Integrated Pest Management - simple, safe and effective

Integrated Pest Management - simple, safe and effective
Examining invertebrates at an IPM field visit in 2022. Click here to read more about the workshop.

What is IPM?

Integrated pest management (IPM) is a balanced, tactical approach to manage diseases, insects, weeds, and other pests using a wide range of pest control strategies or tactics. It involves taking action to anticipate pest outbreaks and to prevent potential damage to crops. The goal of this strategy is not eradication but to prevent pests from reaching economically or aesthetically damaging levels with the least risk to the environment. IPM programs are very site-specific. IPM is based on the identification of pests, accurate measurement of pest populations, assessment of damage levels, and knowledge of available pest management strategies or tactics that enable the grower to make intelligent decisions in controlling pests.

Manage pests with a 3 step plan

IPM considers three aspects of control for invertebrate pests: biological, cultural and chemical.

1. Biological control techniques:

To begin consider biological control techniques to encourage the presence of invertebrate predators and parasite species that will eat or parasitise the pest.

2. Cultural control techniques:

Secondly implement management actions to reduce pest numbers.

3. Chemical control techniques:

Finally use chemical control as a last resort. These techniques involve using chemicals that have no, or minimal, impact on beneficial predators and parasites, or time the use of chemicals to minimise the impact on the beneficial predators and parasites.

Kangaroo Island case studies

On KI two local broadacre farmers and two local vignerons are working with Dr Paul Horne and Rebecca Addison from IPM Technologies to implement IPM on their properties.

Fortunately, Kangaroo Island's native vegetation provides habitat for many native predators including ladybirds, hoverflies, lacewings and spiders, as well as different wasp species that parasitise aphids and caterpillars, and control pest populations. These beneficial insects control problematic pests often found on KI farms and vineyards including slugs, aphids, lucerne fleas and red legged earth mites.

See a report from IPM Technologies outlining practical suggestions for pest management at the trial properties.

See the Planting Guide for Kangaroo Island Integrated Pest Management for a guide to local native flowering plants (angiosperms) of Kangaroo Island that can be planted to attract beneficial insects (pollinators and predators) to support IPM approaches.

Project sponsor

This project is supported by the Kangaroo Island Landscape Board, through funding from the Australian Government.

More information

Manager Sustainable Landscapes

35 Dauncey Street, Kingscote SA

+61 08 8553 2476