Pests are undesirable organisms (insects, weeds, bacteria, fungi, viruses, vertebrates) that damage or devalue agricultural crops, landscapes, buildings, and natural areas. Pest management strategies use different control methods to minimize negative impacts on biodiversity and soil and water resources.

Accurately identifying pests allows you to assess whether their presence is a threat and select appropriate management tactics. Avoiding reliance on chemicals reduces risk of human health and environmental problems. Contact Armis Pest Management now!

Integrated pest management (IPM) uses a wide range of tactics to reduce economic damage from pests in agriculture, homes, schools and landscapes. It is an ecological systems approach that encourages the preservation of natural resources. IPM uses preventive and corrective controls and relies on minimal use of synthetic pesticides. IPM also recognizes that ecosystem services, such as pollination, may benefit crop production and encourages the preservation of these services.

IPM is an ongoing process that begins with proper identification of the pest and the host plant. This allows the correct treatment to be applied at the correct time. It also provides a record that can be used for future pest control decisions. If pests are detected, the first step is to correct any cultural issues, such as plant placement, irrigation or fertilizer problems. If cultural methods are ineffective, mechanical and biological controls can be employed. If these are not effective, a chemical control might be needed.

When a pesticide is applied, it is important to follow the label instructions carefully to limit the amount of chemicals and to minimize adverse environmental impacts. IPM strategies are continually reevaluated to ensure they are working and that the best method of pest control is being utilized.

IPM has many benefits to the environment, farmers and the public. It improves health and safety through reduced exposure to synthetic chemicals, while minimizing the amount of residue in food, water and soil. It maintains the balance of national crop ecosystems and conserves and enhances the natural resource base that provides ecosystem services, such as pollination and nutrient cycling. In addition, IPM helps farmers increase income levels through lower crop costs and higher market prices for high-quality products.

Biological Management

Biological management uses predators, parasites, disease organisms, and competitors to suppress pest populations. These natural enemies are also called biocontrol agents or “beneficials.” NIFA supports research on biological control to develop safer and more effective methods of managing pests without or with reduced use of chemical pesticides.

In nature, plant-feeding insects are constantly attacked and killed by predators and parasitoids. These natural enemies are known as natural enemies or biocontrol agents, and their presence is one of the greatest factors in keeping pest populations from overwhelming the rest of a population.

However, many natural enemies are not present in the environment where a particular pest is found. Some natural enemies may be imported from other areas to control exotic pests, and this is known as classical biological control. Other natural enemies may arrive from the natural environment on their own at a time when they are needed to control an existing pest population, and this is known as adventive or indirect biological control.

Most of the time, biocontrol agents are specific to certain pest species. For example, the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is effective against caterpillars but does not kill other insects or people. Therefore, a grower or gardener must know what type of pest he is trying to control in order to select the correct Bt strain for the job.

Several types of biocontrol are available for ornamental plants, turfgrasses, fruits, and vegetables. The general principle of these biological controls is to deny the pest the food, water, shelter, or temperature that it needs to survive and reproduce. For instance, by placing mulch around sun-loving plants, weeds are denied the sunlight that they need for germination.

Chemical Management

Chemical management is the use of pesticides to control plant diseases, weeds, and insects that damage crops. It is one of the four forms of pest management, and it relies on understanding the biology of the organism being managed. This is critical to making decisions regarding spraying, scouting methods, equipment selection, timing, and other management strategies.

Pesticides are often based on synthetic chemicals and may include herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, rodenticides, nematodes, nematicides, larvicides, and biopesticides. They are most effective when used in conjunction with other pest management practices, such as cultural, biological, and physical management strategies.

Using chemicals in the right way minimizes risks to human health and the environment. Incorrect handling of chemicals can lead to injury, illness, disease, fires, explosions, environmental effects, and other costly events. Proper handling of chemicals reduces the risk of these problems and demonstrates an organization’s commitment to sustainability and safety.

Chemicals must be carefully stored, transported, and disposed of in accordance with regulations and laws. Maintaining proper documentation, such as Safety Data Sheets (SDS), is essential to ensure employees have access to information during chemical exposures and other incidents.

CMS is a business model that reduces the cost of acquiring and managing chemicals by reducing their lifecycle costs, risks, and environmental impact. This includes procurement, delivery/distribution, inventory management, use, collection, reporting, treatment, disposal, and information technology. It can also reduce operating costs by reducing facility space, compliance expenses, and employee labor. It is a great alternative to traditional chemical supply models. Contact Cority for more information on how our chemical management solutions can help you reduce operational costs and risks.

Physical Management

A physical management technique is the use of direct physical contact to quell an individual’s resistance to comply with instructions. This is a last resort option and only used when the individual poses a threat of serious harm to self or others. This practice requires proper documentation and is based on a thorough assessment of the situation to determine when it is appropriate for staff to use the technique.

Pests are unwanted organisms such as insects, weeds, viruses or vertebrate animals that cause damage to crops, lawns, trees, vegetables and flowers. They also negatively impact soil health, nutrient content, water quality, and the surrounding ecosystems. Pests often displace and disperse native plant species, reducing biodiversity and disrupting natural processes.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) uses biological, cultural, chemical and mechanical control methods to reduce and manage pest populations and their damage to landscapes, farms or food stores. IPM focuses on the limiting of pesticide use and relies on more sustainable practices for environmental protection and long-term productivity.

Before any controls are implemented, it is important to accurately identify the pests and establish desired outcomes, such as achieving healthy plants or keeping insect population levels below damaging thresholds. Defined objectives will help select the most effective pest management strategies and provide a means for measuring success.

The first step in IPM is to determine the tolerance level for a specific pest, which may be expressed as an action threshold of 7 moths/week or 2 weeds/foot of crop. The threshold should be based on the crop, pest type and environmental conditions; for example, different weather patterns affect how quickly a problem develops. A pesticide should be selected and applied to keep the infestation below the threshold. Ideally, this should be done without interrupting the life cycle of the beneficial insects. Tolerance levels can be reduced by using resistant varieties, selecting a pesticide with a low toxicity to non-target species and applying it at times when the pests are vulnerable or in their most susceptible stages.


In IPM programs, monitoring is used to identify pests and determine whether or when control action is needed. This helps prevent over-use of pesticides. It also ensures that the correct type of pesticide is used. In addition, it helps identify the best methods for controlling particular pests. Monitoring can be done with visual inspection, trapping, communication with staff that use the area being monitored, and sometimes the use of specially designed attractants and pheromones (natural insect chemicals) to lure or bait pests into traps that kill them.

A “pest” is any organism that interferes with human activities, reduces the quality, quantity or value of a resource that humans desire, or transmits disease to people or other living things. A plant pest is any organism that reduces the supply or quality of a food crop, landscape, garden or wildland. A vertebrate pest is a bird, rodent or other mammal. An invertebrate pest is an insect, mite or snail. A nematode is a microscopic roundworm that attacks plants. A pathogen is a bacterium, virus, or fungus that causes disease in other plants or animals.

Prevention of pests and their damage is the goal of all management approaches, including cultural, biological and chemical controls. Physical controls include barriers, screens, fences, nets, and radiation to keep pests out or away from a site. Cultural practices include sanitation, recycling, storage and cleaning procedures, weeding schedules, maintenance schedules, record keeping and training staff. Chemicals are used sparingly and only when the benefits outweigh the risks to people, other organisms, and the environment. They are applied to target areas, and ideally, they are used at the time of planting or when pest populations are at unacceptable levels.