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What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)?

Updated: May 4, 2021

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to decision-based 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.

Pesticides are used only after monitoring indicates they are needed according to established guidelines, and treatments are made with the goal of removing only the target organism. Pest control materials are selected and applied in a manner that minimizes risks to human health, beneficial and nontarget organisms, and the environment.

IPM focuses on the long-term prevention of pests or their damage by managing the entire agroecosystem.

Rather than simply eliminating the pests you see right now, using IPM means you'll look at environmental factors that affect the pest and its ability to thrive. Armed with this information, you can create conditions that are unfavorable for the pest.

With IPM, you employ frequent monitoring (called ‘scouting’) and accurate pest identification, in combination with the responses outlined in your IPM plan, to #StartCleanStayClean.

After monitoring and considering information about the pest, its biology, the environmental factors, and the level of the pressure, you can decide whether the pest can be tolerated or whether it is a problem that warrants action based upon predetermined action thresholds.

IPM programs combine management approaches that work better together than separately to achieve a more effective, long-term way to manage pests.

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