What Are The 3 Principles Of Pest Control? Best Guide

Do you want to know what are the 3 principles of pest control? This article will discuss all of the information you need to know about this area of the field.


what are the 3 principles of pest control


Prevention should be the goal when the pests’ presence can be predicted in advance. Pests are most of the time predictable. Potential pests may be foreseeable if you’re aware of the circumstances and conditions that can favor the presence of these pests. 

Plants’ diseases may occur only under particular environmental conditions. If conditions are present, make sure to take the necessary steps in preventing plant disease organisms from harming the desirable plants.

Do you want to know how to control pests in the garden? This article will guide you on how to control pests in the garden



The second principle is suppression which has the objective of reducing the number of pests. It aims to reduce the number of pests population up to a level where they are no longer harmful.

Once a pest is detected and a pest control action is necessary, prevention and suppression are joint goals. Combining these principles can help get rid of the pests already present and also stop them from reaching the level where they are causing unacceptable harm. 



The third principle is eradication which is a rare goal in pest management situations since it is difficult to achieve. It is done by using insecticides and the introduction of a foreign pest to a new area where it’s not widespread yet.

It is the annihilation of every single pest in a certain area to the extent that recolonization is unlikely to occur. Examples of pests used in eradication are a gypsy moth, Mediterranean fruit fly, and fire ant.  


Other Principles Of Pest Control

Knowing these principles can help in minimizing any hindrance to effective pest control. Shown below are other principles of pest control. 


1. Threshold levels

Threshold levels are a certain level at which you should consider pest control action to prevent the pests in an area from causing unacceptable harm. It is based on health, aesthetic, or economic considerations which are also known as action thresholds. 

The economic threshold is set at a level based on economic losses caused by pest damage. If the pest population continues to grow, there would be greater costs in controlling these pests, so it is important to take note of these economic thresholds.


2. Pest monitoring

Pest monitoring should answer these key questions:

  • What kinds of pests are there?
  • Is the population great enough to employ pest control? 
  • When is the best time to perform pest control? 
  • Are the control efforts effective in reducing the number of pests? 

Monitoring of insects, mollusks, and vertebrate pests can be done through trapping or by scouting and also by looking at the intensity of damage they’ve caused. 

Monitoring includes assessing environmental conditions in an area. Moisture levels, temperature, and especially humidity can predict when a pest outbreak will happen or will hit threshold levels. 

Regular pest control measures should be taken into consideration to eliminate any pests that may be present. 


3. Avoiding harmful effects

Pest control is not just simply identifying a pest and implementing a pest control method. The treatment site, whether it’s an indoor or outdoor area, may contain compounds that are harmful to the environment.

The presence of these harmful compounds may be due to the pest control measures you choose. Always consider the possible effects of your pest control practices on the particular area where the pests exist. 


4. Integrated Pest Management

Integrated pest management is the method of combining pest control tactics to manage pests’ populations and their damage to an acceptable level. Integrating many tactics to suppress pest problems tends to cause minimal disruption to our environment.

Depending only on pesticides for pest control can cause pests to develop immunity to pesticides. It can also cause an outburst of other pests and harm non-target organisms. 

Considering some types of pests, using only pesticides as the only strategy will achieve poor control. 

Control Tactics Used In Integrated Pest Management

Here are the commonly used tactics in Integrated Pest Management. The strategy you choose is dependent on the type of pest you have identified and the amount of control you need. 

  • Biological control

    Biological control implements the use of natural enemies such as predators, parasites, and pathogens. The method of biological control involves releasing pests’ natural enemies into the target area that were not in the area before.

    Do you want to get further information about biological control? You may check out this article here, detailing how to use ladybugs for pest control

  • Mechanical control

    Mechanical control involves the use of machines and devices to control pests and alter their environment. Examples of devices used in mechanical control are screens, traps, barriers, fences, nets, and radiation. 

  • Chemical control

    Chemical control refers to the practice of using pesticides to destroy pests, control their population, and prevent them from causing further damage. In IPM, pesticides are considered only when needed and only those which are less toxic are selected. 



The answer to the question of “what are the 3 principles of pest control” are prevention, suppression, and eradication. These three are the most essential principles of pest control and should be put into practice when conducting the process.

Integrated pest management is an advisable form of pest control because it utilizes many pest control tactics to control pests populations. Using many tactics minimizes the chance of pests adapting to one tactic.

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