Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

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What is IPM?

IPM stands for Integrated Pest Management, an effective, low-cost, and environmentally sensitive approach to manage pests that has been used by the City of Thousand Oaks for many years. IPM uses science to guide decision making that resolves problems with pests, while minimizing the impact on human health and the environment.


IPM FAQs

Why should I use IPM?

IPM is the easiest, most effective, AND safest pest management solution. Here is a short list of what has been scientifically proven to work: plug holes in walls where pests might enter, use glass cleaner to clean ant trails, or place pet food bowls on a plate in soapy water to form a barrier.

What are some other examples of successful IPM methods?

  • Snap traps for rodent problems as opposed to rodenticide
  • Closing, removing, or preventing points of entry
  • Eliminating the food source
  • Removing noxious weeds or invasive species with power or hand tools
  • Use of pest-resistant plant varieties
  • Targeting pests with biological methods including predators, parasites, or diseases

How do I integrate IPM into my current home maintenance program?

IPM is simple to incorporate into your existing program, with four common-sense steps:

  1. Observe what’s happening before taking action.
  2. Identify the pest before deciding what to do.
  3. Try a low-risk and low-cost prevention method.
  4. Turn to pest control only if needed, starting with the least risky methods.

Why shouldn’t I use pesticides?

A study conducted by Stanford University  suggests that pesticides decrease ant abundance only when infestation is high. No indication was found that certain pesticides are more effective than others. For example, household cleansers apparently diminish ant abundance about as much as baits or traps.

The results of this study suggest that it is not helpful to use pesticides to control an ant infestation when weather conditions make infestation unlikely. Efforts to control infestation will be most useful during extended periods of hot or rainy weather, and the most reliable cause of a decline in infestation may be a change in the weather.

Who uses IPM?

Anyone can utilize IPM! Currently, a variety of entities practice IPM, including businesses, agricultural growers, the United Nations, the National Park Service, the City of Thousand Oaks, the Oak Park Unified School District and even your neighbors!

What is the City doing to integrate IPM into their practices?

Annually, the City of Thousand Oaks releases millions of lady bugs, lacewings, and praying mantises into public parks and landscaped public rights of way. This IPM practice has been utilized by the City since 1994, and will continue to serve as an economically and environmentally reliable solution to minimizing pests while saving money and creating healthier, more cohesive ecosystems. In 2014, the City, in conjunction with the cities of Moorpark and Camarillo, applied for and was awarded a CalRecycle grant to aid in increasing public awareness of IPM options and alternative pesticides.

Where can I implement integrated pest management?

IPM methods can be implemented anywhere pests are found, from inside the kitchen to the vegetable garden.

If ants are the problem, can’t I just simply remove the food source?

No! Intuitively, it would seem that simple; however, ants are generally entering your home to escape extremely dry or damp weather conditions, not to find food. If they have found food once inside, it is important to eliminate that while simultaneously integrating the alternative IPM practices.

Does IPM only work for ants?

No, IPM techniques can be used to safely and effectively manage a wide variety of pests, including noxious weeds; however, ants were reported to be the most common pest in our area. It is essential to begin by observing and identifying the pests so the proper measures can be taken. Once the pest is identified, the next step is to try a low-risk and low-cost prevention measure. Lady bugs, for example, are frequently used in IPM to minimize pest species such as aphids; each lady bug can consume over 5,000 pests throughout its life. 


IPM Practicing Pest Control Professionals

Business Address Phone #
Bug Mechanic Pest Control & Landscape Spraying 100 W High St. Ste 300
Moorpark, CA 93020
(805) 379-1187
Clark Pest Control 855 Lawrence Drive
Newbury Park, CA 91320
(805) 339-9215
Go Pro Pest Control 1710 West Hillcrest Drive
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
(805) 225-4307
J & J Termite & Pest Control 207 W Los Angeles Ave.
Moorpark, CA 93021
(805) 651-0190


Additional IPM Resources

By implementing an IPM program in your home, you demonstrate your commitment to a healthy economy, a cohesive community, and a sustainable environment.

Additional information on integrated pest management programs can be obtained from: