The Pest Present and Future of Wildlife Management

So commonly we forget that humans are animals, part of an ecosystem just like any other life-form on the planet. Certainly you’ve noticed that when you step into your yard, you see squirrels hopping around and birds flitting from place to place, and really there is a whole menagerie of creatures you’ve grown used to seeing in your daily life. These are the animals that enjoy habitats quite similar to the landscapes we like to shape around our dwellings. In Ecology, we call them synanthropes. Unfortunately for us, some of these animals are so well-suited to our habitats that they become as (or more) populous as we are, and they can cause damages to property and structures if they aren’t managed.

Birds such as song sparrows can get trapped by our modern living. Licensed wildlife control professionals are hired to free them from stores and warehouses.

Birds such as song sparrows can get trapped by our modern living. Licensed wildlife control professionals are hired to free them from stores and warehouses.

We call them pests, but they are defined as nuisance wildlife by the state. Of course, the species classified as nuisance wildlife vary from place to place. Here in Virginia, we watch out for these species, which carry risks for rabies or other diseases, and/or are notorious for damaging property. It is important that if you have a problem with wildlife, you call a licensed wildlife control professional in your area. Rural System aspires to provide wildlife management services to rural communities as one of its groups.

There are several ways to manage nuisance wildlife, and not all of them are lethal. Pest control involves controlling the nuisance species, while pest damage management involves controlling the damages that are caused by a pest species. Pest control may involve many tactics ranging from prevention to removal of the nuisance species. Examples of pest damage management include simple practices such as moving the food dishes of pets to indoor locations or removing brush piles (that make for excellent den sites), to installing fencing around gardens. Sometimes making a small change to a property can discourage a pest species or reduce the damages caused without reducing the species population.

Integrated Pest Management or IPM is a systemic approach to controlling nuisance wildlife and the damage that is caused by it. IPM focuses on pest damage control, pest control, monitoring, and limited uses of pesticides. IPM is a program rather than a single action that implements many steps in order to protect properties and crops from damages. By taking many steps to combat pests on a property, IPM can greatly and more effectively reduce damages. The focus of IPM is not to destroy a type of animal that is causing a problem, but to discourage and prevent further damages.

The wonderful thing about IPM is that it is the environmentally sound long-term solution to all problems on properties. Its emphasis is on prevention and modification of the environment in ecosystem-friendly ways to maximize the property’s potential for revenue. Rural System could assist property owners and absentee property managers in monetizing properties as well as monitoring and correcting problems on them in order to create greater profit opportunities for the owners. With a Pest Force provided by Rural System the entirety of assessing, monitoring, and controlling damages to crops and products would be systematic. With IPM implemented by Rural System’s Pest Force the process would be part of a comprehensive whole and vital to any property hoping to maximize efficiency.

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About Laurel Sindewald

Laurel is an alumna of Warren Wilson College with a BS in Conservation Biology and a BA in Philosophy. She is a writer for Rural System, Inc.

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