Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Definition - What does Integrated Pest Management (IPM) mean?

Integrated pest management, or IPM, is an approach to horticulture, cannabis and otherwise, that seeks to avoid the use of pesticides by using other alternatives that are available.

IPM is based on prevention, and when that fails, using safer approaches to managing pest infestations, such as triaging the sickest plants, trapping and screening out bad bugs, and using beneficial insects to control the harmful ones.

IPM is a multi-pronged approach to pest management in a cannabis greenhouse or grow room. Cannabis cultivators favor it because it reduces the need for chemical contaminants to their final products.

Hydrolife explains Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

IPM seeks to avoid pest and disease problems by making sure that the proper plant or species is selected and that the growing conditions are optimal. Integrated Pest Management, of course, cannot prevent all incidences of pests and disease, and when they do appear, it IPM uses a remedy of pest control that is based on a “triage” approach.

Plants that would require an excessive amount of pesticide to treat or cure are often simply removed or culled from a crop. Plants that are showing only mild symptoms are often left untreated, but carefully monitored, unless the stress can be quickly or easily alleviated such as by pruning, watering, or any other non-chemical prescription. Plants that are judged to be under a great deal of stress, but are not so far along as to not be salvageable, are given the highest priority.

Integrated pest management should not be confused with “organic” plant production, though the two are not mutually exclusive and often organic growers do implement some form of IPM in their practices.

Many cannabis growers implement IPM practices into their growing areas as sound management practices. There is not, as of 2017, any certifying agency for cannabis for organic production and growers that practice IPM are generally very observant and careful about what they treat their crop with.

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