Commercial & Small Business Integrative Pest Management

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What is IPM?


Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a practical approach to pest management that relies on a combination of reasonable practices. IPM programs utilize up-to-date information on pests’ life cycles and environmental interaction. This knowledge, along with available pest control methods, is used to minimize pest damage in the most economical way possible while minimizing risks to people, property, and the environment.

How do IPM programs work?

IPM is not a single method but a series of pest management evaluations, decisions, and controls. Growers who employ IPM follow a four-step approach:

1. Set Action Thresholds:

IPM establishes a threshold that indicates when pest control measures must be taken before taking any pest control action. The presence of a single pest does not always necessitate control. Determining the level at which problems become an economic threat is crucial in guiding future control decisions.

2. Monitor and Identify Pests:

Not all pests require control; many are harmless or beneficial. IPM programs focus on monitoring and accurately identifying problems to make appropriate control decisions based on the established thresholds. This ensures that pesticides are not used unnecessarily or inappropriately.

3. Prevention:

As the primary pest control strategy, IPM programs aim to manage crops, lawns, or indoor spaces to prevent pests from becoming a significant threat. Cultural methods are employed, such as crop rotation, selecting pest-resistant varieties, and planting pest-free rootstock. These methods are highly effective, cost-efficient, and pose minimal risks to people and the environment.

4. Control:

When monitoring, identification, and established thresholds indicate the need for pest control and preventive methods are no longer effective, IPM programs assess the most suitable control method regarding effectiveness and risk. Less risky pest controls, such as targeted chemicals or mechanical control methods like trapping or weeding, are prioritized. Further pest control measures, such as targeted pesticide spraying, may be used if these methods fail. Indiscriminate pesticide spraying is the last resort.

Do most growers use IPM?

IPM is best described as a continuum, with many agricultural growers identifying pests before resorting to spraying. Some growers use less risky pesticides, like pheromones. These growers are all part of the IPM continuum. The goal is to encourage growers to advance along the continuum and adopt all appropriate IPM techniques.

How do you know if the food you buy is grown using IPM?

Generally, food produced using IPM practices is not labeled or identified in the marketplace like organic food. Unlike organic certification, there is no national certification for IPM growers established by the United States Department of Agriculture. Since IPM is a multifaceted pest control process rather than a set of specific practices, it is challenging to have a single IPM definition applicable to all foods and regions. However, many individual commodity growers, such as potato and strawberry growers, are working towards defining IPM practices for their specific crops and regions.

In limited areas, you may find foods labeled as IPM-grown. Explaining IPM practices would enable growers to market more of their products as IPM-grown, providing consumers with additional choices when purchasing food.

Why Choose Four Seasons Exterminating

We’re passionate about helping people just like you get rid of unwanted pest problems. As such, we are proud to be the only pest control company in the local area to be Quality Pro Certified promising excellence in value, service, and trust.

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Commercial & Small Business Integrative Pest Management

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