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Action Thresholds: A Wistful Waste of Time

Action Thresholds: A Wistful Waste of Time

integrated pest management

Working in the pest control industry since 1988, Preferred Pest Control has always held to the standards outlined in Integrated Pest Management. However, there has been an unfortunate trend in the market for years now, promulgated by people who have never even treated a home, toward a concept known as action thresholds.

Action thresholds are arbitrary numbers representing the minimum population of pests in a certain area that would cause environmental damage. Used to determine when pest service is necessary, action thresholds suffer from a number of inherent problems that we will cover in this Thursday’s blog.

There Are No Set Standards

Perhaps most importantly, action thresholds have not yet been universally established for all pests, and their establishment will be made especially difficult by the force that drives the free market – variable consumer preferences. Different people might evaluate “environmental harm” in different ways. Though some households might be fine with 5 or more ants inside of their home, others might feel a single ant on their kitchen counter is reason for service. Therefore, establishing a standard level at which service is conducted is a blatant attempt to compound and universalize consumer preferences, which if left unbounded would leave you with a service you cannot choose and might not be satisfied with.

It is Expensive and Time Consuming

The very essence of an action threshold implies that counting the number of pests in an area is a simple task. This is fallacious, as it goes without saying that most pests, like ants and termites, are small and rarely found in the open. Therefore, counting them to determine whether service is needed is an absolute waste of your valuable time and money. It is better by far to receive a regular service (in our case, with a guaranteed residual) and reside perpetually in a pest-free home or office, without the need of meticulously tracking the pests’ populations.

Its Purpose Is Already Served

The core of Integrated Pest Management is to use a minimal number of chemicals for your pest treatment. In order to preserve this central tenet, Preferred technicians are trained to spot pest attractors like tree limbs touching your roof or an unsealed food container and correct them, resulting often in a need only to chemically treat once. After we take preventative measures to halt pest invasions, further treatments are often rendered unnecessary. Were we to instead spend our time counting cockroaches in your home rather than taking these preventative measures, more time would end up being spent chemically treating your home for the pests still entering through the problem areas, a completely antithetical result of the use of action thresholds. Therefore, action thresholds are a useless metric that funnel time toward bug counting; time that could be better spent delivering you, the consumer, a quality service.

We here at Preferred are dedicated to giving you a great service, consistent with Integrated Pest Management, every time you have us around. If you are experiencing any issues with pests in your home or office, call us at (912)-236-5135 and make us your pest services company today!