Sun Tzu’s Art of War in Pest Control

suntzuartofwarEffective long-term control and management of a household pest require a strategy advocated by the famous Chinese military strategist, Sun Tzu, some 2,500 years ago.

According to Sun Tzu in his “Art of War”, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles (知彼知己,百战不殆)”.

What he said is very true.

In the context of pest control and management, if one does not have full knowledge of a pest, it cannot be effectively controlled even one has excellent control methods.

American cockroaches hiding inside a septic tank

Take the American cockroaches for example. They are nocturnal pests where you don’t see them in the daytime but very active at night. In the daytime, they are normally hiding in cool and secluded places like inside manholes, septic tanks or behind and under kitchen appliances (know your enemy).

Dead American cockroaches after one round of baiting

So, for good control of America cockroaches, it is almost pointless to apply control measures in places other than their hiding places (know yourself).

Asian Subterranean workers and soldiers

Termites and ants are social insects. They rely workers to forage for foods for the survival of their close-knit families or colonies. What you see them crawling around on the surface is normally only a small portion of their families (know your enemy).

Rambutan ants feeding on a drop of ant gel bait

Tackling those crawling on the surface as well as those unseen members of the families, including the egg-laying queens would definitely give better long-term and effective control if not total elimination of the families (know yourself).

Dead Rambutan ants after one round of baiting

The main advantage of this strategy is a more target-focused product or measure could be deployed that very much reduce the over-relying and extensive use of chemicals for pest control.


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