What is IPM?

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is not a new construct. Growers, homeowners and green industry professionals have been using IPM for decades to solve pest problems while minimizing risks to people and the environment. IPM can be used anywhere – in urban, agricultural and structural areas – and draws from all of the available resources to manage insects, weeds and diseases safely and economically. By combining several pest control tactics into a single plan to reduce pests and their damage to an acceptable level, you can minimize both your costs and the possibility of resistance development.

Pesticides are used only after monitoring indicates they are needed according to established guidelines, and treatments are made with the goal of removing only the target organism.

What is a pest?

Pests are organisms that damage or interfere with desirable plants in our fields and orchards, landscapes, or wildlands, or damage homes or other structures. Pests also include organisms that impact human or animal health. Pests may transmit disease or may be just a nuisance. A pest can be a plant (weed), vertebrate (bird, rodent, or other mammal), invertebrate (insect, tick, mite, or snail), nematode, pathogen (bacteria, virus, or fungus) that causes disease, or other unwanted organism that may harm water quality, animal life, or other parts of the ecosystem.

IPM cycle

IPM is a systems-based approach to managing pests (insects, weeds, diseases). Prevention is ideal but requires a commitment to pest investigation. The IPM cycle below is continuous but should help you work toward long-term suppression of pests.


Identify pest

Pest lifecycle

Natural enemies

Landscape factors


Site selection


Time of planting

Crop rotation

Water management



Scout for pests

Use sticky traps

Monitor over time

Keep pest records


Mechanical control

Biological control

Chemical control

Evaluate and plan

Review records

What worked?

What didn’t work?

Rotate crop families

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