Hi I'm Tricia an organic gardener, every gardner has to deal with pests today we're gonna talk about integrated pest management or IPM for short. With integrated pest management you use a combination of different types of controls rather than just one all by itself and they're basically four different types of controls. There are biological controls meaning you use a pests natural enemy like lady bugs for aphids or bacillus thuringiensis, also called bt for mosquitoes. Cultural controls are aimed at making the environment unsuitable for pests for example don't leave dropped apples around your trees for pests to over winter in. Mechanical controls are very effective, these are controls like fences for deer, copper wire for slugs and snails and traps and then there's chemical controls which are pesticides.
In IPM pesticides are a last resort as an organic gardener I use natural sprays like insecticidal soap, spinosad and neem oil and using a combination of these controls at the right time is key to IPM and the acronym P A M S will help you know what to do and when to do it "P" stands for preventive. For example to help prevent problems use disease and pest free seeds and transplants. Another way to take some preventive measures is the setup your irrigation to water in the early morning instead of in the evening watering in the evening can promote fungus growth. To prevent problems keep a tidy garden remove any weeds or diseased or dead plants and rotten fruit any of that can harbor pests and "A" is for avoidance you want to avoid damage by pest that are present. Practice crop rotation in other words don't plant garlic and onions in the same place two years in a row. Choose plants that are resistant to diseases that are known to be in your area for example these contender beans resist mildew, put bird net over your cherries and berries. "M" is for monitoring pay attention to what's happening in your garden identify and keep track of what kinds of pests and diseases you see. I'm putting up a pheromone trap and that will let me know if the specific pest is present if you find that pets are present that's time for the last step of P A M S, suppression. Suppression techniques include weeding, you can use several types of pheromone lures to trap out insects like thrips or cucumber beetles. The suppression technique that we're most familiar with is spraying with an insecticide or fungicide. Spraying should be your last resort since many will kill beneficial insects as well try the spray first with the least environmental impact this may sound complicated but don't worry you're not in it alone contact your local ag extension office or your local master gardeners they have strategies for I P M controls for virtually every kind of pest so get your pests before they get your harvest and grow organic for life!