When garden pests suddenly attack, eco-minded gardeners do not run to the store to buy the latest conventional pesticides. As an alternative, they turn to integrated pest management (IPM). IPM involves a combination of common sense practices which puts emphasis on the least toxic biological and environmental ways to control pests, while having the least possible damage to people, animals and the environment.
Integrated pest management methods involve understanding a pest and its life cycle and habits. The use of IPM gardening ensures that you are growing healthier plants which don’t leave behind toxic chemicals on your lawns and into waterways. Also, you will notice that there will be an increase of good insects in your garden. Using artificial conventional pesticides usually kills these helpful insects known as beneficial insects which pollinate the plants and vegetables.
It should be noted that IPM accepts a certain amount of pest damage and the amount of damage is up to the gardener. IPM is similar to organic gardening in a lot of ways. But the biggest difference is with IPM, manmade conventional pesticides are only used in extreme cases as a last resort. Since IPM works by monitoring the behavior of pests, it guarantees that artificial conventional pesticides are used in moderation. Wondercide does not agree with the practice or philosophy of using conventional pesticides that are toxic.
Here are the basic steps to IPM:
- You should first identify the pest properly. Some insects, weeds and organisms are beneficial to the garden so you must research carefully regarding this.
- The next step is to figure out the individual life cycles and behavior patterns so that you can use the best method of treatment at any time of their development.
- The third step will be to monitor the area of activity as this will help you with the last step which is to figure out how much damage you are willing to take before control measures are finally used.
The key to a successful integrated pest management practice is prevention. Crop rotations, cleaning your garden regularly and manually picking off insects from plants are all chemical free methods.
When these prevention controls do not work, then the last resort should be considered. “Soft” controls such as repellents, soaps and oils that do not harm the environment and beneficial insects can be used. An example of this is the safe garden spray which protects garden plants from insects such as mites, whitefly and aphids. It also controls fungal diseases like black spot, rust, mildew and scab. The cedar oil spray has no harmful effects on beneficial organisms like conventional pesticides do.
Conventional pesticides may be used under the integrated pest management approach but you will never get to this point if you use Wondercide outdoor insect control. The last step is to assess your results. Your management will improve over time as you get to know what works best for your garden. In the end, you will enjoy a lively and healthy garden, and you will definitely spend less time and money dealing with pests.