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What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)?
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California Poppy, photo by Gary Kramer, USDA-NRCS

IPM is an effective, environmentally responsible approach to pest management that stresses the prevention of pest problems through the use of multiple tactics and with minimal impact on human health and the environment.

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Hover fly on Coneflower- Photo by Ralph Wright/NAS

Techniques include:

  • • encouraging naturally occurring pest enemies
  • • planting pest-resistant varieties
  • • modifying cultural practices to discourage pest development
  • • monitoring plants for early signs of potential problems
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Dr. Howard Roberts inspects buds on a young walnut tree on his southwestern Missouri tree farm. Photo by Charlie Rahm – USDA/NRCS photo library.

Pesticides are sometimes used, but only as a last resort and with careful consideration of risks to non-target species.

IPM practices have been successfully implemented by farms, government agencies, schools, hospitals, and municipalities with the goal of reducing the use of and exposure to synthetic pesticides. IPM practices are equally valuable for home and garden pest management.

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For an excellent overview of IPM techniques for the home landscape, see:
Malinkoski, M.K., J.H. Traunfeld, and D.L. Clement. 1998. IPM: A Common Sense Approach to Managing Problems in Your Landscape (Home and Garden Mimeo # HG 62). Home and Garden Information Center, University of Maryland, Maryland Cooperative Extension: College Park, Maryland. 8 pp.

Available online:
http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/mc/services/dep/Grasscycling/commonsense.pdf