A well-defined Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a program that should be based on prevention, monitoring, and control which offers the opportunity to eliminate or drastically reduce the use of pesticides, and to minimize the toxicity of and exposure to any products which are used. IPM does this by utilizing a variety of methods and techniques, including cultural, biological and structural strategies to control a multitude of pest problems.
IPM is a term that is used loosely with many different definitions and methods of implementation. IPM can mean virtually anything the practitioner wants it to mean. Beware of chemical dependent programs masquerading as IPM.
Those who argue that IPM requires the ability to spray pesticides immediately after identifying a pest problem are not describing IPM. Conventional pest control tends to ignore the causes of pest infestations and instead rely on routine, scheduled pesticide applications. Pesticides are often temporary fixes, ineffective over the long term.
Non-toxic and least toxic control products are a major growth area and new materials and devices are increasingly available in the marketplace.