Discover What Is An IPM & How To Use It Effectively

What is an IPM? The meaning and knowledge of IPM are all you need to know to have a pest-free environment for an extended period of time. Needless to say, forever.

It is a process that requires constant change within a season. However, it needs to be changed various times within a season. It needs to be continually reassessed and refined to get the best out of it.

Keep reading to find out more!


What is an IPM?

What Is An Ipm
The IPM Processes

Integrated Pest Management, or IPM for short, means an explicit system one can apply to resolve pest issues while reducing risk to its minimal point for humans and the environment.

It is an effective and eco-friendly strategy that helps in pest management, and it depends on a series of common techniques.

The Integrated Pest Management program makes use of up-to-date, detailed data on the life cycles of pests and their relationship with the environment.

With handy information and available pest control techniques, pest damage is managed using the most economic means with fewer possible hazards to people, their properties, and even their environment.

IPM can be employed to regulate all manner of pests in urban agriculture, wildland, or natural areas.


Read also: Most Common Pesticides Used in Agriculture


What is the Definition Of an IPM?

IPM has to do with an ecosystem-based technique that has its major concentration on the permanent or long-term prevention of pests and their damage using a combination of the following techniques: habitat manipulation, biological control, modification of cultural practices, and lastly, the use of resistant varieties.

Pesticides can only be applied when it is certified that they are needed in line with the established guidelines. And can only be used for the treatment of a particular organism.

Pest control materials are carefully chosen and used in a way that reduces risks to human health, is harmless to other organisms, and is beneficial to the environment at large.


How Does the IPM Work?

IPM focuses on finding a lasting solution to pest infestations and their possible damage. In using IPM to manage the ecosystem, you undertake actions to avoid pests being a problem, such as growing healthy crops that can overcome pest attacks, using disease-resistant crops, or sealing cracks to prevent insects and rodents from infesting a building.

In using Integrated Pest Management programs, you do not simply get rid of pests immediately; it entails studying environmental factors that adversely affect pests and their ability to survive.

With this knowledge, possible unfavourable conditions can be created for these pests.

Integrated Pest Management consists of a series of pest management evaluations, decisions, and controls, not one pest control procedure.

In the use of IPM, agriculturists who are aware of possible pest infestations follow a four-tiered procedure. These four steps include:

  • Set Action Thresholds:

Before any pest control action is taken in IPM, an action threshold is taken to ascertain the pest population or environmental pointers that indicate that pest control action is needed.

Needless to say, the presence of one pest does not mean that control is needed. The point at which pests pose an economic danger is essential in guiding future pest control decisions.

  • Monitor And Identify Pests:

As much as pest infestation has its pending danger, not all insects, weeds, and other living organisms need control. Most of these organisms are harmless, with some even being beneficial.

IPM programs help in monitoring these pests and accurately identifying them, so appropriate control methods can be employed in conjunction with action thresholds.

This monitoring and identification help to avoid the wrong decisions being taken. For instance, using pesticides when they are not needed or using the wrong pesticide.

  • Prevention:

This is the first stage of pest control. Here, IPM programs work to oversee the crop, lawn, or indoor space to avoid pest infestation.

In an agricultural setting, this may imply using cultural methods, which include rotating different crops, selecting pest-resistant species, and planting pest-resistant rootstock.

These control methods are effective and economical and pose little or no risk to humans and the environment.

Read also: Business Management: Managing Pests in the Laundry Shop

  • Control:

Once action thresholds, monitoring, and identification, suggest pest control and preventive methods have proved abortive and ineffective, IPM programs then assess the appropriate control procedure for effectiveness and risk.

Beneficial and less hazardous pest controls are initially chosen, such as highly targeted chemicals such as pheromones to disrupt pest mating or mechanical control such as trapping or weeding.

If additional monitoring, identifications, and action thresholds show that less hazardous controls are not effective, then other pest control methods would be required, such as targeted spraying of pesticides.

Broadcast spraying of non-specific pesticides would be the last remedy.


What Types of IPM Control Methods

IPM programs emphasize a combination of management strategies for greater effectiveness.

The most effective and permanent way of managing pests is by using a combination of procedures that work better together than separately. These approaches are often grouped into categories, which include:

  • Biological Control:

pest predators, parasites, and pest diseases in a certain way to repress pest populations.

The use of microbial diseases by pests is only a fraction of the chemical pesticide registration procedure, which is treated below under Chemical Methods.

This method of using predators and parasites as a biocontrol for pests is being done in one or more of three ways, namely;

    • Preservation and encouragement of naturally existing biocontrol organisms by cultural techniques or by not harming them.
    • Growth of naturally existing species by buying and releasing more of them.
    • Classical biological control involves the sourcing of new species-specific biocontrols.
  • Cultural Control:

Cultural control entails practices that curtail pest establishment, reproduction, dispersal, and survival. For instance, a change in the irrigation process can lessen pest infestations since excessive water flow can boost root disease and weeds.

  • Mechanical and Physical Control:

Mechanical and physical control can, in other words, be said to be practical. For instance, set traps for rodents.

It involves the direct killing of pests, pest blockout, and making the environment unpleasant for pests.

Physical controls involve the use of mulches for weed control, steam sterilization of the soil for disease control, or creating obstacles like using screens to wade off birds or insects.

  • Genetic Control:

Making use of pest-free plant species cultivated by classical plant breeding.

Lately, this section has been improved to include genetically engineered pest resistance, which includes; Bt corn or potatoes.

This can also be carried out directly on pests themselves, like stabilizing male insect releases.

  • Chemical Methods:

There are a lot of chemicals used in pest management programs. These chemicals differ in their range of action, toxicity, and persistence in the environment. Some classes of chemicals are:

    • Bio-rational Chemicals:

These chemicals are less universally toxic and affect particular pest biology.

The use of diatomaceous earth to scratch the surface of insects to dehydrate them or the use of microbial pesticides that affect only a particular group of insects.

Some bio-rational chemical schemes are hard to identify by toxicity or are mostly used jointly in ingenious ways with other schemes.

The use of insect pheromones together with sticky traps is a good example. Pheromones are chemicals insects produce to attract their mates, and these are not toxic substances.

However, its use in large quantities can disrupt the mating process. Other examples of these chemicals include repellants, attractants, and antifeeding agents.

    • Conventional

Conventional pesticides are artificially made compounds that act as direct toxins like; nerve poisons, stomach poisons, etc.

New classes of chemicals are being produced to augment the older conventional pesticides.

  • Regulatory Control:

Regulatory control refers to the role played by government agencies to ensure that pest infestation is avoided in an area of a country or nation by inspecting, quarantining, destroying infested materials, and other possible methods.


Read also: How to Handle Pest Infestations during a Flood: A Complete Guide



Though the knowledge and meaning of IPM have been around for quite some time, it has only been accepted at differing levels within cropping industries.

Enforcing an effective IPM program involves a lot of things, like careful management of the relationship between crops, the environment, and primary and secondary pests. And requires lots of patience.

IPM has been included as one of the best ways to manage pests, so do well to participate. Thank you for reading!

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