Integrated pest management

(IPM) is an integrated, common sense approach to crop or forest management to minimize losses from insect pests and disease. The general components of an IPM strategy are to: 1. set action thresholds, 2. monitor, identify and quantify pests, 3. exercise prevention, and 4. control. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Integrated pest management (IPM) “is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment. IPM is not a single pest control method but, rather, a series of pest management evaluations, decisions and controls”. Although some of the focus of IPM strategies is on reduced pesticide or fungicide use, particularly when these solutions are not economically viable, the feature common to all IPM strategies is that thresholds for action are set, which allow managers to make decisions on how to best manage their resource in the face of disease and/or insect pressure using a variety of tools.