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P.C.O.C. Training Module. Best Management Practices Volume II Non-Chemical Techniques. A Partnership for Protection. The best chance for success in any pest management strategy is to enlist the cooperation of the customer. This is most important when using non-chemical techniques.

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P c o c training module

P.C.O.C. Training Module

Best Management Practices

Volume II

Non-Chemical Techniques

A partnership for protection
A Partnership for Protection

  • The best chance for success in any pest management strategy is to enlist the cooperation of the customer.

  • This is most important when using non-chemical techniques.

  • Before starting, determine what methods will be used and whether they will be done by your company or the customer.

  • Some examples of non-chemical techniques are sanitation, exclusion, harborage reduction, vacuuming, steam, heat, environmental modification, trapping, and monitoring.


  • Removing food resources can put pest populations under stress, thereby reducing reproduction rate.

  • When food is scarce, pests are more likely to be attracted to baits

  • Grease can break down the molecular structure of many pesticides reducing the effectiveness and residual life.

  • A clean, orderly environment makes it easier to inspect for the presence of pests.

  • Dirty floor drains are breeding sites for pests such as drain flies and phorid flies.


  • Most pests enter structures from the outside through structural cracks and holes , plumbing and electrical access, or gaps under doors or around windows.

  • Exclusion can be done by using door sweeps, weather stripping, or sealing cracks and holes with caulking, copper mesh, hardware cloth, and expanding foam.

  • Excluding pests from a structure will reduce or eliminate the need for chemical treatments.

Harborage reduction
Harborage Reduction

  • Pests look for harborage that is secluded and protected and close to their food and water source.

  • This could be cracks, voids, boxes, and other storage that is seldom moved.

  • Harborage reduction can include sealing cracks and void access, limiting storage in cardboard boxes, using wire racks instead of wooden shelves, and utilizing plastic storage containers with lids.

  • Keeping stored materials 12” to 18” away from walls and off the floor will help reduce harborage and allow for proper inspection and monitoring.


  • Vacuuming plays an important part in a successful pest management program.

  • Vacuuming removes many stages of an insect, including adults, larvae, pupae, cast skins and egg capsules.

  • It also helps to remove food sources by cleaning up spillage

  • It is a very important step in flea control because in addition to removing fleas, the vibration causes new adults to emerge from pupal cases and shortens the time needed to eliminate the infestation.

  • Spiders can be vacuumed along with their webs and therefore eliminated without the use of pesticides.


  • Steam machines can be used effectively to kill insects on surfaces that should not be sprayed with pesticides.

  • Treating mattresses and box springs for bedbugs, and treating for clothes moths are some examples.

  • Most commercial units reach a temperature of over 200 degrees which kills all stages almost instantly.

  • Steam can also be used to clean equipment and sanitize in commercial accounts.

P c o c training module

  • Heat is used to kill a variety of pests including drywood termites and bedbugs.

  • Treatment ranges from all encompassing procedures similar to fumigation, to local treatment of smaller areas.

  • Typical procedure uses propane heaters to force hot air through the structure to raise the ambient temperature to lethal levels.

  • Small items such as clothes and appliances can be placed in trash bags and heated by the sun.

Environmental modification
Environmental Modification

  • Changes to the pest’s habitat may be effective in reducing populations

  • Cutting high vegetation and leaving a plant-free gap around the exterior of the structure could aid in reducing the attractiveness to pests.

  • Temperature and humidity play an important role in how well a pest population can survive.

  • Overwatering can be wasteful and be a contributing factor in the presence of many pests.


  • Mechanical traps and glue traps are effective tools in controlling flies, rodents, and other vertebrate pests.

  • For rodents and other vertebrates, pre-baiting before setting the traps may be more effective.

  • Most flies are attracted to ultra-violet light. There are several “fly-lights” available that use UV light to as an attractant and glue boards to capture flying insects.

  • Multiple catch traps are used

    to capture mice


  • Monitoring for insects can be a factor in determining when other actions are necessary.

  • Monitoring consists of placing glue traps in strategic places to capture insects.

  • Some monitors use a pheromone to entice the insect to the trap.

  • Examination of the traps can be useful in determining the type of pest, the location, and the degree of infestation.


  • Non-chemical methods are an important part of any pest management program

  • They should be considered and implemented before relying on chemical treatment to reduce the environmental impact.

  • All pest management programs are unique, and a thorough inspection and evaluation should be used to determine the strategies required, both chemical and non-chemical.