Pest control or pest management?

Pest Control or Pest Management?

Collecting insects with a sweep net

What is the difference between “pest control” and “pest management”?

Many years ago, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) started as Integrated Pest Control (IPC). The word “control” refers to killing the pest (usually with a synthetic pesticide). It does not consider prevention of the pest problem. Pest “control” is just meant to solve a problem after it occurs (curative method). Usually it has no long-term effect; the pest problem will come back after some time.

Over time, the word “control” was replaced by “management”. The goal of a pest “management” program is to prevent pests from damaging the crop. Pest management does not necessarily mean eradication of a pest but rather preventing pest numbers from building up to a point at which they become a problem.

In IPM, pest management decisions are always based on need and effectiveness rather than a schedule. A key element of IPM is planning ahead, to monitor and anticipate and prepare for pest problems before they occur.

It is important to realize that IPM is not only meant to manage pests, but rather to manage the entire agro-ecosystem system in a balanced way and to preserve bio-diversity on the farm.

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