Dealing with Pests the Organic Way Integrated Pest Management

Spraying pesticides to get rid of pests may be satisfying in the moment, but the long-term effects can include poisoning soil and water; creating an unhealthy environment for yourself, your family, and your pets; eliminating beneficial organisms; and wasting money on unnecessary products. Organic gardeners take a different approach: They strive to maintain a healthy balance of organisms, and they treat problems only when treatment is clearly warranted. The goal is to manage pests, not annihilate them.

When it comes to pest management, organic gardeners heed two basic tenets:

  • Pesticides aren't always the answer: Organic gardeners consider whether it's really necessary to control the pests they find. A few aphids on your hibiscus aren't likely to cause any major damage if your garden is a haven for beneficial insects that dine on aphids. As a matter of fact, organic gardeners try not to eliminate all insect pests, because if all the pests disappear, so will the insects, birds, and spiders that feed on them. By tolerating a small number of pests, you can keep their predators around in case your garden has a sudden pest-population explosion.
  • Not all problems are pest problems: Avoid the temptation to assume that all problems are caused by pests. Other factors may be at fault: excessive heat, not enough or too much sun, lack of or too much moisture, herbicide drift, freezing temperatures, hail, wind, air and water pollution, and mower and string-trimmer injury, for example. These problems are especially likely in plants growing in unfavorable environments — shade-loving plants in full sun, for example. Plants stressed by these factors are also more vulnerable to insect and disease attack. Eliminating the environmental stress solves the underlying problem, which in turn may make pesticides unnecessary.

When problems arise in your garden, you need a methodical and environmentally sound way to deal with them. That's where the concept of integrated pest management (IPM) comes in. Although not strictly an organic approach, IPM outlines logical steps that you can use to keep your garden and landscape healthy.

In IPM, farmers and gardeners follow a series of graduated steps, starting with good growing practices and establishing acceptable levels of damage. Control starts with least-toxic methods and moves to more-toxic or invasive steps only when needed.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment