The foundation of IPM is the accurate identification of the pest and ability to assess the population of that pest in the treatment zone.

Technicians in general should be able to identify the pests they most commonly encountered to genus level and preferably to species level. A 10x (ten times) power hand lens and a copy of “Urban Pest Control in Australia” by P Hadlington and J Gerozisis, are particularly valuable tools to aid in the identification process. Unusual specimens are best taken or sent for identification by an entomologist or zoologist. All technicians should strive to develop a good working relationship with an expert or two in a local University, CSIRO and/or Dept of Agriculture or Forestry. The interaction is always rewarding for both parties. There is a wealth of knowledge just waiting to be used in many government and semi-government organisations, and to a large extent it is free. A word of warning though – do not expect priority services (these people are generally very busy), don’t waste their time with minor matters and always show your appreciation, a simple thank you note is all that is required.

Assessment of the pest population in the urban environment can be difficult because the pests are often well hidden, or become active at night.

In some instances a knowledge of the pest population size would seem a bit of a waste of time or just plain irrelevant. However in commercial, and industrial situations, pest population monitoring will become a service in itself, as it has in agriculture. There is a trend in North America and Europe towards pest population assessment and treatment of only those areas where pests are at a problem level. The pest control company that won the contract to provide the clean up pest control service of the World Trade Centre in New York, USA after it was bombed and left deserted for over a week, did so because their specification called for a pest monitoring and treatment as required strategy.

The sticky board trap is becoming an increasingly sophisticated tool to assist technicians to monitor pest population. The real advances have been made in the ability of the attractant to select and attract the target pest successfully.

In fact, some brands of sticky traps are rapidly becoming an effective IS THERE AN ERROR HERE? PEST IDENTIFICATION AND MONITORING.

The foundation of IPM is the accurate identification of the pest and ability to assess the population of that pest in the treatment zone.

Technicians in general should be able to identify the pests they most commonly encountered to genus level and preferably to species level. A 10x (ten times) power hand lens and a copy of “Urban Pest Control in Australia” by P Hadlington and J Gerozisis, are particularly valuable tools to aid in the identification process. Unusual specimens are best taken or sent for identification by an entomologist or zoologist. All technicians should strive to develop a good working relationship with an expert or two in a local University, CSIRO and/or Dept of Agriculture or Forestry. The interaction is always rewarding for both parties. There is a wealth of knowledge just waiting to be used in many government and semi-government organisations, and to a large extent it is free. A word of warning though – do not expect priority services (these people are generally very busy), don’t waste their time with minor matters and always show your appreciation, a simple thank you note is all that is required.

Assessment of the pest population in the urban environment can be difficult because the pests are often well hidden, or become active at night.

In some instances a knowledge of the pest population size would seem a bit of a waste of time or just plain irrelevant. However in commercial, and industrial situations, pest population monitoring will become a service in itself, as it has in agriculture. There is a trend in North America and Europe towards pest population assessment and treatment of only those areas where pests are at a problem level. The pest control company that won the contract to provide the clean up pest control service of the World Trade Centre in New York, USA after it was bombed and left deserted for over a week, did so because their specification called for a pest monitoring and treatment as required strategy.

The sticky board trap is becoming an increasingly sophisticated tool to assist technicians to monitor pest population. The real advances have been made in the ability of the attractant to select and attract the target pest successfully.

In fact, some brands of sticky traps are rapidly becoming an effective physical control method because of their reliability and design.

Pest population monitoring provides the technician with a more objective assessment. A visual inspection of a situation will often give a “gut feel” assessment which is quite acceptable for a general overview. However, with the increasing trend toward quality assurance (QA), in both pest control business and our commercial clientele, a quantitative assessment of population will become more important.

Pest population monitoring will become increasingly important, accurate and easy. It is a tool all technicians need to develop, depending on the situations they treat and the pest they deal with, to ensure their future in the industry.