Integrated Pest Management was first defined in the 1970s. The Food and Agriculture Organisation, a part of the UN, defines the aim of Integrated Pest Management as being able to have a crop grown as naturally as possible with the minimum use of man-made chemicals so as not to disturb the local ecosystems. The idea is to keep the use of pesticides to a minimum unless economically justified. They also encourage the use of natural pest-control measures.
As part of the EU, the UK is participating in the Voluntary Initiative. The NFU is encouraging farmers to adopt the scheme and produce Integrated Pest Management Plans. The hope is that a strategy utilising several techniques will be adopted rather than just relying on pesticides.
These same basic ideas can be applied to any type of pest. The idea is to review how the pest lives and what its habits are. Understanding how and when it eats, sleeps, breeds or migrates may provide opportunities for the management of that pest, as total long-term eradication is never possible.
Rodents and Birds
These ideas can be applied to nuisance bird management or a rodent control plan. Removal of food sources by good house-keeping is always a major part of any strategy. Habitat should be removed or reduced. If they cannot be totally removed, then methods of making them less attractive may be an approach that can be adopted. Trying to disrupt the breeding cycle can also be very effective.
There are many techniques that can be adopted, and there are organisations that can help you develop and implement your own integrated pest management plan. You can contact Vvenv about nuisance bird management services.
Phases of a Plan
The first and an ongoing step is monitoring to understand the type and level of infestation. A logging system should be started so that the activities undertaken under the plan can be evaluated as to their effectiveness. As the pest will never be eliminated totally, levels need to be set when action is required to be taken and preventative measures implemented. Under IPM, chemicals should be a last resort, and when needed the least toxic ones should be used. Exposure to humans must be minimised and care taken to ensure the protection of non-targeted species.