Pest Management

Helpful Tips and Practices

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an environmentally safe approach to pest management. IPM uses the current life cycles of pests and how they interact with their environment. This approach can be applied to both agricultural and non-agricultural settings. There are many methods of IPM, including the following practices.
  • In cases where bacteria, fungi, or other microscopic organisms are damaging plants, the affected plant material can be removed. Pruning equipment should be disinfected with bleach to prevent the spreading of organisms.
  • Insects can be removed by hand (using gloves or tweezers) and placed in soapy water or vegetable oil. Alternatively, insects can be sprayed off the plant with water or in some cases vacuumed off of larger plants.
  • Mulching helps prevent weeds where turf is absent. Fencing helps keep out rodents. Netting helps keep out birds and insects away from fruit and leaves.
  • Small mammals and birds can be excluded using fences, netting, and tree trunk guards.
  • Sprinkling the ground with abrasive diatomaceous earth can prevent infestations of soft-bodied insects and slugs. Slugs also can be trapped in small cups filled with beer set in the ground.
  • Store-bought traps can be used, such as species-specific, pheromone-based traps or colored sticky cards.