What is IPM?
Pests affect the food, structures, domestic animals and the health of man. While many pest control methods are available when used in a indiscriminate manner the results can be the opposite of what was intended. Integrated pest management provides a systematic means of minimizing or eliminating pests by selecting an appropriate combination of pest control methods based upon the pests and system being protected. IPM programs are designed by using knowledge of pest biology and ecology to guide the selection of effective tools. Pesticides are used only as a last resort when all other means have failed to achieve the desired results.
Dr. Bob Rabb (NCSU entomologist) defined IPM as "the reduction of pest problems by actions selected after the life systems of the pests are understood and the ecologic as well as economic consequences of these actions have been predicted, as accurately as possible, to be in the best interest of mankind". In this definition Dr. Rabb challenged IPM professionals to develop pest management systems that are ecologically, socially, and economically responsible.
Components of IPM
No matter what arena (urban, agricultural, animal), IPM programs have basic components that are characteristic of pest management.
- preset pest action levels to trigger suppressive efforts
- monitoring systems to track (or predict) pests
- utilization of natural controls
- modification of environment to disfavor pests
The goals of IPM are to:
- devise pest management systems to maintain pests at preset levels
- provide pest control methods that are effective and affordable
- preserve the environment
- minimize the use of pesticides
- coordinate the development of IPM information and provide it in a convenient form
- demonstrate IPM systems in a real-world setting
How the IPM program works
The engine of IPM is the innovative faculty with pest management responsibility. They provide foundation information on pest biology and ecology, monitoring systems, biological control, and other needed information. In many cases, research results must be tested on a large scale in a commercial setting to be sure the method works as anticipated. The NCSU IPM program offers mini-grants annually to help campus and field faculty fine tune new pest management methods.
How to Get IPM Information
The IPM program at NCSU provides a wide array of information and training for clientele who need to manage pests. IPM information can be found at the NCSU IPM web site. County Extension Centers located in every county can be contacted for IPM information.
To find out more, also visit:
NCSU IPM Resources.