The most effective, long-term way to manage insects and arthropods is by using a combination of methods.
IPM strategies — use one or more for effective management.
- Prevention — use pest-free plant stock and materials, remove insect pests before they can lay eggs, and inspect plants regularly so you can remove insect pests before they reproduce.
- Cultural controls –practices that reduce pest establishment, reproduction, dispersal and survival. These include proper planting times and rates, using companion crops, and managing fertilization and irrigation. Other practices include rotating crops and using cover or trap crops. Good sanitation will help reduce insect pests. In greenhouses, changing the environment to discourage insect pests (by controlling temperature, light or humidity) is another cultural control method. Learn more from North Carolina State University.
- Mechanical and physical controls — hand-picking insects, use of row covers and sticky traps, and disrupting the soil to disrupt insect life cycles.
- Biological control — using natural enemies (predators, parasites, pathogens and competitors). Learn more from the University of California or find biological controls of insects associated with trees and shrubs here.
- Chemical controls — use of insecticides to control an insect pest when needed and in combination with other approaches. To learn more
- Colorado Environmental Pesticide Education Program provides training on pesticide laws, worker protection and pesticide safety.
- Insecticide Use and Products, eXtension
Beneficial Insects and Arthropods
Conservation of pollinators and beneficial insects (both predators and parasites) is an important aspect of practicing Integrated Pest Management.
Learn more about Beneficial Insects and Other Arthropods.
Learn more about pollinators:
- How can IPM help us save the pollinators? See the videoconference here, from the Northeastern IPM Center.
- How to Farm for Pollinators, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation
IPM Strategies in Forests & Range
IPM practices help maintain the long-term health and biodiversity of forest ecosystems.
Habitat management, including grazing, prescribed burns, mowing and herbicide applications, can be used control arthropod infestations and protect pollinators on rangelands.