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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Maricopa, Arizona » U.S. Arid Land Agricultural Research Center » Pest Management and Biocontrol Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #240967

Title: Sampling Plans, Selective Insecticides and Sustainability: The Case for IPM as ‘informed pest management’

item Castle, Steven
item Naranjo, Steven

Submitted to: Pest Management Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/10/2009
Publication Date: 10/19/2009
Citation: Castle, S.J., Naranjo, S.E. 2009. Sampling Plans, selective insecticides and sustainability: the case for IPM as ‘informed pest management’. Pest Management Science. 65:1321-1328.

Interpretive Summary: The development of integrated pest management (IPM) into an organized discipline really began with the integrated control concept that provided both theoretical and applied approaches to pest control. These approaches remain at the foundation of IPM today as they provide a rigorous set of guidelines for practicing pest control. However, adherence to these guidelines requires a broad knowledge base to make informed decisions about how to manage a pest infestation. Sampling plans are essential for providing contemporaneous information on pest infestations that is used in conjunction with thresholds that describe the level of infestation at which economic damage occurs to the crop. Factored into thresholds and the decision-making process is the cost of remedial action, whether it be the application of an insecticide or the purchase and release of biological control agents. The use of selective insecticides is another aspect of IPM that requires a considerable knowledge about the mode of action of particular insecticides, their efficacies against the target pest, and their degree of selectivity with respect to the natural enemy complex that provides natural control of the pest population. The effective integration of these different facets of IPM is information-driven and is essential to developing a sustainable model of pest control. Hence, IPM is both informed and integrated pest management.

Technical Abstract: IPM is considered the central paradigm of insect pest management and is often characterized as a comprehensive use of multiple control tactics to reduce pest status while minimizing economic and environmental costs. As the principal precursor of IPM, the integrated control concept formulated the economic theory behind pest management decisions and specified an applied methodology for carrying out pest control. Sampling, economic thresholds and selective insecticides were three of the critical elements of that methodology and are now considered indispensable to the goals of IPM. We examine each of these elements in the context of contemporaneous information as well as accumulated experience and knowledge required for their skillful implementation in an IPM program. We conclude that while IPM is principally about integrating control tactics into an effective and sustainable approach to pest control, this overarching goal can only be achieved through well-trained practitioners knowledgeable of the tenets conceived in the integrated control concept that ultimately yield informed pest management.