Integrated pest management (IPM) combines appropriate pest-control tactics (biological, cultural and chemical controls) into a single strategy to reduce pests and their damage to an acceptable level. IPM offers the possibility of improving your lawn while minimizing the environmental impacts of controlling pests. Relying only on chemical pesticides for pest control can cause pests to develop resistance to pesticides, outbreaks of other pests, and harm to beneficial organisms. Pesticides are valuable components of a turfgrass program, but pest management is more than simply applying the right pesticides. It also includes selecting turf grasses that are well adapted, maintaining the health of the turf and using cultural and biological controls when appropriate. To solve pest problems, you must consider:
Climate- Weather conditions (especially temperature), day length, and humidity affect pest activity and their rates of reproduction.
Natural enemies- Birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and mammals feed on some pests and help control their numbers. Many predatory and parasitic insect and insect-like species feed on pests.
Food and water supply- Host plants resist damage better if properly fed and irrigated, and some pest problems are made worse with watering at the wrong time.
Host resistance- Some plants resist pests better than others.
Host resistance works in three ways:
- Chemicals in the host repel the pest or prevent the pest from completing its life cycle.
- The host is more vigorous than other varieties and is therefore less likely to be seriously damaged by pest attacks.
- The host has physical characteristics that make it more difficult to attack.