Are you a fan of Facebook? The national Extension Master Gardener Facebook page has been discussing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) this week. For those who are not familiar with the concept, this definition from North Dakota State University sums it up nicely:
“IPM is a sustainable approach to managing pests by combining
biological, cultural, physical and chemical tools in a way that
minimizes economic, health, and environmental risks.”
I highly recommend the series of posts starting on February 17th to anyone interested in learning more about using IPM practices in their own gardens: EMG Facebook page. For those of you not on Facebook, a call to the Master Gardener office or a web search of NCSU Extension resources (such as the IPM North Carolina website) can provide a wealth of information on the topic.
One of the goals of IPM is to reduce the use of broad spectrum insecticides that harm both the pests and beneficial insects. Scouting for pests is an essential part of management, as opposed to spraying for insects on a schedule regardless of whether they have been found in the garden. This Beneficial Insect Chart can help identify the “good bugs” in your yard – having them around can do some of the pest control for you!