Integrated Pest Management

Effective, environmentally sound and child-safe pest management requires significant observation, pre-planning and knowledge.Diagnosing the specific causes of a symptom and identifying the pest are key to selecting the management protocol of the target pest. The current management practices, while effective, also disrupt the natural biological control balance of the predator insects. Natural enemies of the target pest are just as susceptible to pesticides as the target pest. The residual actions of some pesticides target the pest and the beneficial predator long after the pesticide has been applied as a contact spray. Even if the beneficial organism survives the initial application, low levels of pesticide residues can have adverse sub-lethal effects on natural enemy longevity, fecundity, and the ability of the predator to target its prey. If pesticides need to be used, apply them in a discriminating method (spot applications) to minimize the impact on predatory beneficials. The use of non-persistent materials is helpful in reducing the impact on migratory beneficials. New technology exists that will help the pest control manager to control without significant disruption of the micro-ecosystem. The key is research and an understanding of the biology of the pests to be controlled.