A Guide to Integrated Pest Management

two young pest control technicians screwing on the wall

What is integrated pest management?

  1. Biological control
  2. Mechanical control
  3. Cultural control
  4. Chemical control


Eradicating pests can be a difficult endeavor, especially if one is not equipped with the proper tools and acumen on these types of animals. The most common way of killing pests, such as bugs or insects, is through the application of some chemical-based agent. However, a more comprehensive and preventative measure exists called integrated pest management.

Generally, integrated pest management is the process by which pests are dealt with in a more environmentally-friendly and holistic manner. Unlike what is most commonly understood to be the most effective way of dealing with pets, which is by chemical agents, this method focuses more on preventive measures of tackling such animals.

Continue reading to learn more about a more effective and longer-lasting method of pest eradication.


Biological control

Controlling the proliferation and the growth of pests through biological means involves the introduction of several organisms that pose a threat to these pests. These organisms may be other types of parasites or predators which can help keep the population of pesky pests at a minimum.

This type of control is most commonly utilized in farm-level scales. Since pests are herbivores, they can halt the healthy growth of crops. For example, an apple or a grape farm would be in danger of attracting the following: insects, mites, weeds, or even algae. Instead of the farmer applying an insecticide to his crops, which can potentially damage them, he will simply have to introduce what is deemed as ‘natural enemies’ to control the growth of these unwanted pests.

Biological control requires only a minimal level of human intervention in the beginning, through either the introduction, preservation, or augmentation of these natural enemies.


Mechanical control

mouse and mousetrap

While the first type of pest control is largely applicable to agricultural environments, the next one is something that can be practiced in the household. Mechanical control simply refers to the type of measure by which physical or mechanical alterations are applied to the surroundings in order to facilitate the removal of the pests.

A familiar mechanical control would be that of rat traps. Typically, the purpose of these rat traps is to exterminate such types of vermin which can be difficult to capture. If your house has already been invaded by this type of pests, you would know how easily they can scurry off into a small corner where you might not be able to reach them. You can, however, identify the places where they are most commonly found.

Rats can typically be found in the kitchen, where they can feed off of food left on the dining table, for example. Once you have identified the location, you’ll now be able to place a highly adhesive rat trap and simply wait for the rodents to take the bait.

Other types of physical control exist for different types of pests. To properly deal with them, you should employ the most appropriate method.


Cultural control

Cultural control is perhaps one of the most difficult types of pest control to practice. Effective cultural control of pests not only requires a comprehensive understanding of the ecological surroundings, but it also requires one to understand the type of environment which might foster the population growth of the pests. Similar to the first method, this is a largely preventive measure that is conducted before further infestation.

In agricultural settings, cultural control can be employed in a number of different ways. Careful planning is required for this method to become successful, but the benefits are long-term. An example of a cultural control strategy involves making modifications to the crop to make it more susceptible to a particular pest. Another type would be to make the crop inaccessible to pests by understanding the factors which make the latter proliferate in number.


Chemical control

pest control technician

This last method of integrated pest management deals with the application of insecticides. While found to be the most convenient, insecticides have many negative consequences for crops grown in agricultural settings. This is precisely why proper pest integrated pest management considers insecticides only as a last resort.

Chemical-based pest removal agents are highly indiscriminate which makes them undesirable in farming activities. They might kill the crop as well as, pose harmful effects for humans. This method is typically employed in combination with either one or two methods of integrated pest management presented above. In this way, pesticide use is more targeted and done in a more selective manner.


Key Takeaway

A comprehensive way of dealing with pests long-term is needed in order to prevent their spread and growth. While individual curative methods have been proven to be effective, it would be to your advantage to look into integrated pest management. By relying on careful planning and more environmentally-friendly methods, these pests are more efficiently exterminated from the environment.

The guide above has hopefully made you consider practicing integrated pest management, the next time you have to deal with these creatures.

Pest Management for Food Businesses: 6 Steps to Eliminate Pests


In the Philippines, dengue prevention is essential because this viral disease is a serious threat to millions of Filipinos. However, do you know that pest control methods are not just practiced to avoid the numerous health problems that insects spread? Aside from carrying diseases, insects also destroy crops and inhabit food facilities, affecting food businesses everywhere in the country. As a result, companies in the food and beverage industry resort to practicing pest management techniques to try and eliminate these threats.

As a food business owner, it is your job to ensure that the products you offer consumers are not only delectable but safe as well. To achieve this, you should know how to get rid of the pests that might unknowingly contaminate the food you serve. Check these six steps that will help you efficiently eliminate pests in your business!

Step 1: Inspection

The first step in pest management is inspection. This means that before anything else, you should inspect the facility to check if there are insects residing in the corners and rarely visited areas of your place. In some food processor businesses, they conduct weekly inspections to make sure that there is no trace of pest infestation in their site. The routine check-up should consist of checking possible pest hideouts, such as storage areas, receiving docks, and employee break rooms. Moreover, you should inspect possible entry points, including food and water sources or harborage zones.

health inspector

Step 2: Preventive Action

The inspection will reveal if there is an existing case of or there is a risk of pest infestation in your building. If, after the inspection you found out that there are no signs of insect outbreak in your facility but there are risks of attracting pests, then your next step is implementing preventative methods. In short, do not wait for insects to invade your compound. Instead, prevent them from entering your site in the first place to avoid further problems in the future. 

Step 3: Identification of Pests

If after the inspection, it became clear that there are signs of pest infestation in your business, then simple preventive methods will not do. Instead, you have to find a way to eliminate them. The first step in doing this is rats

Step 4: Analysis

After determining which types of pests are in your building, you have to identify why they are there in the first place. Do your walls and floors have holes? Is there an accumulation of food debris and moisture in certain areas in your site? Understanding why and how they can enter your facility will help you determine which pest control treatment to use.

 Step 5: Selection of Treatment

There are two types of pest treatment: chemical and non-chemical control. Try non-chemical treatments first because they are not as risky – compared to the alternative – to your food safety program. If the problem continues to persist, that’s when you should start to consider chemical treatments. However, it is important to remember to apply treatments on select areas for certain pests only. This means that you should perform different methods for various pests because each infestation is unique. If you need help identifying which treatment to use, contact a pest control company. They can help you determine which to use or if the two treatments must be combined to effectively eliminate the pests. 

Step 6: Monitoring

Pest management does not stop once treatments are applied. To ensure that your business is truly safe from pesky insects and rodents, you have to monitor various things. First, you have to monitor the pest control process. See to it that the methods you chose to employ are applied correctly. Failure to properly implement treatment might result to the continued persistence of the problem. Next, you have to monitor the pest activity in your building while treatments are being applied. This will help you understand if the method that you chose is effective or not. Lastly, you have to monitor pest activity in your site even after your building was declared free of pests. This will help you determine if your building is starting to attract unwanted guests once again. 

Pest management is essential in the food and beverage industry. That is why, as a business owner, you are encouraged to take note of the pest management steps listed above. This will not only keep your building safe from pest infestation; it will also keep you, your employees, and your customers safe from the diseases that insects and rodents carry.