An Integrated Pest Management plan includes a variety of methods to prevent, suppress, and eradicate pest infestations or to maintain populations at a nondamaging level. There are several components to a successful Integrated Pest Management plan, such as maintaining a clean environment, regularly inspecting your crop, identifying a pest problem quickly, and keeping detailed records.
Methods must include each stage of prevention, suppression, and eradication:
Prevention â€“ includes setting traps, removing pest habitats, scouting for pests, maintaining sanitation, proper spacing, and pruning.
Suppression â€“ includes immediate removal of diseased plants and the use of biological control agents (BCAs). Never reuse grow media.
Eradication â€“ includes the increased use of BCAs and low-dose natural oils. BCAs include a variety of agents, such as classical BCAs, augmentative, and conservation. Learn more about which agents to use and how to introduce various natural predators, parasites, parasitoids, and pathogens with this detailed Integrated Pest Management Guide.
Additional considerations include maintaining your air handling system and weighing the use of pesticides vs. BCAs. Increasing BCAs can reduce pesticide use. Pest management companies can also help growers to achieve pest control with the use of biological control agents rather than pesticide usage.