What Does Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Mean?
Integrated pest management (IPM) is an eco-friendlier approach to pest control than traditional pesticide use.
Instead of simply spraying plants with pesticides to keep insects and other vermin away, IPM focuses on preventing pests from infesting plants in the first place. If that fails, safer approaches to managing pest infestations, such as triaging the sickest plants, trapping and screening out bad bugs, and using beneficial insects to control the harmful ones are used.
Integrated pest management may also be known as integrated pest control (IPC).
Maximum Yield Explains Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
As its name suggests, integrated pest management involves the integration of multiple pest control methods, based on site-specific information. This information is gathered through inspection, monitoring, and updated reports, which can inform gardeners, botanists, and horticulturists of the best pest prevention methods.
IPM is a more environmentally friendly and sustainable pest control solution than traditional pesticide use. It specifically targets pests and deals with them in a way that will not harm beneficial organisms and will minimize pesticide exposure.
The philosophy of integrated pest management is, essentially, that the dangers of pesticide exposure are far greater than the benefits of using pesticides as a preventive measure against pests. In many cases, non-chemical means of pest prevention are available that have the same—if not better—results without the risk of exposing people or animals to harmful chemicals.
By identifying the specific pests that are a problem and monitoring your progress with them, you can determine the best measures to take to prevent those pests from harming your plants. This will help you reduce or even eliminate pesticide use without allowing your plants to suffer.
Plants that would require an excessive amount of pesticide to treat or cure are often simply removed or culled from a crop. Plants that are showing only mild symptoms are often left untreated, but carefully monitored, unless the stress can be quickly or easily alleviated such as by pruning, watering, or any other non-chemical prescription. Plants that are judged to be under a great deal of stress, but are not so far along as to not be salvageable, are given the highest priority.
You can create an action plan to prevent pests infestations, including non-chemical measures to discourage pests (e.g., reducing clutter), sealing off the area so that pests cannot access it, and other measures. After taking preventive measures, you can then take pest control measures to reduce the pest population that is still reaching and harming your plants.