Integrated pest management (IPM) effectively reduces pest populations while minimizing human health and environmental hazards. IPM is a widely accepted, scientific approach to pest management.The approach can be used to manage all kinds of pests anywhere—in urban, agricultural, and wildland or natural areas. 

Key Elements of IPM

Pest Identification

Different pests have different biologies, and require different tactics. 

Treatment Needed?

Sometimes a few pests are acceptable, and treatment isn’t needed.  For example, do you really need to remove clover from your lawn?

Monitor pest populations 

Monitoring is needed to determine if and when treatments are needed. 

Choose prevention First

It is often possible to build pests out of structures and landscapes, thus solving future pest problems without chemicals.

Using the least-toxic controls possible

Many pest control options are available, but hazardous chemical controls should be saved as a last resort.  

IPM Costs 

IPM clearly pays off in its greater effectiveness and reduced pesticide (and pest) hazards. IPM addresses long-term problems, but may have higher up-front costs for facility repairs or other pest prevention measures. . In monetary terms alone (not including health care costs), the general consensus is that structural IPM programs cost slightly more in the first year but less thereafter. 

Related Content

Residential Pest Management

Pest Management for Businesses

Pest Management Resources

Additional Resources

Pesticides - US EPA

What is IPM? - University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program

Integrated Pest Management in an Urban Community: A Successful Partnership for Prevention - Environmental Health Perspectives

Comparison of Cost and Effectiveness for Cockroach Control - National Center for Healthy Housing/U.S.Environmental Protection Agency

The Role of Pest Control in Effective Asthma Management: A Business Case (PDF) - Asthma Regional Council, New England