WHAT IS IPM?
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a system of controlling pests (weeds, diseases, insects or others) in which pests are identified, action thresholds are considered, all possible control options are evaluated and selected control(s) are implemented. Control options -- which include biological, chemical, cultural, manual and mechanical methods -- are used to prevent or remedy unacceptable pest activity or damage. Choice of control option(s) is based on effectiveness, environmental impact, site characteristics, worker/public health and safety, and economics. The goal of an IPM system is to manage pests and the environment to balance benefits of control, costs, public health and environmental quality. IPM takes advantage of all appropriate pest management options.
IPM SYSTEM COMPONENTS
IPM systems rely on accurate determination of optimum control timing and selection of appropriate method(s). Implementation requires current, comprehensive information on pests and control options. As a system, IPM programs include a series of three steps:
1. Monitor the site for presence of pests
Critical components of monitoring includes not only acknowledging presence and level of infestation of the pest, but also accurately identifying the pest and acquiring knowledge of requirements and life cycles of both pest and host.
2. Determine the action threshold below which the pest can be tolerated
Action thresholds are determined by factors such as severity of the injury caused by the pest, site characteristics and use requirements, health concerns related to the pest, and site user needs.
3. Initiate preventative or curative action to avoid surpassing the established threshold
The selected method(s) must balance considerations of economics, efficacy, worker/public health and safety, and potential hazards to property and the environment.
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