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Integrated Pest Management

Integrated pest management (IPM) is the control strategy of choice for homeowners, growers, and commercial applicators. IPM is an approach to pest management that blends all available management techniques - nonchemical and chemical - into one strategy: Monitor pest problems, use nonchemical pest control, and resort to pesticides only when pest damage exceeds an economic or aesthetic threshold.

Labels and regulations change and new products are introduced routinely. Therefore, the pesticide selection process should be conducted just prior to each growing season.

The selection of a pesticide requires planning and knowledge of the alternatives. Begin by developing a comprehensive list of available pesticides for a specific crop, turf, or home garden pest. Pesticide recommendations for controlling any insect, weed, or disease can be suggested by numerous sources: the Cooperative Extension Service; consultants; agrichemical and urban pesticide dealers; product manufacturers; garden and nursery centers; association newsletters; trade journals; and expert applicators. After developing a pesticide list, the user should obtain labels of all products under consideration so that their strengths and weaknesses can be analyzed on a product profile worksheet. Labels generally are available locally from retail outlets or their suppliers.

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