One of the most important rules in Integrated Pest Management is pest species identification.
Why is pest species identification important?
Just as cats and dogs have different characteristics and behaviors, so too, do pest species differ! There are thousands of different pest species. Some of which include; cockroaches, mosquitos, flies and rodents. South Africa has 3 main species of rodents which are notorious pests. (see our next blog coming soon!) Although they are all rodents, they behave very differently and so require very different management and control strategies.
You will never be able to accurately manage any pest or put an effective system in place until you are certain of what type of species it is. Remember that insects and animals only become a problem and are considered a pest once they start causing harm to humans, our reputations or our assets.
Choosing how to control and manage a pest depends on 2 things:
(1) Identifying the pest (and its specific species)
(2) Knowing the behavior associated with that species
What comes next?
Once you know what type of pest you are dealing with, you need to apply at 4 key strategies to ensure that you have a well set out plan to control and manage your pest problem:
- Prevention -> remove all sources of attraction for that pest (this is usually food, water and shelter)
- Suppression -> find ways to interrupt the life cycle, as well as the breeding cycle of the pest
- Eradication -> Control/ reduce/ eliminate the current pest population
- Monitoring -> Proactively inspect your property for early detection for a possibility that the pest may return
If your own pest control plan can stick to these 4 strategies (once you have already identified the pest and its species) you can be certain that you are taking care of your pest problem. If you aren’t sure of any of the above – contact a pest professional that will be able to do it for you. – Hint…. Contact SMARTSENZ IPM to find the best solution for your specific pest!