Editor’s note: This article grants one continuing education unit (CEU) in the Core category toward the renewal of a Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services restricted-use pesticide license when the accompanying test is submitted and approved.
Integrated pest management (IPM) uses a combination of methods to keep pest populations at an acceptable level, which are economical and have little effect on human health and the environment. IPM is a step-by-step process that identifies the target pest, monitors the population for action thresholds, chooses a management goal, implements the various methods, and evaluates the results.
IPM encompasses insects and other arthropod pests, diseases, and weeds that are found in enclosed areas and open outdoor environments such as citrus groves. Insect and other arthropod pests can cause damage to plants by feeding on the foliage and fruit or by serving as a vector for a disease pathogen. Certain plant diseases can negatively affect tree health, which causes reduced productivity and yields, and possibly death. Weeds compete with trees for nutrients and water and can serve as alternate hosts for damaging insects.
The first step in choosing an IPM plan is identifying the pest to be controlled. Accurately identifying the pest allows you to understand critical information such as its life cycle and effective control methods. The various methods used in an IPM program are physical and environmental modifications and cultural, mechanical, biological, chemical, and regulatory controls.
There are thresholds to consider before implementing pest control measures when pest populations are damaging crops. The action threshold describes the pest population at which control measures need to be implemented. It is determined by the level of damage that is acceptable before health, environmental or economic damage occurs. The economic threshold is the point at which the cost of controlling a pest equals the economic damage it is causing.
Whether you are battling an insect, disease or …..
Read and learn more about The Goals of Pest Management on the Citrus Industry website.