What Is IPM?
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is not a new construct. Growers, homeowners and green industry professionals have been using IPM for decades to solve pest problems while minimizing risks to people and the environment. IPM can be used anywhere – in urban, agricultural and structural areas – and draws from all of the available resources to manage insects, weeds and diseases safely and economically. The big takeaway is that IPM strategies are ecosystem-based and focus on long-term prevention of pests through a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical and chemical controls.
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.
What is a pest?
Pests are organisms that damage or interfere with desirable plants in our fields and orchards, landscapes, or wildlands, or damage homes or other structures. Pests also include organisms that impact human or animal health. Pests may transmit disease or may be just a nuisance. A pest can be a plant (weed), vertebrate (bird, rodent, or other mammal), invertebrate (insect, tick, mite, or snail), nematode, pathogen (bacteria, virus, or fungus) that causes disease, or other unwanted organism that may harm water quality, animal life, or other parts of the ecosystem.