This is what Integrated Pest Management can do for your garden

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an approach to prevent or control pests in a less harmful way than just reaching for a toxic chemical. It was developed by scientists in the 1970s and the University of California program began in 1979.

IPM helps homeowners, horticulturists and farmers control pests in the least harmful way to human health and our environment. IPM probably got its impetus from Rachael Carson’s 1962 book “Silent Spring,” which gave serious consideration to the effects of widespread pesticide use on our environment, wildlife, and us. As a graduate student, I was also inspired by this book.

IPM has several components, hence the term integrated. First of all is the correct identification of the pest and monitoring of its effects. You need to know what creature or disease you are dealing with to choose a winning strategy to control it. Pests can include weeds, vertebrates, invertebrates, insects, bacteria, viruses, and fungi. If the plague does not cause economic damage, is it a plague? If it is not harmful then nothing needs to be done.

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