What Is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
Integrated Pest Management
Integrated Pest Management is also known as IPM. It is a way of managing pest control in an ecologically efficient way. IPM employs a number of different approaches simultaneously to give the most comprehensive results.
These approaches are carefully designed based on the most contemporary research into the lifestyles and habits alongside the breeding cycles of pests. This system is useful for both the domestic and agricultural sectors, as well as households around the world.
IPM is useful to both organic and non-organic establishments. Organic farms will employ all of the elements but limit the use of pesticides, whereas others would use pesticides as part of an integrated plan. How does it work?
1. Establish an action threshold
An action threshold is a point at which you can no longer stall the use of pesticides. The IPM belief is that the first sighting of a pest does not call for radical pesticide use. There is a point at which environmental damage becomes imminent, or at which health becomes compromised.
At the onset of IPM, it must be clear where this threshold lies. There are areas you can’t take risks with, like for examples, termites. The first sight of termites in a building is already past the threshold for action because it indicates an active infestation. Bees on the property, in contrast, are helpful. That is, provided they are carefully monitored and managed away from the buildings.
2. Stay vigilant and attentive
This step ensures pesticide use is necessary, calculated, and applied for the best effects with the lowest vicarious impact. IPM allows for the correct identification of pests. Not all insects or weeds are a problem, in fact, some are helpful.
When pests are apparent, the IPM must monitor their number, their impacts, and stay ready to take action should it reach the action threshold. This step is crucial in lowering the overheads of a business because it ensures that pests are not a threat to crop yield while it makes use of minimal pesticides possible.
The same applies to residences. When you identify pests that are actually a threat to your building integrity, it calls for action. However, many other pests are easier to manage without too much effort and they require no pesticide use.
3. Prevention (is better than cure)
This is one of the primary lines of defense. An IPM will manage the environment to prevent pests from nesting, breeding, and feeding around the property. This could mean ensuring there is no stagnant water for mosquitoes to breed in.
It could mean removing rotting wood from the premises to prevent termites from building colonies. These measures can be laborious and labour-intensive as they require maintenance and regular monitoring, but they are the most cost-effective tool.
4. Control the pests
Preventive action will not always guarantee 100% efficacy. This could be because of neighbouring properties or simply because it’s too much work. Human error is also a factor, we can’t control nature. In this case, you simply have to control the pests.
Monitor their numbers ad their effects on the property. The basis of IPM is picking your battles. Choose to fight only when it is necessary. Control, for some, means employing the use of pesticides.
For others, it could mean chemicals to deter pests or pheromones to wreak havoc with their nesting and mating instincts, preventing them from breeding. This is where organic farmers, conventional farmers, and households may differ in their approach to pest control.
Working with the rhythms of the property
Seasonal changes bring new insects, see a decline in others, and often contribute to problem areas. Fleas are one example. They tend to breed prolifically during hot months and intense humidity. Control the environment to eradicate fleas.
A simple flea prevention medication applied to pets won’t work sufficiently. Treating your pest has to form part of a treatment protocol for the whole environment, with special emphasis on curtains and carpets as this is where the larvae hatch and live.
Working with the rhythms of the property entails anticipating risk factors that come with seasonal changes. Anticipation means you can prepare the property and place more time and emphasis on preventative actions.