Integrated Pest Management
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.
Integrated: Using multiple approaches to pest management that work together
Pest: What the multiple approaches work to fight
Management: Use of the most economical means with the least possible risk to people, property and the environment.
Components of IPM:
Inspection: Thorough review of the property or area to be controlled to determine what is attracting and allowing pests to thrive.
Identification: Proper identification of pest – What is it? Cases of mistaken identity may result in ineffective actions. Learn pest and host life cycle and biology. At the time you see a pest, it may be too late to do much about it except maybe spray with a pesticide. Often, there is another stage of the life cycle that is susceptible to preventative actions. Monitor or sample environment for pest population – How many are here? Preventative actions must be taken at the correct time if they are to be effective. For this reason, once the pest is correctly identified, monitoring must begin before it becomes a problem. Is the pest present/absent? What is the distribution – all over or only in certain spots? Is the pest population increasing, decreasing or remaining constant?
Establishing acceptable thresholds: Establish action threshold (economic, health or aesthetic) – How many are too many? In some cases, a certain number of pests can be tolerated. Determine the point at which actionmust be taken to control cost. This is an economic threshold. Tolerance of pests varies also by whether or not they are a health hazard (low tolerance) or merely a cosmetic damage (high tolerance in a non-commercial situation).
Employment of two or more control measures (which may be cultural, mechanical, biological or chemical: Choose an appropriate combination of management tactics for any pest situation, there will be several options to consider. Options include mechanical or physical control, cultural controls, biological controls and chemical controls. Mechanical or physical controls include using netting or other material to exclude pests, such as birds, from homes or other structures. Cultural controls include keeping an area free of conducive conditions by removing or storing waste properly. Biological controls can be support either through conservation of natural predators or augmentation of natural predators. Chemical controls would include horticultural oils or the application of pesticides such as insecticides and herbicides. A Green Pest Management approach would use pesticides derived from plants, such as botanicals, or other naturally occurring materials.
Evaluation of effectiveness: Evaluate results – How did it work? Evaluation is often one of the most important steps. This is the process to review an IPM program and the results it generated. Asking the following questions is useful: Did actions have the desired effect? Was the pest prevented or managed to satisfaction? Was the method itself satisfactory? Were there any unintended side effects? What can be done in the future for this pest situation? Understanding the effectiveness of an IPM approach allows the site manager to make modifications to the action plan prior to pests reaching the established threshold and requiring additional action.
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Integrated Pest ManagementPest infestation can be a serious issue whether in a residential or commercial setting.
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