IPM is not a single pest control method but, rather, a series of pest management evaluations, decisions and controls. In practicing IPM, growers who are aware of the potential for pest infestation follow a four-tiered approach. The four steps include:

  • Set Action Thresholds
    Before taking any pest control action, IPM first sets an action threshold, a point at which pest populations or environmental conditions indicate that pest control action must be taken. Sighting a single pest does not always mean control is needed. The level at which pests will either become an economic threat is critical to guide future pest control decisions.
  • Monitor and Identify Pests
    Not all insects, weeds, and other living organisms require control. Many organisms are innocuous, and some are even beneficial. IPM programs work to monitor for pests and identify them accurately, so that appropriate control decisions can be made in conjunction with action thresholds. This monitoring and identification removes the possibility that pesticides will be used when they are not really needed or that the wrong kind of pesticide will be used.
  • Prevention
    As a first line of pest control, IPM programs work to manage the crop, lawn, or indoor space to prevent pests from becoming a threat. In an agricultural crop, this may mean using cultural methods, such as rotating between different crops, selecting pest-resistant varieties, and planting pest-free rootstock. These control methods can be very effective and cost-efficient and present little to no risk to people or the environment.
  • Control
    Once monitoring, identification, and action thresholds indicate that pest control is required, and preventive methods are no longer effective or available, IPM programs then evaluate the proper control method both for effectiveness and risk. Effective, less risky pest controls are chosen first, including highly targeted chemicals, such as pheromones to disrupt pest mating, or mechanical control, such as trapping or weeding. If further monitoring, identifications and action thresholds indicate that less risky controls are not working, then additional pest control methods would be employed, such as targeted spraying of pesticides. Broadcast spraying of non-specific pesticides is a last resort.

 

Least-Toxic Pesticides (as defined by Beyond Pesticides/NCAMP)

 

Least-toxic pesticides include

(a) boric acid and disodium octobrate tetrahydrate;

(b) silica gels;

(c) diatomaceous earth;

(d) nonvolatile insect and rodent baits in tamper-resistant containers or for crack and crevice treatment only;

(e) microbe-based pesticides;

(f) pesticides made with essential oils (not including pyrethrums) without toxic synergists; and (g) materials for which the inert ingredients are nontoxic and disclosed.

The term “least-toxic pesticides” does not include a pesticide that (a) is determined by the EPA to be a possible, probable, or known carcinogen, mutagen, teratogen, reproductive toxin, developmental neurotoxin, endocrine disruptor, or immune-system toxin; or (b) is in EPA’s toxicity category I or II. Nor does the term include any pesticide application using a broadcast spray, dust, tenting, fogging, or baseboard spray

 

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What is IPM?

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.

The IPM approach can be applied to both agricultural and non-agricultural settings, such as the home, garden, and workplace. IPM takes advantage of all appropriate pest management options including, but not limited to, the judicious use of pesticides. In contrast, organic food production applies many of the same concepts as IPM but limits the use of pesticides to those that are produced from natural sources, as opposed to synthetic chemicals.

 

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Health officials from two counties in northern Arizona are warning the public that fleas are testing positive for the Yersinia pestis bacterium that causes plague.

Following a similar announcement from the Coconino County Public Health Services District, on Friday officials at Navajo County Public Health said that fleas there had also tested positive for the bacterium, ABC News reported.

“Navajo County Health Department is urging the public to take precautions to reduce their risk of exposure to this serious disease, which can be present in fleas, rodents, rabbits and predators that feed upon these animals,” the public health warning stated. “The disease can be transmitted to humans and other animals by the bite of an infected flea or by direct contact with an infected animal.”

Plague is the infamous flea-borne infection that killed millions of Europeans in the Middle Ages, decimating populations. The advent of better sanitation and modern antibiotics has held the disease largely in check, although small outbreaks can still occur.

Health officials are advising that people who live, work or visit the two Arizona counties avoid contact with sick or dead animals, and keep any pets from roaming loose, to minimize the chance of contact with rodents or fleas.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, plague symptoms include the sudden onset of fever, chills, headache and weakness, as well as inflamed lymph nodes.

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Here at NWA Lady Bug Pest Control, we get asked many questions about ticks in your NWA yard. With the many deer and squirrels that roam here in NWA, fleas and ticks are not only a nuisance, but can spread disease and bites can become infected.

Here are a few solutions:

Apply Pesticides Outdoors to Control Ticks

Use of acaricides (tick pesticides) can reduce the number of ticks in treated areas of your yard. However, you should not rely on spraying to reduce your risk of infection.

If you have health concerns about applying acaricides:

Check with local health or agricultural officials about the best time to apply acaricide in your area.
Identify rules and regulations related to pesticide application on residential properties (Environmental Protection Agency and your state determine the availability of pesticides).
Consider using a professional pesticide company to apply pesticides at your home.

 

Create a Tick-safe Zone to Reduce Ticks in the Yard

Here are some simple landscaping techniques that can help reduce tick populations:

• Remove leaf litter.

• Clear tall grasses and brush around homes and at the edge of lawns.

• Place a 3-ft wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas to restrict tick migration into recreational areas.

• Mow the lawn frequently.

• Stack wood neatly and in a dry area (discourages rodents).

• Keep playground equipment, decks, and patios away from yard edges and trees.

• Discourage unwelcome animals (such as deer, raccoons, and stray dogs) from entering your yard by constructing fences.

• Remove old furniture, mattresses, or trash from the yard that may give ticks a place to hide.

 

Thanks for reading. Here is a complete Tick Management Handbook for you to download.