IPM is a decision-making process for managing pests and the damage they cause. Key elements of IPM include:
- Strategic landscape design
- Selecting appropriate plant varieties for your yard
- Scouting for pests, weeds, sick plants or other indicators of problems before making decisions to apply any substances.
- Mowing, fertilizing, and irrigating to promote healthy plants. Healthy gardens can withstand attacks from pests without the use of synthetic chemicals.
IPM can reduce the amount of pesticides you use and help establish a healthy lawn and garden. Healthy grass withstands pest damage and weeds better than a poorly maintained lawn. Improving the density of grass and other plants can also enhance the soil's ability to filter runoff from pavement and buildings. IPM is safer for people, pets, plants and the water in our lakes and streams.
Yes. Many lawn care companies use some form of IPM. In Dane County, the vast majority of companies responding to a recent survey said they use IPM. Like parenting,
IPM includes a number of different practices, not all of which are needed in a given situation. In some cases it's easier to identify when IPM is not being used
than when it is.
The best way to know if a lawn contractor uses IPM is to ask. Talk to your lawn contractor to find out some of the specific techniques they use and how IPM works. Examples of questions about IPM:
- Does your landscaper spend time just looking (at your lawn and garden)?
- Does your landscaper ask you any questions about your lawn's history?
- Do they suggest different plants for problem areas?
- Does your landscaper share an IPM plan with you?
- Are insecticides sprayed on a regular schedule as a preventive measure without scouting or a history of infestation?