Integrated Pest Management
Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, is a long-standing, science-based, decision-making process that identifies and reduces risks from pests and pesticides. It coordinates the use of pest biology, environmental information and available technology to prevent unacceptable levels of pest damage by the most economical means, while posing the least possible risk to people, property, resources and the environment. IPM provides an effective strategy for managing pests in all areas from developed residential and public areas to crop and wild lands.
IPM is an approach that has been around for several decades, but has received more attention recently. In the last 10 years, effective, low-toxic controls have been developed that are much safer to humans than many older pesticides. Many of these low-toxic controls are now available for pests in cropping systems and in many other situations as well. Any person who works in pest management should consider using IPM and these low-toxic controls whenever possible.
The use of pesticides is an important and valid part of IPM. Any use of pesticides should be based on the presence of pests that are causing damage that is likely to result in economic injury. It is best to exhaust all available control options before resorting to the use of pesticides whenever possible. However, in some situations pesticides are the only effective option available to prevent economic injury.