Integrated Pest Management: What is It?

Integrated pest management is a multifaceted approach to pest control which usually encompasses larger areas of land and considers pest control alongside other disciplines such as agricultral theory, environmentalism, and economics. Integrated pest management does not involve heavily bombing an area with chemicals in order to kill every pest in sight, but is a complex process of changing the biological and environmental structure of a certain location in order to greatly limit its pest population for long periods of time and in a cost effective manner. There are many parts in the integrated pest management process, here are a few of them.

Biological Control

First on the list of integrated pest management techniques are biological controls. This means minimizing the pests in an area by altering its biodiversity and increasing the number of predators. Introducing predators into an environment is an effective and natural way to eliminate pests and replace them with harmless bugs, fungi and bacteria.

Cultural Controls

Cultural controls, or human controls, consists of modifying human practices to lower the presence of pests. Irrigation, for example, is an ancient process that has been adapted in recent years to reduce the emergence of mosquitoes, root disease and weeds in produce fields. By just slightly changing certain agricultural techniques, a real reduction in pests can be seen.

Mechanical Controls

Mechanical controls are the physical and tangible ways people can prevent pests. This includes caulking up cracks in buildings, placing rodent traps in high traffic areas and sterilizing the soil to stop diseases. Mechanical controls are similar to regular pest control techniques, however, they are done on a larger scale and with long-term goals in mind.

Chemical Controls

Chemical controls are the most direct method of pest control in integrated pest management. Although integrated pest management is designed to reduce the need for chemicals, they still have a place in pest control and can be used safely in combination with other long-term methods. Pesticides are carefully selected so as to guarantee that only the pests are eliminated while crops, humans, beneficial organisms and the environment is unharmed.

Integrated pest management is not about eliminating pests completely. Killing any and all pests in a certain location is not only an incredibly expensive and tedious process, but it’s unfeasible as well, especially in places such as farms and national parks. Integrated pest management, on the other hand, is about just that: Management. It’s about reaching an acceptable pest level in where nature is capable of thriving in a way that’s beneficial to all. For more information, or to receive quality pest control services, give Valley Pest Solutions a call today.