What is “Integrated Pest Management”?

Traditional pest control involves the routine application of pesticides.

In contrast, Integrated Pest Management, or “IPM” for short, focuses on pest prevention and helps you prevent pests entirely or reduce them to levels you can live with, by integrating holistic, ecologically based, low-risk tactics that are gentler on the environment and protect the health and safety of people, pets and property. 

The main components of IPM include:

  • Establish your action threshold: deciding how much damage you can tolerate from any given pest and when it’s time to act
  • Monitor: routinely looking for signs or symptoms of the pest
  • Identification of the pest: confirming the cause of the problem
  • Evaluate management options, using the least toxic methods first
  • Control:  implementing least toxic solutions
  • Evaluate results and effectiveness

IPM is not a single pest control method but rather involves integrating multiple control methods based on individual needs. It’s not a “one size fits all” approach

Are pesticides toxic?

Pesticides may be harmful to people, animals, birds, beneficial insects and our water. Read the product label to find out potential hazards for your specific product. All pesticides have labels that include signal words denoting their toxicity. For more information on signal words see http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/signalwords.pdf

Didn’t California just list Roundup as a “probable carcinogen”?

According to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), glyphosate, the active ingredient in products like Roundup, was added to the chemicals  listed under Proposition 65 on July 7, 2017. Because of ongoing litigation, consumers currently do not see Prop 65 labels on products. https://oehha.ca.gov/proposition-65/chemicals/glyphosate

What is “a pest”?

The University of California Integrated Pest Management (UC IPM)describes pests as “organisms that damage or interfere with desirable plants in our fields and orchards, landscapes, or wildlands, or damage homes or other structures. Pests also include organisms that impact human or animal health. Pests may transmit disease or may be just a nuisance.” They vary season to season, and home to home; what might be a pest in one environment may be of negligible concern in another.