Integrated Pest Management: The Sustainable Solution to Pest Control Challenges

Killian Pest Control management combines physical and biological methods to reduce damage from unwanted organisms. These organisms include weeds, vertebrates, invertebrates, nematodes, and pathogens.

Identifying and correctly assessing pest problems is important before any control measures are taken. Using threshold-based decision-making can eliminate unnecessary treatments.


pest control

Traditional pest control, such as that used by homes and commercial facilities, is a reactionary process. Pests are spotted and a pest control operator responds by treating the problem with chemicals. Preventative pest control, on the other hand, prevents pests from entering a structure in the first place. It includes sanitation practices, landscaping and cultural methods that discourage pests from inhabiting a property.

To manage a pest population, it is important to know the pest’s life cycle and what environmental conditions favor its growth and development. This information is vital to identifying the proper controls, which may include adjusting irrigation practices; planting crops that are adapted to the site and resistant to pests; avoiding certain growing windows; releasing natural enemies such as beneficial insects (e.g., lacewings and lady beetles); using physical barriers; or managing weeds.

Observing a plant for the presence of pests can also be helpful, although some pests are so small that they cannot be easily seen. Inspecting a plant at different times of the day and week will provide you with an idea of how often the pests are present and how their populations are changing over time.

Knowing a pest’s life cycle can also help to determine when it is most likely to damage a plant or cause economic injury. For example, some insect pests are most destructive in the larval or pupal stages, while others damage plants as adults. Scouting and monitoring allow you to identify a pest’s life cycle stage, which is critical in deciding how to control it.

The use of biological controls can be extremely effective, especially in the case of some introduced insect pests that do not have naturally occurring predators or parasitoids to keep their numbers under control. Biological control uses living organisms (such as bacteria, viruses or fungi) that are specific to the pest species. For example, bacillus thuringiensis bacteria release a toxin that destroys the midgut of caterpillars, thereby controlling their population.

Preventative pest control can significantly reduce the need for more aggressive pest treatment. It involves vigilance in inspection and cleaning, keeping garbage receptacles closed and sealed, maintaining clean landscaping, sealing off entry points and trimming vegetation to prevent hiding places for pests, and putting up barriers that discourage pests from accessing a building or garden.


Biological control is the use of predators, parasites, and disease agents to suppress pest populations without using chemical insecticides. These organisms are often referred to as natural enemies of the pest and they may be conserved or released (as opposed to importing them from other locations). Conserving native predatory mites that prey on mite pests in orchards or parasitic nematodes that kill harmful soil grubs are examples of biological controls. Many of these organisms are readily available and can be purchased for release in greenhouses or other enclosed structures to help prevent the emergence of a damaging pest.

Suppression is a goal of most IPM programs, with the intent to reduce the number of pests below a threshold where they will no longer cause damage. This can be accomplished by a combination of prevention strategies such as crop rotation, trap crops, pest-resistant varieties, and other cultural practices. It can also be accomplished through monitoring, scouting for pests, and soil testing to determine when to spray.

The ultimate goal of eradication is to eradicate the entire pest population. However, this is a rare goal in outdoor pest situations, because it can be difficult to achieve. In indoor environments such as greenhouses and commercial buildings, eradication is more realistic than in outdoor settings because the environment can be tightly controlled.

Once monitoring, identification, and action thresholds indicate that pest control is necessary, IPM programs evaluate the proper control method both for effectiveness and risk. Less risky pest control methods, such as pheromones to disrupt mating or mechanical control through trapping and weeding, are typically chosen first. If these and other prevention techniques fail to provide adequate pest control, more targeted chemicals, such as drenching or spraying with pesticides, can be considered.

Harmful insects are a major threat to global food production and human health. Finding ways to effectively and efficiently control them, including through the use of nuclear technologies when appropriate, should be a priority for people everywhere. That’s the message coming from experts at a joint FAO/IAEA conference in Vienna, which began this week. The conference is focusing on the development and management of area-wide integrated pest control methods.


Pests are undesirable organisms (insects, bacteria, fungi, viruses, nematodes, or weeds) that damage or devalue crops, plants, lawns, and other living things. They may also displace beneficial species and disrupt ecosystems. The goal of pest control is to reduce their numbers to a level that is acceptable for the environment and human use. Suppression and prevention are the primary goals, but eradication is a possible objective in some situations.

Eradication is a rare goal in outdoor pest situations, as it’s usually much more difficult than prevention and suppression. It’s more common in enclosed environments, such as residential and commercial buildings or greenhouses, where the environment is controlled and pests are less likely to establish themselves. Eradication is also a possible goal in some invasive species management programs, such as those for Mediterranean fruit fly and gypsy moth.

When eradication is necessary, it’s important to take the time to evaluate all options and implement the controls that are best for the environment, humans, and other species. This includes studying product labels and NMSU guidance documents, and selecting the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) for each situation. PPE should include long-sleeved shirts, pants, closed-toe footwear, face and eye protection, and gloves. It’s also critical to follow pesticide application and disposal best practices to limit the potential for environmental contamination and ensure safe, responsible use.

Many natural forces, such as weather and topography, limit pest populations, and a variety of physical and mechanical control methods are available for managing their presence and impact. Biological control uses natural enemies to injure or consume target pests, and cultural controls change the environment to make it less suitable for pests and more suitable for desirable species. Chemical, genetic, mechanical, and cultural controls can directly influence the size of pest populations or limit their access to environmental factors they need to survive and reproduce.

When using pesticides, it’s important to read and understand the label and NMSU guidance documents carefully. This is especially true when applying chemicals near water or in other sensitive habitats. It’s essential to practice good hygiene and to have proper pesticide cleanup supplies, as well. Educating yourself and others about proper pesticide use and safety is the best way to limit exposure and minimize environmental contamination.


Identifying pests and monitoring their numbers, damage, or behavior is the first step in making decisions about how to control them. Proper identification requires familiarity with the pest’s biology, life cycle, and habits. It also includes understanding how it interacts with its environment, such as its preferred habitat and food sources.

The information gained through scouting helps determine whether or not a particular pest needs to be controlled. It helps set action thresholds based on the degree of harm or nuisance and/or the potential for damage to desired plants. It also aids in the selection of the most effective control methods for a specific situation.

Pest management goals are generally divided into prevention, suppression, and eradication. Prevention involves excluding pests, which can be done through physical controls that include identifying and blocking points of entry or harborage, or by installing barriers. This can be especially important in sterile or enclosed areas, such as operating rooms and other specialized areas of health care facilities.

Preventive practices also involve establishing good cultural conditions that minimize the presence of pests, such as sanitation, avoiding overcrowding, and maintaining appropriate levels of moisture and nutrients. This can be a very cost-effective approach to pest control, since it is generally less expensive than chemical treatments.

A major challenge of prevention is that pests can be difficult to predict. Continuous pests, such as weeds and insects, are usually quite predictable, but sporadic and potential pests often require special environmental conditions to become problematic.

Many landscape pests develop rapidly in warm temperatures, but their calendar timing can vary by two to three weeks from year to year. Knowledge-based tools, such as phenology calendars and degree-day models, help IPM practitioners account for this variation and properly time control tactics.

Monitoring is an essential part of any pest control program, and is typically done through a combination of visual inspections, trapping, or other sampling techniques. Several types of monitoring tools are available for turfgrass pests, including pheromone-based lures that can be used to estimate population levels and assess mating disruption. In addition to being a crucial component of IPM, proper monitoring can help evaluate the effectiveness and risks of chemical control strategies.

Understanding the Threat of Pest-Borne Diseases

Pest-Borne Diseases are viral and bacterial illnesses spread by mosquitoes, ticks, sand flies, and other insects. Mosquitoes, for example, spread Zika virus, yellow fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever, and malaria.

Yersinia pestis is the bacteria that causes plague. Plague takes three forms in humans: pneumonic, septicemic, and bubonic. A warming climate increases the number of infections. Visit their Website for more details about pest-borne diseases.


pest control

All people, wherever they live and travel, are vulnerable to diseases spread by mosquitoes, ticks and fleas. These insects, known as vectors, are infected with bacteria or viruses and then spread them to humans when they bite them. Almost everyone has been bitten by a mosquito and been infected with a mosquito-borne disease at some time in their life. Many of these illnesses are common and widespread, such as malaria, dengue fever, chikungunya and yellow fever, which affect tropical regions throughout the world. Others are limited to specific geographic areas or occur in particular circumstances, such as plague and trench fever.

Increasing global travel and urbanization are contributing to the spread of vector-borne diseases to new regions and countries. The Zika virus, for example, is spreading rapidly through the Americas and other parts of the world through the bite of infected Aedes aegpti mosquitoes. Malaria, caused by a single-celled organism called Plasmodium, is also spread by mosquitoes and affects all continents except Antarctica. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is transmitted to humans in the United States by American dog and Rocky Mountain wood ticks that have been infected with the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii.

Many of these diseases can be prevented through a combination of common sense and pest control practices. Using insect repellents with an EPA label, such as DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), when exposed to high risk habitat and peak biting conditions can reduce the chance of infection. Examining the skin and scalp for ticks and removing them promptly as soon as they are found can dramatically reduce the chances of tick-borne illness. Draining or changing standing water around the home and yard can discourage mosquitoes and other species that carry diseases, such as frogs and toads that can carry schistosomiasis.

Vaccines are available for some mosquito-borne diseases, such as dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis. Check with your healthcare provider to learn more about these vaccines and how they work. Vaccines for other diseases, including malaria, are being developed.


Insect-borne diseases are illnesses spread by mosquitoes, fleas, ticks and other arthropods (like flies, bees and hornets) that carry pathogens in their bodies. These pathogens are then transferred to humans through bites. Infection can cause disease and sometimes death, depending on the pathogen.

Mosquitoes are vectors for a large number of diseases, most of which are viral in nature. The viruses are transmitted in four groups: Bunyavirales, Flaviviridae, Togaviridae and Reoviridae. They can cause encephalitis or meningitis, with symptoms ranging from fever to neurological damage to brain inflammation.

Fleas and ticks are the main vectors for other diseases, such as malaria, Lyme disease and scrub typhus, but also for more common illnesses like babesiosis and rickettsiosis. Mosquitoes also transmit West Nile virus, chikungunya and yellow fever.

The diseases that are carried by the mosquitoes differ in symptom, transmission rate and geographical distribution. Some diseases are very serious, such as plague and malaria, while others may be more mild, such as shingles and dengue fever.

Plague (Yersinia pestis) is a serious and sometimes deadly infection that has been around for centuries. It is still seen in the world today, although not as frequently as before due to organized mosquito control and improved hygiene.

Other diseases are more widespread, such as encephalitis and meningitis. They occur throughout the world, with the greatest burden falling on Africa and the tropics of Asia and South America. These diseases can result in long term disability, economic loss and social exclusion.

Other disease-causing organisms are spread mechanically by flies, beetles and cockroaches, which pick up the organism through contact with filth, waste, and contaminated food in human environments. They then transfer the pathogen to people by ingesting it, or through faecal deposition, regurgitation and direct contact with the body. Cockroaches are particularly important in urban environments as they are prolific carriers of bacteria, fungi, protozoans and viruses, all of which can be transmitted to people by direct contact or through contaminated surfaces and food. They can also trigger allergies, asthma and dermatitis. They can be effectively controlled by sanitary measures and pesticides.


Almost everyone has been bitten by mosquitoes, ticks and fleas, which are called vectors because they carry pathogens that cause disease. The diseases spread by these pests are called vector-borne diseases. Plague, an infection caused by a bacterium (Yersinia pestis), is a classic example of a vector-borne disease. The bacteria is carried by the insect Xenopsylla cheopis, an Oriental flea that ingests Yersinia pestis during a blood meal and then transmits the bacteria to its host. Symptoms range from mild flu-like symptoms to death.

Increasing global travel and urbanization are contributing to the spread of vector-borne diseases. Reliable diagnosis is essential for preventing major production and economic losses.

Reliable diagnosis is also necessary to implement appropriate pest control strategies and practices to reduce the spread of disease. Plant health diagnostics are based on the identification of physical, chemical and biological changes in a plant during an infection. Currently, the most common methods for detecting plant infection include visual damage inspection and microbial culture tests. However, these methods are time-consuming and labor intensive, and their accuracy is limited by environmental factors.

Advances in E-nose technology can provide rapid, reliable and nondestructive plant pest detection. These devices measure volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, emitted by a plant. During infections, the composition of these chemicals change, and this information can be detected by an E-nose device. This allows for early detection of plant disease and pests, thus enabling prompt implementation of preventive measures.

VOCs are emitted by many different parts of a plant, including the leaves, stems and roots. Infection with fungi and bacteria affects the VOC profiles of plants, resulting in changes that can be detected by an E-nose. These changes can be used to detect fungal and bacterial infection in plants, as well as to discriminate damaged plants from those that are asymptomatic (no visible damage).

An emerging threat to public health is babesiosis, a group of infections caused by the Babesia protozoa. These infections, which are transmitted by the bite of ticks from the genus Ixodes, can lead to fever, fatigue and a rash. If untreated, babesiosis can result in serious, life-threatening disease in people with compromised immune systems.


Insect-borne diseases impose enormous health and economic burdens on people. Those who contract insect-borne diseases experience painful, debilitating illnesses, sometimes with life-long effects. Health systems are overwhelmed and companies that trade in products that require a high degree of hygiene suffer reputational damage when their goods are contaminated.

Infection with parasites and bacteria carried by insects cause serious illness, death and disability. The diseases often affect the poorest populations and their impact is disproportionately felt in tropical and subtropical areas. They afflict millions of people and cripple healthcare systems worldwide. Major outbreaks of dengue, malaria, yellow fever, chikungunya and Zika have affected many countries in recent years and killed thousands of people. Other infections such as sars, leishmaniasis and Chagas disease (also known as American trypanosomiasis or lymphatic filariasis) cause life-long suffering, debilitation, disfigurement and stigmatisation.

Pest-borne diseases are spread in three main ways: by bites of blood-sucking insects, through faecal transmission and through mechanical transmission. Mosquitoes, fleas and ticks spread mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. Ticks also spread Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Flies and cockroaches do not bite, but act as passive carriers of a wide range of disease-causing bacteria, fungi, helminths, protozoans and viruses. In human environments they are present in hospitals, homes, animal sheds and markets and can be in contact with contaminated food, water, surfaces and materials. They transmit the pathogens by faecal deposition and regurgitation, and by carrying them on the surface of their bodies onto human products, foods, drink and hands.

Flies and cockroaches are also significant vectors of amoebic dysentery, spreading the organism by physical contact with faecal contamination on products and surfaces. The bacteria invade the intestines and produce large amounts of bloody diarrhoea, resulting in weight loss, extreme weakness and dehydration. The bacteria can also invade and infect other body sites, including the liver, lungs and lymph glands. Symptoms vary, but include fever, chills, headache, skin rash and sore muscles. The disease is potentially fatal in 25% of untreated cases. A vaccine is available. The plague is caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis and takes on three forms: pneumonic, septicemic and bubonic. The plague was responsible for the well-known epidemics in medieval times and is now endemic in parts of Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. The most dangerous form of the disease, which is the one associated with swollen and painful lymph nodes, is usually fatal if not treated early.