What is Integrated Pest Management?
IPM is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of commonsense practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interactions with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment. IPM programs take advantage of all pest management options possibly including, but not limited to, the judicious use of pesticides.
Understanding pest needs is essential to implementing IPM effectively. Pests seek habitats that provide basic needs such as air, moisture, food, and shelter. Pest populations can be prevented or controlled by creating inhospitable environments, by removing some of the basic elements pests need to survive, or by simply blocking their access into buildings. Pests may also be managed by other methods such as traps, vacuums, or pesticides. An understanding of what pests need in order to survive is essential before action is taken.