Principles, Advantages, Disadvantages and Limitations of Integrated Pest Management System

Posted on

What are Pests?

  • Pests are usually defined as the insects or other animals that attacks the crops and destroys the cultivation
  • Usually, lots of chemicals or pesticides are used to get rid of them
  • However, the problem still continues and use of pesticides further leads to other gigantic problems.

What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)?

  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of resistant varieties.
  • It is an approach to control the pest in an integrated way.
  • Under this method, pesticides are only used according to standard established guidelines and treatment is done with a goal of removing only the target organisms.
  • It is a method which is used to solve pest problems without or at low level of risk to the people and the environment.
  • It is an eco-friendly method of pest control.
  • Furthermore, IPM can also be considered as a pest control program that combines several methods for prevention from the pest and protection of the plants.
  • IPM incorporates several biological, ecological, physical and chemical strategies for controlling the pests’ problems
  • IPM programs use information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. This information is then used to manage pest damage.

Principles of IPM:

Integrated pest management
Integrated pest management

Principle 1: Prevention and Suppression

  • Prevention is adoption of measures to reduce the chance of occurrence of pest. Suppression is reducing the impact of the pests.
  • Prevention and suppression can be done by applying the different techniques.
  • It is a method of preventing the spreading of harmful organisms by hygiene measures (e.g. by regular cleansing of machinery and equipment)
  • One of the methods of prevention and suppression is crop rotation where it would break the life cycle of the pests.
  • Prevention and suppression also include use of adequate cultivation techniques (e.g. stale seedbed technique, sowing dates and densities, under-sowing, conservation tillage, pruning and direct sowing)

Principle 2: Monitoring

  • Harmful organisms must be monitored by adequate methods and tools, wherever available.
  • Monitoring can be done through observations, use of scientifically sound warning, forecasting and early diagnosis systems, advice from professionally qualified advisers, etc.
  • Many countries like France, Denmark have adopted this monitoring and forecasting technique

Principle 3: Decision making

  • Decision making is done based on the results of the monitoring
  • IPM focuses on threshold-based intervention in most of the cases. Threshold is the defined pest density, or population level, which when exceeded, management should occur.
  • However, threshold is difficult to define in most of the cases and in case of tolerant species, decision of intervention is based on the general observations.
  • We should also be aware that specific crops, pest life cycle, climatic condition, etc., should be considered before making any kind of decisions

Principle 4: Non-Chemical Methods

  • Non-chemical methods are prioritized over chemical methods if they can produce satisfactory results.
  • As chemical methods are often not sustainable and creates more pest problems, non-chemical methods are always preferred at first hand as they are more sustainable with less biological and environmental hazards.
  • Examples of non-chemical methods include soil-solarization or biological control.
  • Use of live natural enemies is one of the major non-chemical (biological) intervention method
  • Other non-chemical methods include biological, physical and ecological methods.

Principle 5: Pesticide Selection

  • IPM doesn’t totally avoid the use of the pesticides
  • When the alternative methods are not properly used then the pesticides are used for pest control.
  • The pesticides used however needs to be as specific as possible for the target
  • The pesticides shouldn’t possess any threat to the health of human, non-target humans and environment.

Principle 6: Reduced Pesticide Use

  • Reduced pesticides use refers to the reduction in the frequency and doses of the pesticides
  • This method needs to be supported by the other means of intervention
  • It helps in reducing the side effects of the pesticides

Principle 7: Anti- resistant Strategies

  • IPM focuses on the anti-resistance activities as:
    • Unmanaged and haphazard use of the pesticides have created the problem of resistance and
    • Pests have developed the resistance and the use of pesticides have less effect on them
  • This is also the major reason for the IPM.
  • Anti-resistant strategies include use of combination of different pesticides that has different mode of action, applied in different time.

Principle 8: Evaluation

  • Evaluation is the important aspect of the IPM program.
  • Evaluation is done based on the records of the use of the pesticides, its effects and many more.
  • Evaluation is necessary in studying the effectiveness of the plan protective measures and plan further.

Advantages of IPM:

1. Lower cost intervention

  • Traditionally, the use of the pesticides to control the pest invasion would account to lots of cost.
  • Also, these pesticides need to be imported as well
  • The application of IPM would lessen the financial burden.
  • Moreover, different techniques involved in IPM are more sustainable with long lasting benefits

2. Benefits to the environment

  • Use of the pesticides are often linked degradation of the environment causing some more additional problems
  • IPM is an eco-friendly approach and the effects on the environment is always considered before the application of any interventions
  • Less use of pesticides won’t affect the fertility of soil

3. Minimizes residue hazards of pesticides

  • It is obvious that in an IPM schedule the use of pesticides will be considerably reduced, hence the pesticide residue hazards will also get automatically minimized.

4. Anti-Resistance

  • The IPM model in itself is the anti-resistant mode for pest control.
  • It discourages the use of chemicals and thus creates less cases of anti-resistance.
  • Pesticides are used only when the other alternatives are not satisfying.

5. Useful and best intervention for the general public

  • Assurance of safe, reliable and low-cost pest control
  • The pest control will not affect the crops
  • Moreover, it is safe and affordable for the general public as well

Disadvantages or limitations of IPM:

1. More involvement in the technicalities of the method

  • IPM needs to be planned
  • IPM demands more attention and dedication
  • Requires expertise of various field
  • All those involved in the IPM needs to be educated and trained which often requires much time.

2. Time and energy consuming

  • Application of IPM takes time.
  • Much time is needed in planning itself.
  • As IPM strategies differs from region to region, a separate plan is required for each region.
  • The expected results of intervention may take long time to be achieved.

Challenges in IPM:

  • Financial constraints in initiation of the IPM
  • Lack of involvement of the expertise
  • Inadequate research on pests
  • Lack of supportive government and policies
  • In developing countries where traditional farming is still practiced, farmers are unknown to the concept of IPM as well as IPM seems difficult to practice.