The Ipm Approach to Environmental Stewardship

The Ipm Approach to Environmental Stewardship

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an approach to pest management that uses a combination of treatment methods, starting with the least toxic stages. Identifying the pest and understanding its life cycle and habits makes it possible to effectively use non-chemical prevention strategies at the initial stages with good results.

For me, IPM is just a matter of contacting your garden. I call it proactive (against reactive gardening). It’s an early morning walk with a cup of coffee, just to observe the daily changes. If you take every opportunity to adjust to what is happening, even if it is a casual glance while you run to the car, your dynamic garden will rarely surprise you.

When IPM methods are used, there are many positive results; healthier plants, little or no use of potentially toxic chemicals, as well as the resulting runoff, higher survival rates of beneficial insects, including pollinators, and, first, better long-term control of pest populations.

It is important to understand that IPM believes that some level of pest damage is acceptable, and each gardener should determine the extent. Therefore, a more extreme approach to treatment will only take place if this tolerance threshold is exceeded. In many ways, IPM seems to be similar to organic gardening. The biggest difference is that in IPM, synthetic pesticides are an acceptable last-stage treatment.

Steps to IPM

The first step is to search for developing populations of parasites. Write down the location, concentrations, and note the changes that occur from day to day.

Then the correct identification is important. Knowing what you are facing and understanding your life cycle and behaviors is an important part of IPM. This allows you to determine if any actions are necessary at this time, and gives you the opportunity to first choose the most appropriate treatment method. This may include simple manual removal or simply using a jet of water.

Third, to monitor and evaluate. Ask yourself the following questions: is the parasite population isolated in a small area or in a certain culture, or is it increasing? Is the damage getting worse? Is the damage within the acceptable acceptable range? Are there currently populations of beneficial insects? At this stage, you determine your acceptable threshold and decide whether more aggressive treatment measures are appropriate.

At the fourth stage, control measures are carried out. Before switching to synthetic pesticides or herbicides, you should first use more harmless methods. By maintaining an active role in overseeing your garden and landscape, more aggressive treatment options are rarely required.

The last step is to evaluate your results. Did your IPM strategies work according to your treatment methods? What went well and what didn’t. IPM is not an instant solution, but it is effective. Given the same scenario, what would you do exactly the same in the future and what would you do differently?

IPM options for pest prevention and control

Cultural: Plant the right plant in the right place and use varieties that grow well in your growing region. Create an inhospitable environment for parasites. Don’t give the parasites a reason to stay here. Crop rotation is a good example of this, as you remove a food source from season to season.

Hygiene: Keep your garden away from dirt and harmful plant material to avoid plant health problems. Plants that are harmless to health are more resistant and can better withstand damage that can be caused by certain pests.

Physics: This includes creating barriers to prevent pests from entering your plants. An example is linear coatings. Another option would be to use collars around the tender stems of seedlings to protect against worms.

Biological: Beneficial insects such as ladybugs, beetles and mantises often seem to me to be natural predators in the garden. Other control measures that are less often considered or familiar to the gardener include the use of predatory pests.

Chemical: These control options are the last line of defense for pest control in an IPM environment and can cause the same damage if beneficial insects are not selectively damageed. Chemicals at this stage may contain less toxic garden oils and insecticidal soap,

Botanical: (pyrethrines, rotenone, neem), inorganic pesticides (such as lime sulfur) and, finally, conventional synthetic pesticides that act as direct toxins.

With IPM, results will improve over time if you learn the right control methods for your garden. If you apply all the IPM levels in order, the result will be a healthier garden in which you will have to spend less time and money on pest control.


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