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Introduction to Ecological Pest Management. Origins from IPM - Integrated Pest Management. Different Periods of Civilization. 1. Stone Age, Iron Age - dawn of civilization because of agriculture. 2. Switch from hunting to agriculture and cultural change about 10,000+ years ago.

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Introduction to Ecological Pest Management

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Introduction to ecological pest management l.jpg

Introduction to Ecological Pest Management

Origins from IPM - Integrated Pest Management


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Different Periods of Civilization

  • 1. Stone Age, Iron Age - dawn of civilization because of agriculture.

  • 2. Switch from hunting to agriculture and cultural change about 10,000+ years ago.

  • 3. Mechanical age (1700s)- rise of machines.

  • 4. Chemical age - 1940s - Schradan, organophosphates, DDT & other chlorinated hydrocarbons like chlordane, lindane, etc.

  • 5. Biological/Ecological Age - understanding of ecological processes - Organic Agriculture, identity preserved agriculture.


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Era of Stewardship

  • 1. Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” - problem of over reliance on pesticides and a shift to IPM.

  • 2. Based on ecological knowledge, we can learn to live within certain ecological boundaries or “footprint”.

  • 2. How we produce food and grow soil will determine the stability of our civilization.

  • 3. Civilizations that ignored agriculture are now in the dustbin.


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Integrated Pest Management

  • 1. Proper identification of pests in agroecosystem.

  • 2. Defined management unit.

  • 3. Develop pest management strategy based on goals (usually market driven).

  • 4. Develop reliable monitoring techniques.

  • 5. Establish Economic Threshold (ET).

  • 6. Evolve predictive and descriptive models.


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Ecological Pest Management

  • 1. Proper Identification of pests in agroecosystem or ecosystem.

  • 2. Management unit - garden or ecosystem.

  • 3. Pest Management strategy is to use naturally based controls to establish long term control of pests - ecological goal.

  • 4. Develop reliable monitoring techniques.

  • 5. Establish Economic Threshold. (ET)

  • 6. Evolve predictive and descriptive models.


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Definitions for IPM/EPM

  • Pest -


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Definitions for IPM/EPM

  • Pest - organism that competes with humans for some resource. Many insect/weed/disease pests are of foreign origin.

  • - not all pests are bad; and not all pest damage is bad

  • - tolerate pests - what level can we live with?

  • Pests can be managed.

  • Management is people oriented!


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Definitions for IPM/EPM

  • Management -


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Definitions for IPM/EPM

  • Management - ability to influence people; and in this case, it is the people who control the pest - farmers, landowners, park service personnel, etc.

  • Pest Management -


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Definitions for IPM/EPM

  • Pest Management - intelligent selection and use of pest control tactics.

  • - ensures favorable economic, ecological, and social consequences.

  • Pest control tactics?


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Definitions for IPM/EPM

  • Pest control tactics:

  • 1) Monitor pest populations

  • 2) Import/Conservation/Release of Beneficials.

  • 3) Pesticides are last resort! Use of selective, biorationals.

  • Or, when you scout:

  • 4) *****No action is necessary!******


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Definitions for IPM/EPM

  • What is Integrated Pest Management?

  • Optimization of pest control in an ecologically and economically sound manner.

  • Multiple tactics are used to keep pest damage below the Economic Injury Level (EIL) while protecting humans, animals, plants, and the ENVIRONMENT.

  • Viable environment is primary.


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Integrated Pest Management

  • Originally, many people, from farmers to homeowners followed rigorous spray schedules based on the development of the crop; regardless of whether the pest was there or not - no sampling involved.

  • Resistance - many insects, Aedes mosquitoes - DDT, lindane, aldrin, dieldrin

  • This killed the parasites, pathogens and predators - beneficials were eliminated and pests exploded; plus we got secondary pest resurgence.

  • Environmental contamination - DDT bioaccumulates; other chemicals like endocrine disruptors; herbicides and fungicides (mercury).


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Pattern of Crop Protection

  • 1. Subsistence Phase.

  • 2. Exploitation Phase - farmers use chemicals to kill pests; become dependent upon pesticides

  • 3. Crisis phase - resistance, secondary pest resurgence; increased production costs - pesticide treadmill

  • 4. Disaster Phase - collapse of profit/market and also of the existing control program

  • 5. Integrated Control Phase - accept ecological factors into the control plan


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Concepts of Pest Management

  • A. Agricultural Ecosystem - understand

  • B. Planning the Agroecosystem - farmscape

  • C. Cost/Benefit and Benefit/Risk

  • D. Tolerance of Pest Damage

  • E. Leaving a Pest Residue (residual population)

  • F. Timing of Treatments

  • G. Public Understanding and Acceptance


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Concepts of Pest Management

  • A. Agroecosystem -

  • Simpler than a natural ecosystem

  • Less resilient than natural ecosystem.

  • Certain pests have alternate hosts and patterns of infestation that need to be considered.


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Concepts of Pest Management

  • B. Planning the Agroecosystem:

  • Anticipate pest problems

  • Integrate crop production and protection

  • Farmscaping, beneficial overwintering sites; cover crops and no-till production schemes.


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Concepts of Pest Management

  • A. Agricultural Ecosystem - understand

  • B. Planning the Agroecosystem - farmscape

  • C. Cost/Benefit and Benefit/Risk

  • D. Tolerance of Pest Damage

  • E. Leaving a Pest Residue (residual population)

  • F. Timing of Treatments

  • G. Public Understanding and Acceptance


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Concepts of Pest Management

  • C. Cost Benefit and Benefit/Risk - pest control decisions have a personal bias.

  • 1. Cost/Benefit - unnecessary treatments versus information - Pest scouting and Cooperative Extension Service Bulletins

  • Information can reduce pesticide use and cost

  • Information can be substituted for pesticides

  • Scouting - more field time, but very effective.


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Concepts of Pest Management

  • C. Cost Benefit and Benefit/Risk

  • Gain Threshold = Management costs ($/acre) divided by market value ($/unit) equals units per acre.

  • Enterprise Budget for Crop: Broccoli


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Concepts of Pest Management

  • C. Cost Benefit and Benefit/Risk Benefit/Risk - social economics of pesticides or other control measures.

  • Relevant Economics versus risk in pest control - Fundamental to Pest Management!

  • Highly toxic pesticides - risks to handlers, workers, environment, and society.

  • Estimated environmental costs of pesticides

  • Economic Injury Level (EIL)


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Concepts of Pest Management

  • D. Tolerance of Pest Damage

  • Economic Injury Level predicts yield loss based on present densities and damage.

  • EIL=C/VID

  • EIL = # insects per production unit

  • C = cost of the management activity/production unit

  • V = market value per unit of yield ($/lb).

  • I = Injury units per pest production unit

  • D = damage per unit of injury.


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Concepts of Pest Management

  • D. Tolerance of Pest Damage

  • Damage versus yield reduction - quantify this - thresholds for allowable damage.

  • Economic Injury Level - is it a pest or not? Estimate of what density that can be tolerated without significant crop loss.

  • EIL-lowest population density that will cause economic damage - *loss caused by pest equals the cost of control*


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Concepts of Pest Management

  • D. Tolerance of Pest Damage

  • Environmental EIL:

  • EIL=PC-EC/VDIK

  • PC = pesticide application costs

  • EC = environmental costs

  • D = yield loss as a function of total crop injury

  • I = crop injury per pest density

  • K = proportionate reduction in injury from pesticide use


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Concepts of Pest Management

  • D. Tolerance of Pest Damage

  • Economic Threshold (ET) - action threshold -


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Concepts of Pest Management

  • D. Tolerance of Pest Damage

  • Economic Threshold (ET) - action threshold -

  • ***Pest density at which control measures should be applied to prevent an increasing pest population from reaching the EIL.***

  • ET is always lower than the EIL.


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Concepts of Pest Management

  • D. Tolerance of Pest Damage

  • Determining EIL & ET - complex - bioclimatology, biocontrol, host plant resistance and environmental consequences of applied controls.

  • EIL can vary from area to area, crop variety

  • EIL goes down as crop value goes up; plus consumer standards. Tree fruits, sweet corn,


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Concepts of Pest Management

  • D. Tolerance of Pest Damage

  • Individual Grower’s EIL (no external costs)

  • 1. Amount physical damage is related to various pest densities.

  • 2. Monetary value and production costs of the crop at various levels of physical damage.

  • 3. Monetary loss associated with various levels of physical damage

  • 4. Amount of physical damage that can be prevented by the control measure

  • 5. Monetary value of the portion of the crop that can be saved by the control measure

  • 6. Monetary cost of the control measure.


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Concepts of Pest Management

  • A. Agricultural Ecosystem - understand

  • B. Planning the Agroecosystem - farmscape

  • C. Cost/Benefit and Benefit/Risk

  • D. Tolerance of Pest Damage

  • E. Leaving a Pest Residue (residual population)

  • F. Timing of Treatments

  • G. Public Understanding and Acceptance


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Concepts of Pest Management

  • E. Leaving a Pest Residue (residual population)

  • Ecological Balance - increase numbers of natural enemies.

  • Natural enemies have to have food in order to stick around - pest residue for natural enemies to be lower than the ET.

  • Suppress pests but don’t annihilate it.


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Concepts of Pest Management

  • A. Agricultural Ecosystem - understand

  • B. Planning the Agroecosystem - farmscape

  • C. Cost/Benefit and Benefit/Risk

  • D. Tolerance of Pest Damage

  • E. Leaving a Pest Residue (residual population)

  • F. Timing of Treatments

  • G. Public Understanding and Acceptance


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Concepts of Pest Management

  • F. Timing of Treatments

  • Routine - “spray by calendar” versus “treat when necessary” driven by data.

  • Treatments based on NEED.


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Concepts of Pest Management

  • A. Agricultural Ecosystem - understand

  • B. Planning the Agroecosystem - farmscape

  • C. Cost/Benefit and Benefit/Risk

  • D. Tolerance of Pest Damage

  • E. Leaving a Pest Residue (residual population)

  • F. Timing of Treatments

  • G. Public Understanding and Acceptance


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Concepts of Pest Management

  • G. Public Understanding and Acceptance

  • Educate the public about pest management

  • Extension - Richard Boylan! Fortunate to have him here. Full of great information.

  • Take advantage of what Extension has to offer.

  • Scientific/Social Judgement - how should control be achieved?

  • Education of clientele - most important challenge. Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, Gypsy Moth, Emerald Ash Borer, Asian Longhorn Beetle, Japanese beetle - area wide control.


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