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Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management

Compared with reliance on the broadcast use of pesticides, integrated pest management is a preferable system of pest control. Through IPM an acceptable degree of pest control can be achieved by using a variety of complementary approaches. These include the following components: (1) Development and use of varieties of crop species that are resistant to the pest or disease. If there is genetically based variation for susceptibility to the pest or disease, resistant crop varieties can be developed using standard breeding practices. (2) Attacking the pest biologically, by introducing or enhancing the populations Conventional pest control compared to integrated pest management. Illustration by Hans & Cassidy. Courtesy of Gale Research.
of its natural predators, parasites, or diseases. (3) Changing other ecological conditions to make the habitat less suitable for the pest. (4) Undertaking careful monitoring of the abundance of pests, so that specific control strategies can be used efficiently, and only when required. (5) Using pesticides as a last resort, and only when they are a necessary component of an integrated, pest-management system.

If a system of integrated management can be successfully designed and implemented to deal with a pest problem, the reliance on pesticides can be greatly reduced, although the use of these chemicals is not necessarily eliminated. For example, a system of integrated pest management has been developed for the control of boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis) in cottonfields in Texas. The widespread use of this system has allowed large reductions in the use of insecticides for this purpose. About 19 million lb (8.8 million kg) of insecticides were used against boll weevil in 1964, but only 2.4 million lb (1.1 million kg) in 1976 after an IPM system became widely used.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Incomplete dominance to IntuitionismIntegrated Pest Management - Conventional Pest Control And Its Problems, Integrated Pest Management, Biological Control Of Pests, The Future Of Pest Management