What Is The Difference Between Integrated Pest Management And Pest Control?

26 Apr 2024


Pest Control V/s IPM

Pest control is the strategy adopted by public or private facilities such as restaurants, businesses, stores, etc., to eradicate and disinfect the space in case of an infestation with the help of harsh chemicals and pesticides. Pest control functions to remove any unwanted species only if their presence is caught in sight. The ownership of carrying out the pest control process is usually given to a PMP.  

On the other hand, IPM or Integrated Pest Management is a more holistic approach adopted by businesses and other organisations to systematically implement pest management and control strategies to meet certain objectives. Businesses usually start applying pest management methods before any possible chance of contamination so that the possibility of such happening is eliminated at once. The facilities operating on IPM usually partner with the PMP to maintain the standards of pest control management. 

While on the one hand, pest control works only when there is visual evidence of any external species, IPM embraces strategies and applies multiple layers of protection to manage pests and reduce the possibilities of contamination of food or other items by pests with the minimised use of pesticides.  

The Main Steps In Pest Controlling Are -  

  • Identifying the pest and its type, as well as knowing where they are coming from

  • Elimination of pests that are already inside the property using several treatment methods example - Pesticides

  • Examine any damage caused by the pests and advise on the same

  • Sealing of entry points from where pests may or may have entered

  • Periodical treatment or spraying of pesticides to control further contamination.  

Main Strategies for IPM 

  • Possible areas of pest contamination are routinely inspected

  • Target pests or the type which may have been lingering on the property are identified for setting the course of action

  • Eradication of any existing pest infestations

  • Ruling out the proper course of treatment and methods after the identification of the pest so that they can be eliminated properly and with minimal risk of damage to food and property.

  • Operational, institutional, and other changes based on routine monitoring to avoid any sort of pest activity.

Seven-Step Approach To Integrated Pest Management

  • Setting a threshold  

Pest management actions are not taken based on the sight or possibility of say a single cockroach or a mouse. Before taking any selective measure, the property must be examined for the indication of a possible infestation and a certain level has to be set based on whether the infestation is an economic threat to the property or its goods. If the threshold is crossed, critical actions will be implemented. 

  • Identification 

Since IPM includes a more comprehensive approach to pest management, regular monitoring of facilities is crucial. Not every insect, species, weed, etc needs to be controlled. Hence, with regular monitoring, the identification of pests becomes seamless and proper actions can be taken in keeping with the action threshold. 

  • Treatment Options 

Once the pests have been identified and the facility is properly analysed, you can select which course of treatment to follow. Initially, an IPM will always encourage you to adopt non-chemical-based eradication, such as trapping using baits, to minimise damage to products. You can see these types of treatment options being used in organic farming. 

In case of failure of this certain treatment option, only then are chemical techniques implemented. It is to be noted that IPM destroys all the possibilities of pest infestations keeping in mind the work environment and the food safety program. 

  • Prevention 

Prevention is key to avoiding damage. As a first rule of thumb, IPM programs work on various methods of preventing pest infestations. For example, A restaurant will be monitored and equipped with clean storage facilities, cleaning essentials, traps on possible entry points, etc. These control methods are usually very simple, cost-effective, and pose very little risk to the work environment.  

  • Control 

The moment monitoring is done and the identification process as well as the threshold indicates that pest control is a must, IPm programs will then evaluate the correct course of action to reduce the risk of contamination. Initially, no chemical media are deployed such as traps, weeding, or spraying of pheromones to control pest mating. Once these methods fail or pose to be inconsequential, then harsher methods are applied, such as spraying of pesticides or even broadcast spraying of non-specific pesticides. 


IPM offers holistic, comprehensive and proactive measures to pest management. While quick actions can be taken to eliminate pests by chemical means, the use of a proper knowledge of pest life cycles, constant monitoring, and actions necessary to apply pest management will better manage pest populations in the long run. Contaminations can jeopardise the integrity, reputation, and credibility of a business, especially if it is in the food sector; hence choosing the right approach to pest management is a step further in ensuring public safety.