Integrated Pest Management, Biology tutorial


Integrated pest management is basically the combination of different approaches to the management of pests. The requirement for this came about due to the use of a singular approach generally does not remove or bring the pests to a substantial manageable level.

IPM Definition:

IPM definition by FAO (1967):

Integrated Pest Management (or IPM) is a system which, in the context of related environment and population dynamics of the pest species uses all appropriate methods and procedures in as compatible a manner as possible and sustains pest populations at levels beneath such causing the economic injury. 

IPM definition by Luckmann and Metcalf (1994)

IPM is stated as the intelligent choice and utilization of pest control tactics which will make sure favorable ecological, economical and sociological effects. 

In IPM, one tries to prevent infestation, to notice patterns of infestation when they take place, and to intervene (with no poisons) if one deems essential.

History of Integrated Pest Management:

1) Michelbacher and Bacon (in the year 1952) introduced the word 'integrated control'. 

2) Stern, et al. (in the year 1959) stated integrated control as 'applied pest control that joins and joins together biological and chemical control'.

3) Geier (in the year 1966) introduced the word 'pest management'. 

4) Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ, 1972) offers the word 'Integrated Pest Management'. 

5) Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO, 1967) stated IPM as the pest management system, which, in the context of related environment and population dynamics of the pest species, uses all appropriate methods and processes in as compatible a manner as possible and maintains pest populations at levels beneath such causing the economic injury. 

6) In the year 1989, IPM Task Force was established and in the year1990 IPM Working Group (IPMWG) was comprised to strengthen implementation of IPM at international level. 

7) In the year 1997, Smith and Adkisson were awarded the World Food Prize for the revolutionary work on the implementation of IPM. 

Need for Pest Management:

1) Growth of resistance in insects against insecticides example: OP and synthetic Pyrethroid resistance in the Helicoverpa armigera. 

2) Outbreak of secondary pests' example: Whiteflies emerged as main pest whenever spraying insecticide against H. armigera. 

3) Resurgence of target pests. Example: BPH of rice rose whenever a few OP chemicals are applied. 

4) Whenever number of application rises, profit reduces.  

5) Ecological pollution and reduction in its quality. 

6) Killing of the non-target animals and natural enemies. 

7) Animal and human health hazards. 

Phases in Crop Protection leading to IPM:


Subsistence stage

Just natural control, no use of insecticide


Exploitation stage

Applying more pesticides, growing HY varieties and obtain much yield and returns.


Crisis stage

Over utilization of pesticides, dilemma of resurgence, resistance, secondary pest outbreak, rise in production cost.


Disaster stage

Due to raised pesticide use - No gain, high residue in soil - Collapse of the control system

Principles of Integrated Pest Management:

An IPM system is framed around six fundamental components:

1) Acceptable pest levels:

The emphasis is on control, not eradication. IPM holds that wiping out whole pest population is frequently not possible, and the effort can be costly and environmentally insecure.

IPM programs first work to set up acceptable pest levels, termed as action thresholds, and applies controls when such thresholds are crossed. Such thresholds are pest and site specific, meaning that it might be acceptable at one site to encompass a weed like white clover; however at the other site it might not be acceptable. By allowing a pest population to survive at a reasonable threshold, selection pressure is decreased. This stops the pest gaining resistance to chemicals generated by the plant or applied to the crops. When many of the pests are killed then any that contain resistance to the chemical will form the genetic basis of the future, more resistant, population. By not killing all the pests there are certain un-resistant pests left which will dilute any resistant genes which come out. 

2) Preventive cultural practices:

Choosing varieties best for the local growing conditions and sustaining healthy crops, is the first line of defense, altogether with plant  quarantine  and 'cultural methods like crop sanitation (example: removal of diseased plants to prevent the spread of infection). 

3) Monitoring:

Regular examination is the cornerstone of IPM. Observation is broken to two steps, first; inspection and second: recognition. Visual inspection, insect and spore traps and other measurement processes and monitoring tools are employed to monitor the pest levels. Accurate pest recognition is critical to a successful IPM program. Record-keeping is necessary, as is a methodical knowledge of the behavior and reproductive cycles of the target pests. As insects are cold-blooded, their physical growth is dependent on the temperature of their atmosphere. Most of the insects have had their growth cycles modeled in terms of degree days. Monitor the degree days of an atmosphere to find out when is the optimal time for the specific insect's outbreak.

4) Mechanical controls:

Should a pest reach the unacceptable level, mechanical processes are the very first options to consider. They comprise simple hand-picking, erect insect barriers, by employing traps, vacuuming, and tillage to the disrupt breeding.

5) Biological controls:

Natural biological methods and materials can give control having minimal ecological impact, and frequently at low cost. The major focus here is on promoting advantageous insects which eat target pests. Biological insecticides, derived from the naturally occurring microorganisms 

6) Responsible Pesticide Use:

Synthetic pesticides are usually only employed as needed and often just at particular times in a pest's life cycle. Most of the of the newer pesticide groups are derived from the plants or of course occurring substances (example: nicotine, pyrethrum and insect juvenile hormone analogues), however the toxophore or active component might be modified to give increased biological activity or stability.

Process of Integrated Pest Management:

IPM is applicable to all kinds of agriculture and sites like residential and commercial structures, lawn and turf regions, and home and community gardens. Reliance on knowledge, experience, observation and integration of the multiple methods makes IPM a perfect fit for the organic farming (sans artificial pesticide application). For large-scale, chemical-based farms, IPM can decrease human and ecological exposure to dangerous chemicals and potentially lower total costs of pesticide application material and labor.

1) Proper recognition of pest - What is it

Cases of the mistaken identity might outcome in ineffective actions. When plant damage due to over-watering is wrong for fungal infection, spray costs can be sustained, and the plant is no better off.

2) Learn pest and host life cycle and biology

At the time you observe a pest, it might be too late to do much about it except perhaps spray with a pesticide. Often, there is the other phase of the life-cycle which is susceptible to preventative actions. For illustration, weeds reproducing from the last year's seed can be prevented with mulches. As well, learning what a pest requires to survive lets you to get rid of these.

3) Monitor or sample atmosphere for pest population - How many are here?

Preventative actions should be taken at the right time if they are to be efficient. For this cause, once the pest is properly recognized, monitoring must start before it becomes a problem. For illustration, in school cafeterias where roaches might be expected to appear, sticky traps are set out before school begins. Traps are checked at regular intervals so populations can be monitored and controlled prior to they get out of hand. A few factors to consider and monitor comprise: Is the pest present or absent? What is the distribution - all over or only in some spots? Is the pest population raising, reducing or remaining constant?

4) Establish action threshold (economic, health or aesthetic) - How many are too many

In few cases, a certain number of pests can be tolerated. Soybeans are quite tolerant of defoliation, therefore if there are some caterpillars in the field and their population is not rising dramatically, there is not essentially any action required. On the contrary, there is a point at which action should be taken to control cost. For farmer, such point is the one at which the cost of damage by the pest is more than the cost of control. This is a financial threshold.

5) Choose a suitable combination of management tactics:

For any pest condition, there will be some options to consider. Options comprise, mechanical or physical control, cultural controls, biological controls and chemical controls. Mechanical or physical controls comprise picking pests off plants or employing netting or other material to leave out pests like birds from grapes or rodents from the structures. Cultural controls comprise keeping an area free of conducive conditions through removing or storing the waste properly, eliminating diseased regions of plants properly. Biological controls can be support either via conservation of natural predators or augmentation of the natural predators.

6) Evaluate outcomes - How did it work

Evaluation is frequently one of the most significant steps. This is the method to review an IPM program and the outcomes it produced. Asking the given questions is useful: Did actions encompass the desired effect? Was the pest managed or prevented to farmer satisfaction? Was the process itself satisfactory? Were there any unintended side effects? What can be done in the future for pest condition? Understanding the efficiency of the IPM program lets the site manager to make alterations to the IPM plan prior to pests reaching the action threshold and needing action again.

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