Guide to Integrated Pest Management
Procedures, How it Works and Benefits
Integrated pest management (IPM) is a process of pest control strategies that rely on methods that are friendly to the environment. The ecosystem is designed to self medicate for long-term pest prevention. We can harness these biological tactics including habitat manipulation and use of resistant varieties.
How does it work?
Integrated pest management does not employ a single method to manage pests, but several methods. Therefore, this in whole is not a single procedure that you can say is designed for pest control. Our friend Travis McIntyre from No1 Pest Control Brisbane helped us with some great advice on IPM techniques and methods to implement.
1. Come up with action thresholds
The first step in effecting integrated pest management is developing an action threshold. This is an indicator that should inform you whether it would be necessary to embrace control measures. Spotting a single pest many not necessarily get you to launch a pest control program, but with justifiable populations you could set out to exterminate them.
2. Identify and monitor pests
Second step is to study the kind of pests you will be dealing with. Note that not all of them may require control as most of them may be beneficial. You need to monitor the pests to identify their nature accurately in order to make the right pest control decisions. This process is necessary as it also helps you to know whether it would be necessary to use pesticides.
3. Prevention measures
Next step is to doing proper management of the crop, indoor space, or lawn. This is to ensure the pests don’t grow into a threat. Agricultural methods applicable could include rotating crops and growing pest-resistant varieties. At home, the prevention measures applicable could include clearing clutter and identifying the food most likely to attract pests.
4. Control measures
With the steps above satisfied, the next thing you need to work on is control measures. This is especially necessary where prevention and other methods fail. For this you could use less risky pests that are effective, which could include chemicals like pheromones that discourage pest mating. Mechanical control methods like weeding and trapping could also help.
Benefits of integrated pest management
- Helps to enhance the cost-effectiveness of pest control programs
- Shields workers, neighbors and the public from the risk of using pesticides
- Ensures healthy plants and sound structures
- Prevents air and water pollution by use of pesticides
- Helps to protect non-target species that are beneficial to plants
- Adoption of ecologically benign management tactics reduces risk to the environment
- Gets rid of the need for pesticides by ensuring natural methods are used to control pests
- Helps to maintain a balanced ecosystem by protecting useful pests and eradicating destructive species
What are the downsides of integrated pest management?
Besides all the benefits you have noted about integrated pest management, there are also several challenges that make this solution a bit of a disadvantage:
- There is need to have all those involved educated about the different procedures applicable, and this can take time.
- IPM requires close monitoring, which could eat up a lot of time and energy because there are many methods applied to give good results. There are different pest types and each has unique control methods.
- You need more resources to substitute for pesticides.
Management approaches for increased effectiveness
For better effectiveness and to ensure speedy eradication of pests, a few methods are combined and applied at once or separately. Some of the pest management approaches you could try combined include the following:
- Biological methods. This includes using natural enemies – which could include predators, parasites, competitors, and pathogens – to control pests and prevent their damage.
- Using cultural methods. These are control practices that include practices that help to reduce the establishment, dispersal, survival, and reproduction of pests. A good example includes changing irrigation practices, which could help to deal with pest problems because the presence of a lot of water may create a suitable environment for pests and weeds to thrive.
- Chemical methods. With chemical methods, you use pesticides, but only in places where all other methods cannot work and this is the only effective solution available that guarantees a long-term solution. While using chemical control only chemicals that cannot be harmful to the environment and people are prescribed.
- Physical/mechanical methods. In physical methods the pest is killed and blocked directly, either through making the environment unsuitable for the pest or using traps.
If you have any questions please leave them in the comments section and we will respond shortly. Thanks for reading.