Integrated Pest Management


Defining integrated pest management (IPM) is not easy. Although numerous definitions can be found, the goal is usually the same, to coordinate pest biology, environmental information and available technology to prevent unacceptable levels of pest damage by the most economical means, while posing the least possible risk to people, property, and the environment. IPM is a science‐based decision‐making process that identifies and reduces risks from unwanted pests and the control strategies used in all arenas from agricultural, residential and public areas to wild lands. The IPM ‘tool box’ has almost limitless combinations of options and applying multiple tactics minimises the chance that a pest will adapt to any one tactic. However, new programmes will only succeed if they meet the economic goals of the growers, are socially accepted and are ecologically based. Herein the authors discuss the concept of IPM; available strategies; examples of successful implementation; and potential new tools. The advancement of IPM will hinge on new technology, and a more fundamental understanding of organisms and ecosystems.

Key Concepts:

  • Integrated pest management (IPM) is a science‐based and sustainable approach to managing pests.

  • The goal of IPM is to suppress pest abundance and damage to acceptable or tolerable levels.

  • IPM tactics include pest‐resistant or pest‐tolerant plants, and cultural, physical, mechanical, genetic, biological and chemical controls.

  • IPM is a complex decision‐making process based on numerous factors.

  • Measuring IPM successes can be difficult, but there are clear successes.

  • Technological advances will play a major role in future IPM programs.

Keywords: pesticides; pests; ecology; IPM; biological control; chemical control; cultural control

Figure 1.

The IPM continuum, ranging from heavy reliance on pesticides with little use of other tactics (no IPM) to little pesticide use and more reliance on biologically based and cultural tactics (biointensive IPM).



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Further Reading

Burn AJ, Coaker TH and Jepson PC (1987) Integrated Pest Management. London: Academic Press.

Carson R (1962) Silent Spring. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Cate JR and Hinckle MK (1994) Integrated Pest Management: The Path of a Paradigm. Washington, DC: National Audubon Society.

Kovac J, Petzoldt C, Degni J and Tette J (1992) A Method to Measure the Environmental Impact of Pesticides. Geneva, NY: New York State Integrated Pest Management Program, Cornell University.

Leslie AR and Cuperus GW (1993) Successful Implementation of Integrated Pest Management for Agricultural Crops. Boca Raton, FL: Lewis.

Stern VM, Smith RF, Van den Bosch R and Hagen KS (1959) The integrated control concept. California Agriculture (Hilgardia) 29: 81–101.

Van den Bosch R (1978) The Pesticide Conspiracy. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.

Zalom FG and Fry WE (1992) Food Crop Pests and the Environment; the Need and Potential for Biologically Intensive Integrated Pest Management. St. Paul, MN: APS Press.

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Philips, Christopher R, Kuhar, Thomas P, Hoffmann, Michael P, Zalom, Frank G, Hallberg, Rosemary, Herbert, D Ames, Gonzales, Christopher, and Elliott, Steve(Oct 2014) Integrated Pest Management. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0003248.pub2]