Integrated Pest Management

 
Integrated Pest management (IPM) is a technique that uses natural remedies to protect plants rather than the blind application of chemical and toxic fertilizers. The idea behind IPM is to create and maintain a balanced ecosystem naturally.
The general principles of IPM:

  • Look at the total picture
  • Identify the insect, disease, or ailment that appears to be causing a problem
  • Monitor the situation
  • If any action needs to be taken, use non-toxic alternatives first
  • Consider the fact that only 3% to 5% of insects are harmful, and that most species have natural predators that keep them in check

An example of IPM might include purchasing ladybugs or larvae to eat aphids appearing on plants rather than using pesticides that can cause potential harm to the environment, water system, wildlife and other domestic animals. If and when conventional pesticides are necessary, use them judiciously and only as a last resort.
 
Find out additional information from EPA on IPM.