Pesticides and Food:
What "Integrated Pest Management" Means
Age-old, common-sense practices are what many people associate with IPM. Today many growers no longer apply pesticides to food on a regular basis regardless of whether or not there are insects, weeds, or other pest problems. In some parts of the country, food is being marketed as IPM food.
Some practices for preventing pest damage may include:
- inspecting crops and monitoring crops for damage, and
- using mechanical trapping devices, natural predators (e.g., insects that eat other insects), insect growth regulators, mating disruption substances (pheromones), and if necessary, chemical pesticides. The use of biological pesticides is an important component of IPM.
In technical terms, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is the coordinated use of pest and environmental information with available pest control methods to prevent unacceptable levels of pest damage by the most economical means and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.
For more information on Integrated Pest Management:
IPM Principles - steps in the IPM process, including the monitoring, identification and prevention of pests
EPA is encouraging the innovation of biological pesticides, also known as biopesticides.
EPA has a voluntary program which promotes IPM practices called the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP).
- The Controlling Pest area includes information about Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in Schools .