The fundamental purpose of pest management is to maintain the pest population below a level which is the concern of to the client. This population level is called the tolerance level.

The tolerance level will vary depending on the client, the pest species and the situation. For example one client may tolerate seeing a few cockroaches per day, while another will not accept any sightings. Most clients will tolerate a higher level of ant presence in their home compared to cockroach population. A client may be prepared to tolerate some degree of infestation of subterranean termites in a fence, but has a nil toleration level for them in their home.

The client’s tolerance level should be the first variable to be considered during the development of an integrated pest management approach.

The IPM process so far has involved, firstly identifying the pest and becoming familiar with its biology and habits. Secondly, determining the client’s tolerance level for that particular situation.

The next stage in the development of the IPM program is to select the combination of pest management methods or tools that will be used to reduce and restrict the pest population below the client’s tolerance level.

It is at this point the traditional pest control technician’s response is to reach for the spray can.

The IPM approach is to use insecticide or chemical control after the implementation of other non-chemical procedures or methods.

Integrated Pest Management Methods

  1. Good Housekeeping Methods
  2. Physical Methods
  3. Biological Methods
  4. Chemical Methods


Integrated pest management is not new. The basic philosophies have been around for centuries. Many pest control technicians consciously or unconsciously presently, use IPM approach to varying degrees However, the challenge is to give more relevance and effort to non-chemical control methods, to improve and sustain the effectiveness of chemical methods.

IPM concentrates the mind on prevention rather than cure.

The stages of IPM treatment planning and execution include:

  1. Thorough inspection and analysis of situation including the people factors.
  2. Consultation with client to determine the client’s wants, needs and expectations.
  3. Selection and implementation of good housekeeping methods. This will also be an ongoing process of client management modification to ensure the good housekeeping practices established initially are maintained and improved. This is profoundly important in commercial and industrial treatment situations.
  4. Selection and implementation of physical methods as applicable.
  5. Consideration of any available biological methods.
  6. Selection and implementation of chemical methods which compliment the other methods already implemented.