Pre-processing, thresholding and post-processing stages are very important especially for very small target detection from infrared images. The effects of these stages to the final detection performance are measured in this study. Various methods for each stage are compared based on the final detection performance, which is defined by precision and recall values. Among various methods, the best method for each stage is selected and proved. For the pre-processing stage, local block based methods perform the best, nearly for all thresholding methods. The best thresholding method is chosen as the one, which does not need any user defined parameter. Finally, the post processing method, which is suitable for the best performing pre-processing and thesholding methods is selected.