Managing Pests Organically with Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
Managing Pests The Organic Way
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a holistic way of managing plant health focusing on the prevention of harm caused by diseases and pests. Maintaining healthy soils that nourish robust plants is the first line of defense in prevention of diseases. Healthy plants are the result of biologically active soils that surround your plants’ roots and keep them healthy.
Our FertileTea focuses on restoring the biological activity in soils and prevents diseases from arising. We also use Actinovate for struggling plants, which contains mycorrhizae, a beneficial fungus, which can extend and connect the roots of plants so that they can reach deeper and wider for nutrients and water, making them much more resilient.
For new clients who are new to our program and have distressed trees requiring immediate attention, we can apply a Deep Root Feeding to boost the nutrition and biological communities available to the tree’s roots. Targeting soil health to promote disease prevention is always our first approach.
During our service rounds, we will monitor your property for unwanted pests. If pest, insect, and disease thresholds are exceeded on your property — including aesthetic concerns — we will follow Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices for determining control methods. As you can see in the diagram above, applying chemicals is used as a last resort and is carefully selected to target only the identified pest. We never blanket apply any pesticide (herbicide, fungicide, insecticide, etc).
We can never prevent all plant pests and diseases, especially as we move more and more plant species and biological material around the world. We monitor your property closely for areas of weakness and infestation and use IPM protocols to diminish the problem before it becomes a larger concern. We also keep current with disease and pest problems in our region so we can be proactive and apply defenses to help protect plants while the potential threat is easier to manage.
What to Expect
We aren’t your typical “spray-and-kill” landscape company. We believe all things have a right to exist on this planet. When our systems are in balance, pests may be present but not to the point of needing to be eradicated. In fact, pests can be beneficial too.
For example, many of us appreciate seeing the lovely Ladybug. If you want them on your property, you need a food source for them. Their common food source is actually an often despised pest, the aphid. So, having some plants that are allowed to accumulate Aphids will attract Ladybugs and keep things in check. If however, an aphid infestation is greater than your acceptable threshold, we use organic and organic-based materials, such as Neem oil, that specifically target the pest and won’t threaten other biotic organisms on your property.
There may be an occasion where a problem needs to be addressed. In that situation, a “tolerance level” will be established and we will work at bringing the problem to within that level. 100% eradication is possible but that may not be the goal nor what is best for your property or the environment.
If you’re interested in learning more about Integrated Pest Management, we recommend starting here.