At Farmside Landscape and Design we employ Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Plant Health Care program (PHC) for managing plant and landscape health by utilizing IPM practices it gives us the opportunity to fully assess the situation a plant might be in and accurately identify the host and pest. We not only focus on ensuring the health of landscape plantings, but also the health of people and the environment.
The indiscriminate overuse of pesticides is not only harmful to people and the planet, it can also be ineffective for pest management if it isn’t applied at the proper time of a pest’s life cycle. Utilizing IPM practices, we’ll first assess your landscape’s pest issues and determine if any treatment is necessary. There may be times when we opt not to treat for pests at all if the number of pests are small. If the infestation does require treatment, we’ll consider targeted, organic methods first and determine if more traditional pesticides should be considered. Additionally, we also take into account the pest’s lifecycle, and will only apply treatments of any kind when such efforts will be most effective.
A well-designed monitoring schedule is a key component of effective IPM. By anticipating the timing of emerging pests, treatment protocols can be developed that are simultaneously more effective and safer, and concurrently more cost effective and healthier for the environment. Steps to effective IPM include:
Proper Identification of Problem – Is defoliation due to an insect infestation? Fungal disease? Overwatering? Proper identification of the issue is core to proper treatment.
Working Within the Pest/Disease Life Cycle – As with most problems, prevention is always better than treatment.
Choosing the Best Management Tactics – This can range from a “wait and see” approach to the application of chemical pesticides or plant removal if there is a serious enough infestation. Treatment options can include:
- Cultural Methods – This is where you make changes to the environment to make it inhospitable to pests and diseases. For instance, pruning shrubs or trees for better air circulation can help minimize fungal diseases caused by excessive moisture.
- Physical Methods – This includes the physical removal of existing pests, whether by hand removing them, using traps, barrier methods, mowing, tillage or even vacuuming.
- Bio rational Methods – Using horticultural oil which has a very low impact on pollinators and beneficial insects. Plant derives compounds such as pyrethrums and neem oil and bacteria that targets specific insects like BT (Bacillus thuringiensis).
- Chemical Methods – It is a common misconception that an IPM program completely omits the use of pesticides. Although this is not true, every option will be assessed before a pesticide is applied. There are many instances where a pesticide may be the best option and if this is the case the product will be used by a licensed technician abiding by E.P.A approved guidelines.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can use IPM to make your yard beautiful and safe!