Q. What is integrated pest management?
Integrated pest management (IPM) is an approach to pest control that minimizes the use of pesticides and relies on more natural remedies. IPM as usually practiced has several components (i) inspection and monitoring. The garden is monitored periodically to check for damage to plants and the obvious presence of pests (e.g. insects) , (ii) identification. Before the cause can be properly prevented or treated, the causative agent must be correctly identified, (iii) evaluating whether a certain amount of damage can be tolerated. The emphasis is on control, not elimination., (iv) use of preventative methods. Good gardening practices such as choosing the correct plant for the location, proper watering and fertilization, are important in minimizing pest problems and (v) if treatment is necessary then environmentally-friendly approaches (such as encouraging or introducing natural predators) are used first before using synthetic pesticides.
More detailed information on IPM can be obtained by consulting the following sources:
IPM for Gardeners. R. A. Cloyd, P. L. Nixon and N. R Pataky. Timber Press., Portland, OR 2004.