WSU Whatcom County Extension

Agriculture in Whatcom County

WSU Whatcom County Extension        

Integrated Pest Management

Sticky Trap

What is Integrated Pest Management?


Integrated Pest Management, IPM, is a decision making approach to pest management that involves knowing the crop, pest, ecosystem, and the relationship between these components. IPM focuses on long-term management strategies including biological control, cultural manipulation, and using resistant varieties.

Pesticide treatments are only used when other options are not effective; pesticides with minimal risk to human health and environment should be selected first. Treatment decisions for a certain pest may differ due to variables such as climate, time of year, type of crop or plant, soil type, and other factors.

The base components of IPM are:

Prevention: Crops and plants should be grown in a way to maximize the health of the plant. Healthy plants are able to withstand more pressure from insect pests and disease.

Monitoring: Regular and systematic monitoring is done to determine damage to the plant and pest population and whether these values are increasing or decreasing.

Identification: Pests and diseases must be correctly identified before treatment options can be determined.

Threshold Determination: For agricultural crops, this is often an economic threshold; for home gardeners, this threshold is determined by how much damage the plant can withstand.

Treatment: Least toxic options are chosen first. These include cultural, biological, and physical methods.

Evaluation: Monitoring is continued after treatment to determine efficacy.


Whatcom County Integrated Pest Management

"Integrated Pest Management, IPM, is a decision making approach to pest management that involves knowing the crop, the pest, the ecosystem, and the relationship between all of these components."

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WSU Whatcom County Extension • 1000 N. Forest St., Bellingham, WA 98225 • (360) 778-5800 •