Integrated Pest Management
IPM is a managed pest management system that: eliminates economic and health damage caused by invasive species and pests. Also, it minimizes the use of pesticides by promoting and using organic material and the risk to human health and the environment associated with pesticide applications.
IPM uses integrated methods, site or pest inspections, pest population monitoring, an evaluation of the need for pest control. And one or more pest control methods, including sanitation, structural repairs, mechanical and living biological controls, other non-chemical methods. And, if nontoxic options are unreasonable and have been exhausted, least toxic pesticides, to take care of pest and other invasive species.
Least Toxic Pesticides including an organic material
Least toxic pesticides include boric acid,(a good pest bait) desiccant dust (diatomaceous earth and silica gel), nonvolatile insect. And rodent baits in tamper-resistant containers or for crack and crevice treatment only, microbe-based pesticides. Also, pesticides made with organic material like essential oils (not including pyrethrums) without toxic synergists. And materials for which the inert ingredients are nontoxic and disclosed.
The term ‘least toxic pesticides’ does not include a pesticide that is: determined by EPA to be a possible, probable, or known carcinogen, mutagen, teratogen, reproductive toxin, developmental neurotoxin, endocrine disruptor, or immune system toxin; a pesticide in EPA’s toxicity category I or II; and any application of the pesticide using a broadcast spray, dust, tenting, fogging, or baseboard spray application.
A well-defined Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a program that should be based on prevention, monitoring, and control. It should also offer the opportunity to eliminate or drastically reduce the use of pesticides and to minimize the toxicity of and exposure to any products used.
IPM does this by utilizing a variety of methods and techniques. Furthermore, it includes cultural, biological and structural strategies to control a multitude of pest problems. It is a term that is used loosely with many different definitions and methods of implementation.
Also IPM can mean virtually anything the practitioner wants it to mean. Hence beware of chemical dependent programs masquerading as IPM. Those who argue that IPM requires the ability to spray pesticides immediately after identifying pest problems are not describing IPM.
Conventional pest control tends to ignore the causes of pest infestations and instead rely on routine, scheduled pesticide applications. Pesticides are often temporary fixes, ineffective over the long term.
Non-toxic and least toxic control products are a major growth area. And new materials and devices are increasingly available in the marketplace.
The Six IPM Program Essentials
Monitoring: This includes regular site inspections and trapping to determine the types and infestation levels of pests at each site.
Record-Keeping: A record-keeping system is essential to establish trends and patterns in pest outbreaks. Also, information recorded at every inspection or treatment should include pest identification, population size, distribution, recommendations for future prevention, and complete information on the treatment action.
Action Levels: You can never virtually eradicate pests. An action level is the population size which requires remedial action for human health, economic, or aesthetic reasons.
Prevention: Incorporate preventive measures into the existing structures and designs for new structures. Most of all prevention is and should be the primary means of pest control in an IPM program.
Tactics Criteria: Under IPM, use chemicals only as a last resort only. But when used, choose the least-toxic materials and apply to minimize exposure to humans and all non-target organisms.
Evaluation: A regular evaluation program is essential to determine the success of the pest management strategies.
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