What is Integrated Pest Management?

Landscape Ontario has adopted the following definition of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), developed by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA). For further information, visit the PMRA website: www.hc-sc.gc.ca/pmra-arla.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a process for planning and managing sites to prevent pest problems and for making decisions about when and how to intervene when pest problems occur. It is a sustainable approach, combining biological, cultural, physical, and chemical tools to manage pests so that the benefits of pest control are maximized and the health and environmental risks are minimized.

     IPM is an important contributor to sustainable pest management. The goals of sustainable pest management are:
  • to meet society‚Äôs needs for human health protection, food and fibre production and resource utilization;
  • to conserve or enhance natural resources and the quality of the environment for future generations; and
  • to be economically viable.

How does IPM work?
IPM programs:
  • manage crops to prevent pests from becoming a threat, e.g. crop rotation;
  • identify potential pests (weeds, diseases, insects, etc.);
  • monitor environmental conditions, pest and beneficial organism populations and pest damage;
  • decide whether treatment is needed on the basis of population and damage thresholds;
  • use biological, mechanical, and behavioural control methods (such as resistant crop varieties, physical barriers and traps) to reduce pest populations to acceptable levels;
  • when necessary, use targeted applications of pesticides; and,
  • have a built-in evaluation process.

     By ensuring that pesticide applications are warranted, well-timed and performed in concert with other management practices, IPM can reduce possible adverse health or environmental impacts of pesticide use. It can also extend the useful life span of a pesticide by delaying the development of resistance.