Pest Control is shifting towards an approach called Integrated Pest Management. This article will highlight all you need to know about this approach and the benefits it possesses.
Is Integrated Pest Management (IPM) the Future of Pest Control?
Integrated pest management, also known as IPM, integrated pest control, or IPC, is an approach to controlling pests that combines various practices. The goal of integrated pest management is to reduce the levels of pests, so they are below the level at which they would cause economic injury. IPM can be used in agricultural and nonagricultural settings, including workplaces, gardens, and homes.
IPM is a strategy that focuses primarily on long-term control methods that prevent pests and the damage they cause. It includes biological control, modifying cultural practices, using resistant crops, and habitat manipulation, among other methods. Throughout IPM strategies, pesticides are used sparingly and only when necessary.
In contrast to other pest management methods, the main goal of this IPM pest management is to prevent pests in the long-term instead of simply eliminating the pests that are currently present.
IPM is an effective and growing method of pest management. As a pest control business owner it is important for you to have a working knowledge about various pest management programs, including IPM. IPM programs involve setting action thresholds, monitoring, and identifying pests, prevention, and control.
Setting Action Thresholds or Assessment
This part of IPM can go by varying names. It involves determining the factors that indicate you must take action to control the pest population. It can be if there is just one pest or if the pests have the potential to cause an economic threat.
Monitoring and Identification
Monitoring in IPM involves regularly checking a given area for early detection of pests. When pests appear, they are properly identified and documented, as are the effects of the biological control agents. A key factor of monitoring is that not every pest requires action. One of the goals of monitoring and identification is to help reduce the use of pesticides.
Preventative techniques used in IPM include cultural controls, structural modifications, physical barriers, pheromones, pest-resistant plants, and biological controls. Prevention is the first line of control for IPM programs. It involves managing the space in question to reduce the threat of pests. In the case of agricultural areas, examples could be cultural methods, such as planting pest-resistant varieties or rotating crops.
When a pest problem is identified and meets the threshold, then control methods are taken. Before choosing the control method, IPM programs evaluate risk and effectiveness. Pesticides may be used, but only in the smallest amounts required. Other methods may include trapping. In most cases, natural methods are used before pesticides.
Experts believe that integrated pest management may be the future of pest control, thanks to its various benefits and applications.
11 Integrated Pest Management Benefits for the Future
We have uncovered 11 benefits that explain why experts believe integrated pest management could potentially be the future of pest control.
1. Reduced Resistance to Pesticides
Over time, pests will become resistant to pesticides. This is more of a concern when you use pesticides more frequently, as repeated exposure to the chemical causes only the pests that can handle it to survive. Via natural selection, those surviving pests pass on their genes, so pests are increasingly resistant to pesticides. By minimizing the use of pesticides, IPM helps slow down the process of pests developing resistance.
2. A More Balanced Ecosystem
While pesticides successfully kill pests, their use can also kill organisms that are not the target, no matter where the pesticides are used. This can lead to the loss of a species or even just a reduction in them. As a result, the overuse of pesticides can lead to an unbalanced ecosystem. By contrast, IPM can maintain the ecosystem’s delicate balance to a greater extent due to its minimal reliance on pesticides.
3. An Eco-Friendly Approach
IPM is an eco-friendly approach due to the methods typically used, in more ways than by not killing other microorganisms. Pesticides are harmful to the planet, as they can contaminate groundwater and the air. This can protect non-target species as well as humans and the planet as a whole.
4. Improved Cost-Effectiveness
Those who use integrated management strategies for pest control tend to find themselves taking advantage of a better value. Like many other points, this is directly related to pesticides since they tend to cost more in the long term.
5. Prevention Reduces Cost
Another aspect of the savings associated with IPM over the use of pesticides is the prevention involved. Preventing pests from arriving reduces the amount of effort needed to remove them since they are less likely to get out of control. That reduced need for future actions results in cost savings.
6. Prevention Reduces Future Time Spent
Prevention reduces not only costs but also the time spent controlling pests. While IPM takes longer to begin implementing than applying pesticides would, it saves significant time in the future, resulting in a method that is more efficient overall. After all, there will be less time spent in the future trying to control pest populations since prevention will have reduced their numbers.
7. Safety for Pest Control Employees
IPM also tends to be significantly safer for pest control employees. This comes from the increased reliance on natural methods and the decreased reliance on harsh chemicals. This reduces the risk of inhaling chemicals or of those chemicals penetrating the skin.
8. Safety of Property Owners
For the same reasons that IPM is safer for those applying the pest control measures, it is also safer for those who own the property. The reduction in the use of chemicals also means that property owners do not worry about waiting to re-enter their property after the control methods are applied. Between the increased safety for pest control employees and property owners, there is a clear advantage for human health.
9. Reduces Triggers of Allergies and Asthma
Continuing the health-related benefits of IPM, this strategy reduces the exposure to pesticides and pests of everyone involved. This reduces the risk of allergic reactions and asthma attacks, both of which can be triggered by pesticides and pests.
10. All Situations Are Evaluated
With an IPM program, each situation is evaluated independently. This avoids a one-size-fits-all approach that may not be fully effective in certain situations. Instead, it allows those responsible for the control of pests to choose their methods based on the situation.
11. Increased Knowledge and Training Involved
Using IPM solutions requires a greater level of knowledge and training than simply applying a pesticide. While this does include a learning curve, it is also beneficial. After all, those with greater knowledge will be better able to understand pests and take preventative and control actions. Their increased knowledge can make it easier to determine how serious a pest problem is. It is also crucial in ensuring that pest control experts can successfully customize a strategy.
Integrated Pest Management for the Future
Thanks to the long-term nature, environmental friendliness, and cost savings of these strategies, it is likely that integrated pest management will be the pest control method of choice in the future. Conveniently, IPM is a continuum, so it is easy to incorporate smaller integrated pest control methods into your existing strategy. Then, you can slowly increase the use of typical IPM methods while reducing the reliance on pesticides. As a pest control business, it is important that you start now to incorporate the pest management system of the future.