Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an environmentally friendly, common-sense approach to controlling pests. The IPM principles and benefits described below apply to any type of structure and landscaping.
Traditional pest control involves the routine application of pesticides. IPM, in contrast:
This provides a more effective, environmentally sensitive approach.
IPM programs take advantage of all appropriate pest management strategies, including the judicious use of pesticides. Preventive pesticide application is limited because the risk of pesticide exposure may outweigh the benefits of control, especially when non-chemical methods provide the same results.
IPM is not a single pest control method but rather involves integrating multiple control methods based on site information obtained through:
Consequently, every IPM program is designed based on the pest prevention goals and eradication needs of the situation. Successful IPM programs use this four-tiered implementation approach:
Correct pest identification is required to:
Additionally, correct identification will prevent the elimination of beneficial organisms. When monitoring for pests:
Many monitoring techniques are available and often vary according to the pest. Successful IPM programs routinely monitor:
IPM plans should be updated in response to monitoring results.
An action threshold is the pest population level at which the pest’s presence is a:
Setting an action threshold is critical to guiding pest control decisions. A defined threshold will focus the size, scope, and intensity of an IPM plan.
IPM focuses on prevention by removing conditions that attract pests, such as food, water, and shelter. Preventive actions include:
Pest control is required if action thresholds are exceeded. IPM programs use the most effective, lowest risk options considering the risks to the applicator, building occupants, and environment. Control methods include:
Documenting pest control actions is critical in evaluating success and should include:
A school IPM program recommends that schools use integrated pest management (IPM) – a Smart, Sensible and Sustainable approach to pest control:
IPM is an effective and environmentally-sensitive approach that offers a wide variety of tools to reduce contact with pests and exposure to pesticides. The website focuses on providing vital information in the school setting to parents, school administrators, staff and pest management professionals. Knowledgeable, proactive stakeholders can enable a community to prevent or significantly reduce pollution from unnecessary pesticide use.
IPM offers several benefits. It helps to:
Did you know that children in the United States continue to face serious risks arising from pests and the use of pesticides in certain cases?
A school IPM program prescribes common sense strategies to reduce sources of food, water and shelter for pests in school buildings and grounds. Put simply, IPM is a safer and usually less costly option for effective pest management in the school community.
Adopting IPM reduces exposure to both pests and pesticides. Two health concerns faced throughout the country by children and adults are:
Rodents, cockroaches, and dust mites are often present in buildings and can cause or inflame serious allergic reactions and asthma attacks. Studies in New York City
While pesticides can play a key role in IPM programs, by their very nature most pesticides pose some risk. They are powerful tools for controlling pests but need to be used carefully and judiciously.
There are cost savings associated with using IPM. IPM may be more labor intensive than conventional pest control and may require more up-front resources. However, costs are generally lower over time because the underlying cause of the pest problem has been addressed. IPM practices also provide financial benefits unrelated to pests. For example, weatherization of buildings not only excludes pests but also saves energy and reduces moisture problems.