What is IPM?

Integrated pest management (IPM) is socially acceptable, environmentally responsible and economically practical crop protection.

Traditionally a pest is defined as any organism that interferes with production of the crop. We generally think of pests as insects, diseases and weeds, but there are many other types including nematodes, arthropods other than insects, and vertebrates. We now also deal with pests in many non-crop situations, such as human health and comfort.

The IPM Roadmap

The Road Map for the National Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program identifies
strategic directions for IPM research, implementation, and measurement for all pests, in all
settings, throughout the nation. View the press release or road map document (PDF) revised in 2018.

The PAMS approach to IPM

Adoption of integrated pest management (IPM) systems normally occurs along a continuum from largely
reliant on prophylactic control measures and pesticides to multiple-strategy biologically intensive
approaches, and is not usually an either/or situation. It is important to note that the practice of IPM is
site-specific in nature, with individual tactics determined by the particular crop/pest/environment
scenario. Where appropriate, each site should have in place a management strategy for Prevention,
Avoidance, Monitoring, and Suppression of pest populations (the PAMS approach). View the entire document (PDF).

IPM Studies at 3 levels of detail

Study of the IPM concept is limited only by the student's interest and time. Information below is arranged from a very quick overview to an electronic textbook

Quick, just a couple of screens: An IPM Primer

For a very quick overview, this is an outline of IPM definitions with a framework describing a generalized IPM program. Two - three screens, about 9k.

A little longer: Pennsylvania IPM Basics/

Link to the Pennsylvania IPM site for a slightly more detailed discussion. You can get through this in 10 or 20 minutes, probably. Chapters include History of IPM; Principles of IPM; Importance of IPM; Overview of IPM (article); IPM Tactics; TEN Commandments of IPM; and Food Labeling with IPM

Learn at your leisure: Electronic IPM Textbook

This site is for students who can devote considerable time and energy. In fact, it is designed to support a college-level course.

As of May 10, 2005, the textbook lists 67 chapters under these headings:

  • Biological Control: Theory and Application
  • Control Tactics (Methodologies)
  • Computer Applications
  • Crop and Commodity Pest Management
  • Ecology and Population Sampling
  • Host Plant Resistance
  • IPM: Policy and Implementation
  • Pesticides: Chemistries/Pesticide Resistance
  • Medical and Veterinary
  • Urban and Stored-product

For a list of acronyms commonly seen in IPM documents, please visit the Glossary of IPM Terms on the national website for the Regional IPM Centers.