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Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management (IPM), or Integrated Pest Control (IPC), is a movement that aims at integration of practices that would eventually bring about the economic control of pests through practices that have minimal impact on the environment as well as humans.

This movement has been pushed forth by members of the scientific community since the seventies, especially ecologists and entomologists, so that safer pest control methods may be adopted. Integrated Pest Management refers to the control of various species that are considered pests by human beings, including weeds, plant pathogens and insects.

IPM: Aims

The uncontrolled use of pesticides in agricultural production as well as the control of pests on the home and business front had proved to be a threat to the health of the environment as well as humans.

There had been several instances where the rampant use of pesticides had damaged crops, or posed a danger to those consuming the products. In the control of other pests too, such as the elimination of cockroaches and other pest insects, the use of pesticides and insecticides was posing a danger to the environment as well as humans.

In order to control this use of pesticides, and to bring about practices that would help eliminate the danger caused by these pests without causing other collateral damage, IPM began promoting the use of techniques that adopted safer practices instead of the conventional methods of pest control.

IPM: Principles

IPM accepts the fact that the complete eradication of pest levels is not always possible and there should always be a pest population that survives.

The main reason behind this notion is to control the resistance that pests develop towards pesticides, with the idea being that the survival of a few pests in a blanket pest control effort would mean that they have developed resistance towards the control method.

IPM also promotes the adoption of preventive practices that would keep pests at bay, without the need for their elimination arising. The addition of beneficial fungi and bacteria in the case of plants and the adoption of techniques that discourage the spread of pests are among them.

The responsible use of pesticides is a major part of IPM’s agenda, and the body pays specific attention this angle of pest control.

IPM: Challenges

There are several issues that IPM tries to tackle in the fight against pests.

In the era of globalization where borders between countries and even continents are fast vanishing, one of its foremost challenges is to control or deal with the issue of pests invading other countries.

The introduction of new pests means the adoption of the right techniques in measures that are taken to eradicate the threat posed by these pests, and this is where IPM is required to streamline even the new procedures.

Another challenge is to spread the idea of responsible use of pesticides in developing countries. IPM therefore faces the challenge of encouraging the implementation of optimum pest control and eradication methods even in the developing countries so that a global balance may be maintained in the control of pests, as well as the use of pesticides.