If you aren’t familiar with the term Integrated Pest Management, here is the basic science behind this fairly new way to look at controlling landscape insects and diseases.
Integrated Pest Management is designed to incorporate the use of three control tactics. This means using biological, chemical and cultural controls as needed.
Each of these tactics has an appropriate time and place for use. Currently the belief is no one solution works all of the time, and this may be true.
The most important factor in how these tactics are used or not, is the choice of landscape plants. Trying to force a plant to grow in a climate zone they are not suited to, presents a lot of problems that can be avoided by choosing the right plant instead.
Another problem is although there are many beneficial insects out there that work just fine in controlling unwanted insects, people just can’t seem to get used to the fact that some bugs are good bugs. Getting past that hurdle would be landmark in the landscape industry using less pesticides.
So what are good bugs? Lace Wings, Lady Beetles, Spined Soldier Bug, Syrphid Flies and Predatory Mites are all good bugs that eat bad bugs. Getting to know these so you don’t accidentally kill them is a major step in the right direction of non-toxic pest control.