The Online Gardener's Handbook
Chapter 2: Integrated Pest Management
It is normal for garden plants to suffer some damage from pests.
Healthy plants can withstand pest attack better than those growing
under difficult conditions. A few blemishes on fruit or spots on
leaves are not usually worth the cost and time spent in control
efforts. Maintaining a healthy lawn or garden is the homeowner's
best defence against unwanted pests. Gardeners are encouraged to
use natural practices such as mechanical, cultural and biological
methods whenever possible. Information on non-pesticide controls
are provided throughout this handbook. If natural methods fail and
you want to investigate allowable pesticide options, use only those
reduced risk pesticides or biopesticides permitted for cosmetic
use under the cosmetic pesticides ban, or contact a professional
pest management company, consult staff at garden centres, or your
local Master Gardener's group.
Identification of the target pest and determining its life cycle
and biology is critical to choosing appropriate and effective control
methods. This includes the damaging stages of the pest, when the
pest is present and when it is most vulnerable in its life cycle.
To be effective, controls must be implemented at the proper developmental
stage of the pest.
Integrated Pest Management
An integrated pest management strategy is one that combines all
available tools to reduce pest populations to an acceptable level
in the most economic and environmentally friendly fashion. These
tools include cultural, mechanical, biological and chemical pest
control measures, as well as regularly monitoring for pests. It
is important to note that most of these tools do not involve pesticides.
There are numerous non-pesticide options that can be used to help
prevent or reduce the impacts of pests in the lawn or garden, including
cultural and natural controls. While many of these measures on their
own might not provide sufficient control, in combination they may
reduce the problem to below threshold levels. It is the most effective
and environmentally friendly way to minimize problems in your garden.