The process of implementing IPM is not complicated but it does require some basic elements to be in place and it is critical that all staff have some basic training in order to understand their role in the process, therefore EDUCATION is the foundation of an Integrated Pest Management Program
There are varying definitions of the steps in an IPM program with a common simplistic overview being:
- Identify the Pest
- Assess the extent of infestation –Action Threshold
- Choose at least two treatment methods
- Use pesticides only if needed
Unfortunately, this does not really describe the extent of focus that is needed, therefore it is important to understand the entire process in a broader context so it can be applied whether it is about dealing with a cockroach infestations in a single detached family dwelling or a 300 unit high-rise multi-dwelling building. The IPM Decision Rule Cycle defines how IPM is implemented.
First IPM is KNOWLEDGE - BASED
- Knowledge Base: A knowledge base includes knowledge about the biology of the specific pest(s), of available treatments for the pest both non chemical and chemical, preventive measures, of applicable laws and regulations, roles of staff, processes and procedures, contracts, MSD Sheets, product labels, and it also includes information about treatment history, and of specifics about a tenant that aid in enabling treatment. The knowledge base is therefore ALL knowledge that pertains to the IPM process. Different staff may need to know different parts of the knowledgebase, but in running a good IPM program the knowledge base must be of a good quality.
- Data – Ongoing Information: This starts with the tenant reporting a pest and request for service, or staff reporting pest sighting that needs attention and includes the history of pest control services for the unit and for the building.
- Review and Evaluate: the process of evaluating the situation that leads to
- The Decision Rule: the simplest decision rule is a tenant reports an infestation and a service is scheduled to treat the infestation. This leads to:
- Action: the decision rule determines the type of actions needed to service for the pest in the situation. This could be one treatment or more treatments, that include an array of actions.
- Measure and Evaluate Outcome: the results of the treatment are measured and evaluated . The measure includes data such as access to the unit, the degree of infestation, the housekeeping and sanitation in the unit or area, preparation, treatment measures, and results of monitoring or of tenant feedback.
- Follow-up action: The evaluation of outcomes, or the treatment requirements may necessitate a follow-up action and a second step of measure and evaluation.
- Data resulting from measure, evaluate and follow-up are stored in the database.
In order to implement an excellent IPM program, all of these steps need to be organized as procedures and requirements till they become almost second nature. This does incorporate the simple IPM model as above, but staff needs to understand that this does include a number of steps, procedures, and processes so that the program works well. A non IPM program tends to look for a simple closed loop so when treatment is done, it is expected that the process is over till next time there is a complaint, but in fact, this can result in extensive infestations due to failure of control.
The simple model of IPM processes as shown earlier is the triangle that includes early detection and/or monitoring, preparation/facilitation and a high quality of treatment.
Steps of Implementation
- AdaptAdopt staff procedures/processes to IPM model
- Adopt Specifications or RFP for IPM Specifications/Contract
- Hire qualified firm under contract requiring IPM approaches
- Train staff in roles and responsibilities
- Communications Plan to Advise tenants/clients of role and responsibilities and benefit