The Benefits Of Integrated Pest Management For Gardeners
Getting rid of pests is a must in protecting and sustaining your garden. However, the use of synthetic or chemical pesticides is discouraged over the years because of its harmful effects. What is now encouraged is the method of Integrated Pest Management or IPM. This article is a brief look at what the benefits of Integrated Pest Management are and how it can help you cultivate your garden with safer pest control with long-term results.
Harmful Effects of Chemical Pesticides
You cannot avoid using pesticides to ensure the growth and health of your plants in the garden. For convenience, we buy synthetic or chemical pesticides already available in the market. Thinking of safe alternative pest control is always at the back of your mind. Sometimes our convenience poses various risks to others and the environment. Here is a reminder of the harmful effects of chemical pesticides.
Risk to Balance of Ecosystem
You spray chemical pesticides over your garden, but do you know that these chemicals seep below the soil and can contaminate nearby water sources? Once these mix in freshwater ponds, rivers, or lakes, they can kill off the animals, particularly the fish and the frogs, living in and on the area and throw off the ecosystem’s balance.
Not only do chemical pesticides put the ecosystem out of balance, but they pose certain risks to your health. Leaching of these chemical pesticides from the soil can affect nearby groundwater. Most of us rely on fresh groundwater, and if it is contaminated, it is harmful to your health. Pesticides can also seep into the fruits, like apples, strawberries, grapes, carrots, or potatoes that grow in your garden. Eating them will surely be hazardous to your body.
That is why it is important to learn the benefits of Integrated Pest Management to avoid these harmful effects of chemical pesticides.
What is Integrated Pest Management?
Let’s now learn what Integrated Pest Management is. It is a method that is ecosystem-based. It focuses on long-term pest prevention using a combination of various techniques such as biological pest control methods, like natural predators, and sterile male technique, manipulation of habitat, and application of resistant plant strains. IPM also integrates preventive and corrective measures to minimize the use of chemical pesticides to lessen health risks to humans and the environment. It is also a flexible and dynamic method. There are many benefits of Integrated Pest Management; that is why it is becoming more popular these days.
Advantages of Integrated Pest Management
Most of the benefits of Integrated Pest Management have already been mentioned, like minimizing the use of chemical pesticides and long-term pest prevention. Here are the other advantages of IPM.
Maintaining a Balanced Ecosystem
Using chemical pesticides eradicates most of the pest population in your garden. Still, it can be a risk to organisms that are not the target of the said pesticides, which will result in loss of species and imbalance to the ecosystem. However, using bio-based pest control alternatives and ecological control tactics under IPM, balance to the ecosystem is maintained.
Less Cost in Pest Management
IPM can aid in reducing the cost of taking care of your garden because you no longer need to buy chemical or synthetic pesticides in your garden. IPM method controls pests when there are surges, unlike the use of chemical pesticides, which are applied regularly.
Slower Development of Pest Resistance
Applying pesticides regularly in your garden can lead to the development of super-pests, which become pesticide-resistant through natural selection. However, IPM methods lessen this from happening.
Reduction of Water and Air Contamination
IPM can reduce and eliminate issues on air and water contamination that poses risks to non-target organisms and decreases your exposure from chemical pesticides.
Disadvantages of Integrated Pest Management
Although the benefits of Integrated Pest Management are many, particularly on cost reduction and health risk exposure, it also has few disadvantages. Here are a few disadvantages of IPM.
Technicalities of Method
Due to the various options and techniques available under the IPM, you as a gardener which one to choose first. Also, all these techniques require training and education, and it will take you time to learn.
Time and Energy Consuming
Like the first disadvantage, applying the many techniques of Integrated Pest Management takes time and has to be monitored constantly and closely. As a gardener, you need to know the pests and the different and specific methods to reduce and control them. IPM requires patience and huge energy with your pest control choices.
However, offsetting these disadvantages is done by proper training and education and can surely result in more benefits.
You now know the benefits of Integrated Pest Management! You are ready to learn the many methods and techniques of IPM to help you sustain your beautiful gardens and protect it from pests in the most natural and safest ways. Also, you no longer need to use synthetic or chemical pesticides that are dangerous to your health and the ecosystem. Always keep in mind you do not need to spend much on pest control nor risk yourself from dangerous toxins.
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