What are the tactics or control methods used in IPM?
The tactics or methods used in IPM include one or a combination of the following:
- Cultural control (crop rotation, use of locally adapted or pest resistant/tolerant varieties, sanitation, manipulating planting/harvest dates to avoid pests)
- Biological control (protect, enhance or import natural enemies of pests)
- Mechanical control (cultivation, trapping, pest exclusion)
- Chemical control (insect growth regulators, pheromones, biological/chemical pesticides)
There is a 6 step process to decision-making in IPM:
- Identify the problem or pest
- Determine the severity of the problem (scouting, traps, past history)
- Assess the management options (do nothing, cultural, biological, chemical control)
- Select and apply one or more options
- Measure the success of options employed
- Record the results
Questions to Ask Before Pest Management Decisions Are Made:
- What pests are present, in what numbers and stages of development?
- What conditions exist that may increase or decrease pest problems?
- What natural enemies of the pests, such as parasites, predators, and diseases, are present that may play an important role in control?
- What amount and type of damage is being caused or may soon be caused by pests?
- What is the stage of development, condition, and value of the crop?
- What is the potential for economical injury? How much damage is tolerable? Has the action threshold been reached?
- What pest management options are available, and how do the advantages and disadvantages of each apply to the situation?
- If alternatives are not available, is a pesticide treatment justified for the situation? If so, what is the material of choice?
- If a pesticide is not justified, what approaches, if any, should be taken?
Field scouting and action thresholds can be used to provide much of the information needed to answer these questions. Thorough field scouting provided by an unbiased source who understands the crop and cropping system remains a major tenant of IPM.