Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management

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Integrated pest management (IPM) is an ecological approach to agricultural pest control
Pest control
Pest control refers to the regulation or management of a species defined as a pest, usually because it is perceived to be detrimental to a person's health, the ecology or the economy.-History:...

 that integrates pesticides/herbicides into a management system incorporating a range of practices for economic control of a pest. In IPM, one attempts to prevent infestation
Infestation
Infestation refers to the state of being invaded or overrun by pests or parasites. It can also refer to the actual organisms living on or within a host.-Terminology:...

, to observe patterns of infestation when they occur, and to intervene (without poisons) when one deems necessary.

For their leadership in developing and spreading IPM worldwide, Perry Adkisson and Ray F. Smith received the 1997 World Food Prize
World Food Prize
The World Food Prize is an international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.-The Prize:...

.

History


Shortly after World War II, when synthetic insecticide
Insecticide
An insecticide is a pesticide used against insects. They include ovicides and larvicides used against the eggs and larvae of insects respectively. Insecticides are used in agriculture, medicine, industry and the household. The use of insecticides is believed to be one of the major factors behind...

s became widely available, entomologists in California developed the concept of "supervised insect control". Around the same time, some entomologists in the Cotton Belt
Cotton Belt (region)
Cotton Belt is a term applied to a region of the southern United States where cotton was the predominant cash crop from the late 18th century into the 20th century....

 region of the United States were advocating a similar approach. Under this scheme, insect control was "supervised" by qualified entomologists, and insecticide applications were based on conclusions reached from periodic monitoring of pest and natural-enemy populations. This was viewed as an alternative to calendar-based insecticide programs. Supervised control was based on a sound knowledge of the ecology and analysis of projected trends in pest and natural-enemy populations.

Supervised control formed much of the conceptual basis for the "integrated control" that University of California entomologists articulated in the 1950s. Integrated control sought to identify the best mix of chemical and biological controls for a given insect pest. Chemical insecticides were to be used in manner least disruptive to biological control. The term "integrated" was thus synonymous with "compatible." Chemical controls were to be applied only after regular monitoring indicated that a pest population had reached a level (the economic threshold) that required treatment to prevent the population from reaching a level (the economic injury level) at which economic losses would exceed the cost of the artificial control measures.

IPM extended the concept of integrated control to all classes of pests and was expanded to include tactics other than just chemical and biological controls. Artificial controls such as pesticides were to be applied as in integrated control, but these now had to be compatible with control tactics for all classes of pests. Other tactics, such as host-plant resistance and cultural manipulations, became part of the IPM arsenal. IPM added the multidisciplinary element, involving entomologists, plant pathologists, nematologists, and weed scientists.

In the United States, IPM was formulated into national policy in February 1972 when President Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 directed federal agencies to take steps to advance the concept and application of IPM in all relevant sectors. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

 established an interagency IPM Coordinating Committee to ensure development and implementation of IPM practices.

Principles


An American IPM system is designed around six basic components:
  1. Acceptable pest levels: The emphasis is on control, not eradication. IPM holds that wiping out an entire pest population is often impossible, and the attempt can be expensive and environmentally unsafe. IPM programmes first work to establish acceptable pest levels, called action thresholds, and apply controls if those thresholds are crossed. These thresholds are pest and site specific, meaning that it may be acceptable at one site to have a weed such as white clover, but at another site it may not be acceptable. By allowing a pest population to survive at a reasonable threshold, selection pressure is reduced. This stops the pest gaining resistance to chemicals produced by the plant or applied to the crops. If many of the pests are killed then any that have resistance
    Pesticide resistance
    Pesticide resistance is the adaptation of pest population targeted by a pesticide resulting in decreased susceptibility to that chemical. In other words, pests develop a resistance to a chemical through natural selection: the most resistant organisms are the ones to survive and pass on their...

     to the chemical will form the genetic basis of the future, more resistant, population. By not killing all the pests there are some un-resistant pests left that will dilute any resistant genes that appear.
  2. Preventive cultural practices: Selecting varieties best for local growing conditions, and maintaining healthy crops, is the first line of defense, together with plant quarantine
    Quarantine
    Quarantine is compulsory isolation, typically to contain the spread of something considered dangerous, often but not always disease. The word comes from the Italian quarantena, meaning forty-day period....

     and 'cultural techniques' such as crop sanitation (e.g. removal of diseased plants to prevent spread of infection).
  3. Monitoring: Regular observation is the cornerstone of IPM. Observation is broken into two steps, first; inspection and second; identification. Visual inspection, insect and spore traps, and other measurement methods and monitoring tools are used to monitor pest levels. Accurate pest identification is critical to a successful IPM program. Record-keeping is essential, as is a thorough knowledge of the behavior and reproductive cycles of target pests. Since insects are cold-blooded, their physical development is dependent on the temperature of their environment. Many insects have had their development cycles modeled in terms of degree days. Monitor the degree days of an environment to determine when is the optimal time for a specific insect's outbreak.
  4. Mechanical controls: Should a pest reach an unacceptable level, mechanical methods are the first options to consider. They include simple hand-picking, erecting insect barriers, using traps, vacuuming, and tillage
    Tillage
    Tillage is the agricultural preparation of the soil by mechanical agitation of various types, such as digging, stirring, and overturning. Examples of human-powered tilling methods using hand tools include shovelling, picking, mattock work, hoeing, and raking...

     to disrupt breeding.
  5. Biological controls
    Biological pest control
    Biological control of pests in agriculture is a method of controlling pests that relies on predation, parasitism, herbivory, or other natural mechanisms...

    :
    Natural biological processes and materials can provide control, with minimal environmental impact, and often at low cost. The main focus here is on promoting beneficial insects
    Beneficial insects
    Beneficial insects are any of a number of species of insects that perform valued services like pollination and pest control. The concept of beneficial is subjective and only arises in light of desired outcomes from a human perspective...

     that eat target pests. Biological insecticides, derived from naturally occurring microorganism
    Microorganism
    A microorganism or microbe is a microscopic organism that comprises either a single cell , cell clusters, or no cell at all...

    s (e.g.: Bt
    Bacillus thuringiensis
    Bacillus thuringiensis is a Gram-positive, soil-dwelling bacterium, commonly used as a biological pesticide; alternatively, the Cry toxin may be extracted and used as a pesticide. B...

    , entomopathogenic fungi and entomopathogenic nematode
    Entomopathogenic nematode
    Entomopathogenic nematodes are soil-inhabiting, lethal insect parasitoids that belong to the phylum Nematoda, commonly called roundworms. The term entomopathogenic comes from the Greek word entomon, meaning insect, and pathogenic, which means causing disease...

    s), also fit in this category.
  6. Responsible Pesticide Use
    Pesticide application
    Pesticide application refers to the practical way in which pesticides, are delivered to their biological targets...

    :
    Synthetic pesticides are generally only used as required and often only at specific times in a pests life cycle. Many of the newer pesticide groups are derived from plants or naturally occurring substances (e.g.: nicotine
    Nicotine
    Nicotine is an alkaloid found in the nightshade family of plants that constitutes approximately 0.6–3.0% of the dry weight of tobacco, with biosynthesis taking place in the roots and accumulation occurring in the leaves...

    , pyrethrum
    Pyrethrum
    Pyrethrum refers to several Old World plants of the genus Chrysanthemum which are cultivated as ornamentals for their showy flower heads. Pyrethrum is also the name of a natural insecticide made from the dried flower heads of C. cinerariifolium and C...

     and insect juvenile hormone
    Juvenile hormone
    Juvenile hormones are a group of acyclic sesquiterpenoids that regulate many aspects of insect physiology. JHs regulate development, reproduction, diapause, and polyphenisms....

     analogues), but the toxophore
    Toxophore
    A toxophore is the chemical group that produces the toxic effect in a toxin molecule: commonly used in pharmaceutical and pesticide sciences....

     or active component may be altered to provide increased biological activity or stability. Further 'biology-based' or 'ecological' techniques are under evaluation.


An IPM regime can be quite simple or sophisticated. Historically, the main focus of IPM programmes was on agricultural insect pests. Although originally developed for agricultural pest management, IPM programmes are now developed to encompass diseases, weeds, and other pests that interfere with the management objectives of sites such as residential and commercial structures, lawn and turf areas, and home and community gardens.

Process


IPM is applicable to all types of agriculture and sites such as residential and commercial structures, lawn and turf areas, and home and community gardens. Reliance on knowledge, experience, observation, and integration of multiple techniques makes IPM a perfect fit for organic farming
Organic farming
Organic farming is the form of agriculture that relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, compost and biological pest control to maintain soil productivity and control pests on a farm...

 (sans artificial pesticide application). For large-scale, chemical-based farms, IPM can reduce human and environmental exposure to hazard
Hazard
A hazard is a situation that poses a level of threat to life, health, property, or environment. Most hazards are dormant or potential, with only a theoretical risk of harm; however, once a hazard becomes "active", it can create an emergency situation. A hazard does not exist when it is not...

ous chemicals, and potentially lower overall costs of pesticide application material and labor.

1. Proper identification of pest - What is it?
Cases of mistaken identity may result in ineffective actions. If plant damage due to over-watering are mistaken for fungal infection, spray costs can be incurred, and the plant is no better off.

2. Learn pest and host life cycle and biology.
At the time you see a pest, it may be too late to do much about it except maybe spray with a pesticide. Often, there is another stage of the life cycle that is susceptible to preventative actions. For example, weeds reproducing from last year's seed can be prevented with mulches. Also, learning what a pest needs to survive allows you to remove these.

3. Monitor or sample environment for pest population - How many are here?
Preventative actions must be taken at the correct time if they are to be effective. For this reason, once the pest is correctly identified, monitoring must begin before it becomes a problem. For example, in school cafeterias where roaches may be expected to appear, sticky traps are set out before school starts. Traps are checked at regular intervals so populations can be monitored and controlled before they get out of hand. Some factors to consider and monitor include:
Is the pest present/absent?
What is the distribution - all over or only in certain spots?
Is the pest population increasing, decreasing or remaining constant?

4. Establish action threshold (economic, health or aesthetic) - How many are too many?
In some cases, a certain number of pests can be tolerated. Soybeans are quite tolerant of defoliation, so if there are a few caterpillars in the field and their population is not increasing dramatically, there is not necessarily any action necessary. Conversely, there is a point at which action must be taken to control cost. For the farmer, that point is the one at which the cost of damage by the pest is more than the cost of control. This is an economic threshold. Tolerance of pests varies also by whether or not they are a health hazard (low tolerance) or merely a cosmetic damage (high tolerance in a non-commercial situation).

Different sites may also have varying requirements based on specific areas. White clover may be perfectly acceptable on the sides of a tee box on a golf course, but unacceptable in the fairway where it could cause confusion in the field of play.

5. Choose an appropriate combination of management tactics
For any pest situation, there will be several options to consider. Options include, mechanical or physical control, cultural controls, biological controls and chemical controls. Mechanical or physical controls include picking pests off plants, or using netting or other material to exclude pests such as birds from grapes or rodents from structures. Cultural controls include keeping an area free of conducive conditions by removing or storing waste properly, removing diseased areas of plants properly. Biological controls can be support either through conservation of natural predators or augmentation of natural predators.

Augmentative control includes the introduction of naturally occurring predators at either an inundative or inoculative level. An inundative release would be one that seeks to inundate a site with a pest's predator to impact the pest population. An inoculative release would be a smaller number of pest predators to supplement the natural population and provide ongoing control. Chemical controls would include horticultural oil
Horticultural oil
Horticultural Oils or Narrow Range Oils are lightweight oils, either petroleum or vegetable based. They are used in both horticulture and agriculture, where they are applied as a dilute spray on plant surfaces to control insects and mites...

s or the application of pesticide
Pesticide
Pesticides are substances or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest.A pesticide may be a chemical unicycle, biological agent , antimicrobial, disinfectant or device used against any pest...

s such as insecticide
Insecticide
An insecticide is a pesticide used against insects. They include ovicides and larvicides used against the eggs and larvae of insects respectively. Insecticides are used in agriculture, medicine, industry and the household. The use of insecticides is believed to be one of the major factors behind...

s and herbicide
Herbicide
Herbicides, also commonly known as weedkillers, are pesticides used to kill unwanted plants. Selective herbicides kill specific targets while leaving the desired crop relatively unharmed. Some of these act by interfering with the growth of the weed and are often synthetic "imitations" of plant...

s. A Green Pest Management
Green Pest Management
Green pest management is a pest control strategy that sets pest action thresholds, monitors pest levels, takes steps to prevent pest problems and uses control methods that are organic materials or materials of natural origin. Green pest management is an extension of integrated pest management and...

 IPM program would use pesticides derived from plants, such as botanicals, or other naturally occurring materials.

6. Evaluate results - How did it work?
Evaluation is often one of the most important steps. This is the process to review an IPM program and the results it generated. Asking the following questions is useful:
Did actions have the desired effect? Was the pest prevented or managed to farmer satisfaction? Was the method itself satisfactory? Were there any unintended side effects? What can be done in the future for this pest situation? Understanding the effectiveness of the IPM program allows the site manager to make modifications to the IPM plan prior to pests reaching the action threshold and requiring action again.

See also

  • Association of Natural Biocontrol Producers
    Association of Natural Biocontrol Producers
    The Association of Natural Biocontrol Producers is an international not-for-profit professional association representing the biological pest management industry....

  • Agroecology
    Agroecology
    Agroecology is the application of ecological principles to the production of food, fuel, fiber, and pharmaceuticals. The term encompasses a broad range of approaches, and is considered "a science, a movement, [and] a practice."...

  • Agronomy
    Agronomy
    Agronomy is the science and technology of producing and using plants for food, fuel, feed, fiber, and reclamation. Agronomy encompasses work in the areas of plant genetics, plant physiology, meteorology, and soil science. Agronomy is the application of a combination of sciences like biology,...

  • Biodynamic agriculture
    Biodynamic agriculture
    Biodynamic agriculture is a method of organic farming that emphasizes the holistic development and interrelationships of the soil, plants and animals as a self-sustaining system. Biodynamic farming has much in common with other organic approaches, such as emphasizing the use of manures and composts...

  • Chitosan
    Chitosan
    Chitosan is a linear polysaccharide composed of randomly distributed β--linked D-glucosamine and N-acetyl-D-glucosamine...

     (Natural Biocontrol for Agricultural & Horticultural use)
  • Endangered arthropod
    Endangered arthropod
    An endangered arthropod is defined here as any of a number of species within the phylum Arthropoda, whose extinction is likely in the foreseeable future . Estimating the number of arthropod endangered species is extremely difficult, primarily because a vast number of the species themselves are...

  • International Organization for Biological Control
    International Organization for Biological Control
    The International Organization for Biological and Integrated Control of Noxious Animals and Plants is usually referred to as the International Organization for Biological Control or IOBC...

  • Pesticide application
    Pesticide application
    Pesticide application refers to the practical way in which pesticides, are delivered to their biological targets...

  • Professional Landcare Network
    Professional Landcare Network
    The Professional Landcare Network is a professional body for lawn care professionals, landscape management professionals , design/build/installation professionals, and interior plantscapers...

     (PLANET)
  • Push-pull technology
    Push-pull technology
    The push–pull technology is a strategy for controlling agricultural pests by using repellent "push" plants and trap "pull" plants. For example, cereal crops like maize or sorghum are often infested by stem borers...

  • Soil contamination
    Soil contamination
    Soil contamination or soil pollution is caused by the presence of xenobiotic chemicals or other alteration in the natural soil environment....

  • Sustainable agriculture
    Sustainable agriculture
    Sustainable agriculture is the practice of farming using principles of ecology, the study of relationships between organisms and their environment...


Books


On building organic pest-free gardens

External links