Integrated Pest Management


Integrated Pest Management Essay, Research Paper

Integrated Pest Management

Integrated pest management (IPM) is a recently developed technology for pest

control that is aimed at achieving the desired control while reducing the use of

pesticides. To accomplish this, various combinations of chemical, biological,

and physical controls are employed. In the past, pesticides were all too often

applied routinely whether needed or not. With IPM, pest populations as well as

beneficial parasite and predator populations are monitored to determine whether

the pests actually present a serious problem that needs to be treated. If

properly and extensively employed, IPM might reduce pesticide use by as much as

50 percent, while at the same time improving pest control. If this goal were

achieved, the environmental problems would be minimized, and significant

benefits would result for farmers and society as a whole.

IPM coordinates economically and environmentally acceptable methods of pest

control with judicious and minimal use of toxic pesticides. IPM programs assess

local conditions, including climate, crop characteristics, the biology of the

pest species, and soil quality, to determine the best method of pest control.

Tactics employed include better tillage to prevent soil erosion and introduction

of beneficial insects that eat harmful species. Many pests that are attached to

crop residues can be eliminated by plowing them underground. Simple paper or

plastic barriers placed around fruit trees deter insects, which can also be

attracted to light traps and destroyed. Weeds can be controlled by spreading

grass, leaf, or black plastic mulch. Weeds also may be pulled or hoed from the


Many biological controls are also effective. Such insect pests as the European

corn borer, and the Japanese beetle, have been controlled by introducing their

predators and parasites. Wasps that prey on fruit-boring insect larvae are now

being commercially bred and released in California orchards. The many hundreds

of species of viruses, bacteria, protozoa, fungi, and nematodes that parasitize

pest insects and weeds are now being investigated as selective control agents.

Another area of biological control is breeding host plants to be pest resistant,

making them less prone to attack by fungi and insects. The use of sex pheromones

is an effective measure for luring and trapping insects. Pheromones have been

synthesized for the Mediterranean fruit fly, the melon fly, and the Oriental

fruit fly. Another promising pest-control method is the release of sterilized

male insects into wild pest populations, causing females to bear infertile eggs.

Of these techniques, breeding host-plant resistance and using beneficial

parasites and predators are the most effective. Interestingly, the combined use

of biological and physical controls accounts for more pest control than chemical


And with that, I conclude this report with saying that we should pay more

attention to Integrated Pest Management to help achieve a better future for our

generation and the next generation to come.

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