Information and Links for pest management professionals, agriculture, and homeowners
Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, is the responsible “integration” of pesticides into a holistic pest management scheme. Applicators practice non-chemical methods of pest management, like mechanical exclusion, trapping, and sanitation, and only use pesticides when and where they are necessary.
IPM was practiced by agricultural producers for hundreds of years before it had a name. Growers rotated crops, physically removed pests by hand, and planted alternate fields with different crops that provided harborage for beneficial insects, to name a few techniques. Pesticides were incorporated into agricultural pest management as they became available. The recognition and practice of IPM in structural and ornamental/turf pest control has been more recent, although many IPM practices, like patching holes to keep out rodents, using mulch in gardens, and removing sources of household invaders, have been utilized for hundreds of years.
IPM practitioners consider the impact of a pest and if an infestation is below the level that will cause significant economic loss, or if the value of the commodity is too low to justify the significant expense of chemical control, they’ll decide against pesticides and live with the damages. When they do use pesticides, they select the least-toxic alternatives and often utilize chemicals that are very specific to the pest they’re trying to control. Insect growth regulators, for example, only affect the pest species they’re designed for, leaving the populations of beneficial insects unharmed.
Below are a few links that provide good information and applications of IPM for pest control professionals, agricultural producers, and homeowners alike.
The Southern Region IPM Center has great information and links for our part of the world
Pest Private Eye – a game and interactive website from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, featuring pest identification and IPM in schools
Publications from NMSU’s Institute for Energy & the Environment: