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What is Integrated Pest Management?

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  • Written By: Pamela Pleasant
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 20 September 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Integrated pest management is a combination of methods used to control pests. These methods generally should be eco-friendly and pose no threat to humans or animals. This can be done by observing bugs and vermin and learning how they interact with the environment. A cost-effective and relatively safe approach can then be adopted. Integrated pest management can be used in non-agricultural as well as agricultural settings.

Before integrated pest management is put into place many things must be considered. If the pest population has grown over a period of time or if the environmental setting suggests that a pest might be a problem, then action can be taken. For example, an overabundance of rain can cause a mosquito infestation in a certain area. A specific method is can be incorporated to eliminate the threat before it becomes a problem.

Chemical pesticides are occasionally used to control pests, but this is normally only done when there isn’t another feasible option. They are used in moderation and although some of these pesticides do contain harmful substances, newer types of plant-based and chemical-free pesticides are being used more frequently. While using a chemical pesticide, special considerations are taken in heavily populated areas and only a small amount is typically distributed.

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Biological pest control focuses on using a natural enemy insect to control a pest infestation. A beneficial insect will eat the offending pest but it will not interfere with the surrounding environment. Fungi and microorganisms are also biological options. They are natural deterrents for some types of pests. When biological processes are used in integrated pest management, the method with the highest impact and lowest overall cost is applied.

Prevention is one of the best ways to avoid a pest infestation. Keeping grass and weeds trimmed and removing any accumulated water around the home can help to stop pests. In an agricultural setting, using pest-resistant plants and crop rotation can eliminate a pest threat. Prevention methods also help to eliminate the need to use harmful pesticides.

Integrated pest management does not completely remove a pest from an area. It only controls the pest population by reducing it. Removing a pest entirely from an area typically does not work and can also be environmentally unsafe. When chemicals are used to eradicate a pest population, a few of them will survive because they are resistant to the pesticide. These surviving insects can reproduce and all of the offspring will also be pesticide resistant.

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