Birds, Bats & Bees: Integrated Pest Management on Small Farms
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a broad approach to managing pests on your farm and considers growth of a healthy crop, human health, ecosystem health and economic inputs when using strategies to deter pests. IPM uses a number of techniques, often combined, to focus on long-term prevention of pests and the damage they do.
One way to integrate pest management into your operation is to attract beneficial pollinators like bees, or prey species like hawks and owls that can reduce rodent populations.IPM practices should not only interest farmers but also consumers. For example, insect eating birds might lower insect populations and disrupt life-cycles of pest colonies. If pest populations are decreased, so may the use of chemical controls that can impact soil and waterways.
IPM uses multiple strategies and techniques including the use of pesticide application, when necessary:
- Habitat management
- Cultural Practices
- Biological control
- Mechanical/physical control
- Chemical control
IPM is a smart and sustainable approach to pest control. Learn how to attract these important ecosystem services and read more about IPM on Small Farms: http://smallfarms.ifas.ufl.edu/IPM/bats_birds_bees/index.html