WHAT IS INTEGREATED PEST MANAGEMENT (IPM)?

IPM is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of resistant varieties. 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.

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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.

Why use IPM?

IPM targets the conditions in your facility that allow pests to become a problem rather than simply treating the symptoms (pests).

Therefore, IPM is more effective at eliminating pests, prevents pest infestations in the future, is less likely to cause harm to product, staff and the environment, can save time, money and energy, will lead to fewer pest problems.

Steps to Successful IPM:

PREVENTION

  • Keep pests out of areas where you don’t want them
  • Remove pests’ access to food, water and shelter.

INSPECTION

Carefully inspect your indoor and outdoor areas for evidence of pests, damage by pests or the pests themselves.

IDENTIICAITION OF PESTS

  • Identify which pests are present in and around your facility. Positive identification will help you to determine the best plan of action. For example, do you have norway rats or roof rats? They must be dealt with differently
  • Learn the signs of their presence such as droppings or damage, even when pests are out of sight.
  • Identify pests’ characteristics and habits: what are their food, water and shelter needs and what is their life cycle?

MONITORING

  • Identify pest problems early
  • Determine if and when treatment is needed
  • Determine whether current strategies are working.

MANAGEMENT

  • Use materials and practices that maximize effectiveness, safety and reduce pesticide exposure to you and your staff.
  • Often you can manage pests with nonchemical steps
  • If you use pesticides, choose least harmful pesticides such as bait stations or gels. Combine them with preventive practices so pests won’t come back.
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