbanisation and nest building
The above-mentioned developments in IPM, along with the use of barring in buildings in the urban area, have potentially drastic implications for the so-called urban nesters. These are birds that breed mainly in the urban area.
A report by Sovon (Stichting ornithologisch veldonderzoek Nederland) on 17 January reported that birds in urban areas are in decline. A clear downward trend has begun.
There are two possible explanations for this:
- There is less and less green in the city, the coming of more tiles in the city. Because people cover their yards with tiles and use fences rather than bushes to demarcate their property.
- Many cracks and gaps of buildings are sealed.
Sparrows, swifts and other birds are affected by both. In the report, Sovon calls for more research into the effects of installed solar panels on the nesting behaviour of urban birds. In fact, little is currently known about this. Apart from Sovon’s research, you can imagine that insects are less able to shelter and reproduce due to sealed cracks and crevices.
An opportunity for the pest controller?
Are you paying attention to biodiversity when advising your client?
As you know, the habitat management component within the IPM process consists of three parts: building modifications, landscaping modifications and cleaning actions.
These are all measures that should be taken before moving to (non-)-chemical control.
Put the nesting boxes you place on the floor plan in PestScan as control points and run them for verification at every inspection. As a result, you and your client are not only doing pest control but also immediately preserving biodiversity.
While advising on repelling and prevention, you have the opportunity to keep biodiversity in mind in your advice. For example, by including nesting boxes for birds when installing screening materials. You can also think about creating roof gardens or planting trees and bushes that are attractive to birds and insects.
More information on protecting urban birds can be found on Dutch Vogelbescherming website.