National Pesticide Information Center



Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

IPM is a combination of common sense and scientific principles. It's a way of thinking about pest management that values:

  • Using knowledge about the pest's habits, life cycle, needs and dislikes
  • Using the least toxic methods first, up to and including pesticides
  • Monitoring the pest's activity and adjusting methods over time
  • Tolerating harmless pests, and
  • Setting a threshold to decide when it's time to act

These actions are important parts of any IPM endeavor:

  • Identify the pest in the most specific terms possible
  • Learn about the pest's biology (habits, life cycle, needs and dislikes)
  • Take steps to exclude the pest from the area, if possible
  • Try to remove the pest's food, water and shelter
  • Determine the pest's travel patterns and find their home-base
  • Identify all of your control options (the "tools in the toolbox") before acting

To learn more about IPM, choose from the following topics:

Cartoon magnifying glass over house
Household IPM

Cartoon lady picking grapes
Garden IPM

Cartoon of a residential yard
Lawn IPM

Cartoon of school playground
School IPM

Cartoon of farmer on tractor
Agricultural IPM

If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email us at npic@ace.orst.edu.

Additional Resources:

Last updated July 15, 2016