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David Daehnke

gardeningguru@juno.com
Mahwah, NJ
United States

IPM Main Page

IPM stands for Integrated Pest Management, or as I like to say, Intelligent Pest Management. In the past, if you had a pest problem, be it insect or disease, the first thing most homeowners would do is buy a bottle of chemicals and spray away until the whole neighborhood smelled.

Homeowners today understand the balance of nature, and that by spraying all those chemicals, you were not only hurting the harmful pests, but also the beneficial ones as well. IPM is a series of steps that a homeowner can use to diagnose and treat a pest problem, and in turn, "catch" the problem before it turns into a bigger problem.

1). LOOK - The first step is to become familiar with your plants and understand what a healthy plant looks like. It is from this point that when a problem arises, YOU will be the first to know that there is a problem, and control is that much simpler. An inexpensive magnifying glass will do the trick. Don't worry about the number of pests that are about. Many pests require a specific plant as a host, so identification is that much easier.

2). THINK - a). Do I have a problem & b).why? Many organisms live in a coexistence with your plant (such as monarch butterfly catepillars feed on the foliage of milkweed, and do not seriously harm the plant), and plants have adapted to this, especially if the pests are in small numbers. Also, most plant problems are from improper plant selection or placement(the right plant for the right place). Check to make sure when purchasing a plant to check its cultural habits and conditions. This will help you in the future.

3). TREAT - Use an appropriate treatment and dosage. Many homeowners just grab whatever pesticide the have on their shelf and use that. Be specific with what you spray, and use the manufacturer's suggested amounts. They have spent a lot of money on research, and they know more about the product then you, so take heed! Even better, if the infestation is small, use your hands to remove the pests...it is even safer than chemicals!

IPM for November, December, January and February

IPM for March and April

IPM for May and June

IPM for July and August

IPM for September and October

If you have any specific IPM questions, please e-mail me at IPMQuestions@Gardeningguru.org or The Q & A Message Board to see if it has previously been asked.

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