Integrated Pest Management (IPM): History, Application, Principal, Advantage and Disadvantage

Integrated Pest Management (IPM):

Photo source: Island environmental and pest control.

Integrated pest management (IPM), also known as integrated pest control (IPC) is a broad-based approach that integrates practices for economic control of pest. Integrated pest management aims to suppress pest population before the economic injury level (EIL). IPM uses current, comprehensive information on the cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control methods is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means. And with the least possible hazard to people, property and the environment.

The IPM approach can be applied to both agricultural and non-agricultural setting. Such as the home, garden and work places. Integrated pest management emphasizes the growth of a healthy crop with the least possible disruption to Agro-ecosystems and encourages natural pest control mechanism.

History of IPM:

After world war II, when synthetic insecticides became widely available, entomologists in California developed the concept of ‘supervised insect control’. At the same time, entomologists in the USA Cotton Belt were advancing a similar approach.

Supervised control formed much of the conceptual basis of the ‘integrated control’ that university of California entomologists articulated in the 1950s.

In the United States, IPM was formulated into national policy in February 1972, when Richard Nixon was president, directed federal agencies to take steps to advance the application of IPM in all the related sectors. In 1979, president Jimmy Carter established an interagency IPM coordinating committee to ensure development and implementation of IPM practices.

Perry Adkisson and Ray F. Smith received the world food prize in 1997 for encouraging the use of IPM.

Application of IPM:

After learning the life cycle and ecology of the targeted pest and identifying the weakest link in the life cycle. For attack, intervention is then achieved by combining judicious pesticides used with congressing, sanitation and natural or biological control methods designed to avoid harm to non-targeted species.

Principal of IPM:



IPM is not a single pest control method but rather, a series of pest management evaluations, decision and control. Following are the approach that includes:

1. Prevention and suppression.
2. Monitoring.
3. Decision Making.
4. Non-chemical method.
5. Pesticides selection.
6. Evaluation.

  1. Prevention and suppression: Prevention is adoption of measures of reduce the chance of occurrence of pest where suppression is reducing the impact of the pests. Crop rotation where it would break the life cycle of the pest is one of the method of prevention and suppression. It also include use of adequate cultivation techniques. (E.g.- direct sowing, sowing dates and seedbed techniques )
  2. Monitoring: Harmful organism most be monitored by adequate method and tools, wherever It can be done through observations, use of scientifically sound warning forecasting and diagnosis system etc.
  3. Decision making: Decision making is done based on the results of monitoring. We should also be aware that scientific crops pest , life cycle, climatic condition etc…, Should be considered before making any kind of decisions.
  4. Non-chemical method: Non-chemical method are prioritized over chemical methods if they are produce satisfactory results. It includes soil solarization or biological control. Use of live natural enemies is one of the major non-chemical intervention methods.
  5. Pesticides selection: IPM does not totally avoid the use of the pesticides when the alternative method are not properly used then the pesticides are used for pest control. Used pesticides should not possess any threat to the health of humans and non-target species.
  6. Evaluation: Evaluation is the important aspect of the integrated pest management and is done based on the records of the use of the pesticides, It’s affects and many more.

Advantage of IPM: 

  1. Lower cost intervention:
      • The application of IPM would lessen the financial burden.
      • Traditionally, the use of pesticides to control the pest invasion would account to lots of cost.
  1. Benefits to the environment:
      • Less use of pesticides won’t affect the fertility of soil.
      • Always IPM is an eco- friendly approach to the environment.
  1. Anti-resistance:
      • It discourages the use of chemicals and this creates less cases of anti- resistance.
      • Pesticides are used only when the other alternatives are not satisfying.

Disadvantages of IPM:

  • More involvement in the technicalities of the methods.
  • Much time and energy consuming in planning itself.

When modern pesticides were first developed, they were used extensively. Pest susceptible to a pesticide were quickly killed, leaving resistant ones to breed and multiply. It becomes clear that pesticides alone would not solve all pest problem. It is not possible or even desirable to rid gardens of all pests. Monitoring and managing pest levels instead of eliminating pests can preserve the environment, reduce costs, protect the health of humans and animals and maintain beneficial organisms such as birds, bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

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