Thursday, September 30, 2010

Don't Worry, It's Just a Bug!

When it comes to weeds and bugs we have a habit of panicking and over reacting. While most of us know that getting too excited with a toxic chemical is a bad thing, getting carried away with an organic solution may not be the best thing either.

One way of keeping things in balance is by applying an IPM (Integrated Pest Management) approach to weed and insect problems. 

IPM is a collection of common sense techniques combined with an understanding of the pest life cycles and the environment they live in.

The basics of and IPM program include: 

1  Point of Action: This step is basically deciding how much of the pest we are willing to deal with. While it would be nice at times to get rid of all pests, reality is that we never will. So we need to decide where the point is that we need to react. 

2  Monitor and Identify Pests: We all do this in a garden anyway. Looking at new things and how it might effect us in the garden should be second nature. 

3  Prevention: What can we do to keep the pest from being a problem. This is a no brainer for an organic gardener or anyone that has grown up with old-timey gardening. It is as simple as crop rotation or as complex as breeding a pest resistant crop. 

4  Control: This is where it can get scary, but it doesn't have to be. IPM requires that the least risky methods should be used first. While most mainstream gardeners would head straight for the pesticide isle, simple techniques such as trapping, weeding, chickens, or other simple organic methods are the first options in any true IPM system. 

And most of the time, the simple thing is the only thing we need to do. 

1 comment:

  1. Alex, Thought it would be good to link to the USU extension for IPM: