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Integrated Pest Management

What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)?

Integrated pest management, or IPM, is an approach to pest control that utilizes regular monitoring to determine if and when treatments are needed and employs physical, mechanical, cultural, biological, and educational tactics to keep pest numbers low enough to prevent unacceptable damage or annoyance. Order the BIRC Publication What is IPM? for a more detailed discussion.  See the Publications List.

In IPM programs, treatments are not made according to a predetermined schedule.   Instead, they are made only when and where monitoring has indicated that the pest will cause unacceptable economic, medical, or aesthetic damage. Treatments are chosen and timed to be most effective and least-hazardous to non-target organisms and the general environment.

Components of an IPM Program:

  • Identification of pests and possible natural enemies.
  • A monitoring and record keeping system for regular sampling of pest and natural enemy populations.  Monitoring is an ongoing activity.
  • Determination of injury level, or that size of the pest population correlated with an injury sufficient to warrant treatment. In determining injury levels, the amount of aesthetic or economic damage that can be tolerated must be correlated with the population size of pests, natural enemies, time in the season, and/or life stage of the pest or host.
  • An integration of treatment methods that are effective against the pest, least disruptive to natural controls and least hazardous to human health and the environment.
  • An evaluation system to determine outcome of treatment actions.




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