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IPM, Pesticides

1. What is IPM? 
IPM is an application for measuring and monitoring network performance statistics such as network latency, jitter, availability, packet loss, and errors. You can view these statistics in real time or have IPM store them in its database for historical analysis. You can also use IPM to establish network baselines and monitor thresholds.

2. What is integrated Pest Management (IPM)?
IPM is an approach to solving pest problems by applying our knowledge about pests to prevent them from damaging crops, harming animals, infesting buildings or otherwise interfering with our livelihood or enjoyment of life. IPM means responding to pest problems with the most effective, least-risk option.
Under IPM, actions are taken to control pests only when their numbers are likely to exceed acceptable levels. Any action taken is designed to target the troublesome pest, and limit the impact on other organisms and the environment.
Applying pesticides to crops, animals, buildings or landscapes on a routine basis, regardless of need, is not IPM. Applications of pesticides are always the last resort in an IPM program.

IPM Year

"IPM Year" graphic and text courtesy of Cornell University.
Soil Preparation: Growers give their plants a head start on pest problems by choosing the proper site, testing the soil, rotating crops, creating raised beds where necessary, and providing sufficient organic matter.

Planting: Growers plant crops that tolerate common problems, altering planting time and spacing to discourage certain diseases and insects.

Forecasting: Weather data are consulted to predict if and when pest outbreaks will occur. Treatments can then be properly timed, preventing crop damage and saving sprays.

Pest Trapping: Traps that are attractive to insects are used so that growers can pinpoint when the pest has arrived and decide whether control is justified.

Monitoring: Growers inspect representative areas of the fields regularly to determine whether pests are approaching a damaging level.

Thresholds: Before treating, growers wait until pest populations reach a scientifically determined level that could cause economic damage. Until that threshold is reached, the cost of yield and quality loss will be less than the cost for control.

Cultural Controls: The pest's environment it then disrupted by turning under crop residues, sterilizing greenhouse tools, and harvesting early.

Biological Controls: It is necessary for growers to conserve the many beneficial natural enemies already at work. They import and use additional biologicals where effective.

Chemical Controls: Growers select the most effective and appropriate pesticide and properly calibrate sprayers. They then verify that weather conditions will permit good coverage without undue drift.
Recordkeeping: Records of pest traps, weather and treatment are kept for use in pest management decisions.

3. Who can use IPM ?
Anyone who deals with pest problems can use IPM. Farmers, buildings and grounds maintenance personnel, professional pest control operators, and home dwellers can learn how to apply least-risk solutions to prevent pest trouble or respond to problems when they arise.

4. What are pesticide hazards ?
Pesticide hazards include acute, immediate toxicity to humans and other non-target organisms; chronic or long-term toxicity such as cancer; and potential to contaminate air, or ground and surface water.  Information on many of these potential hazards for specific pesticides can be found on pesticide labels, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and resources such as

Recent studies documenting the need for continued reductions in hazardous pesticide use and practices include the Heinz Center evaluation of our nation’s ecosystems in 2002, reporting that seventy-five percent of streams tested had more than five pesticide contaminants.  A 2006 US Geological Survey review of 51 studies over ten years reported that 96% of fish, 100% of surface water, and 33% of major aquifers sampled from 1992 to 2001 contained one or more pesticides. Nearly 10% of stream sites and 1.2% of ground water sites in agricultural areas, and 6.7% of stream and 4.8% of ground water site in urban areas contained pesticides at concentrations exceeding benchmarks for human health derived from US EPA standards and guidelines for drinking water.

The adult human body is similarly contaminated with pesticides, pesticide-related compounds and other synthetic chemicals. A 2002 study led by Mount Sinai School of Medicine researchers found an average of 91 industrial compounds, pollutants and other chemicals in the blood and urine of nine volunteers.  A total of 167 chemicals were found in these individuals, none of whom worked with chemicals occupationally or lived near industrial facilities. Of the 167 chemicals found, 17 were pesticides or pesticide breakdown products. Seventy-six were carcinogens, 94 neurotoxins, and 79 developmental or reproductive toxins.

Pests can also become resistant to pesticides, increasing control costs, crop losses or other pest damage. Many natural enemies of pests are killed by pesticides, freeing pests from these natural controls.
According to a US General Accountability Office report in 1999, information is currently not collected to fully document the extent of pest problems and pesticide use.  Data on impacts of pest infestation and pesticide use on children as well as the general public are lacking. Data of short-term illnesses due to pesticide exposure are limited. Documentation would be difficult to obtain even if concerted efforts were made due to the multiple potential causes for short and long-term symptoms and illnesses associated with exposure to pests and pesticides.  These unknown or poorly understood potential hazards argue for additional levels of protection including exposures to multiple pesticides, at home, at school and in the diet; exposure to chemicals in combination with pesticides such as pharmaceuticals, industrial compounds and personal care products; and the general difficulty in attributing chronic illnesses to any one particular cause.

Pesticides are powerful tools for responding to persistent pest problems. It’s not smart, effective or affordable to use these tools when they are not necessary.   Using IPM to prevent pest problems and minimize reliance on pesticides is the best solution for a healthy environment for everyone.

5. Are all pesticides bad ?
Most pesticide problems are caused by a small number of the pesticides available today. Many low hazard pesticides are available, and more are being developed each year from both naturally occurring and synthetic materials. However, pesticide use without regard to need or potential hazard is always a poor choice, and rarely solves pest problems.
Improvements in pest management are needed, and pesticides will likely always be a part of the solution.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), malaria continues to kill more than 1 million annually.

Asthma incidence and asthma-associated morbidity is increasing in inner city children in the U.S.  Asthma is associated with cockroach allergen sensitivity and exposure as well as exposure to pesticides.  (Download a  review of pest and pesticide associations with asthma in PDF format.)

Other persistent and emerging pest problems include vectored human and animal diseases such as West Nile virus, Eastern equine encephalitis and Lyme disease; plant pests and diseases such as emerald ash borer and soybean rust; and more than 170 noxious aquatic, terrestrial or parasitic weeds continue to challenge pest managers in the U.S. and elsewhere, and demand effective pest management measures.

Since 2003, the majority of new pesticide registrations have met criteria set by EPA for "reduced risk" including lower hazards to human health and non-target organisms, and reduce potential for contamination of groundwater, surface water, and other environmental resources.  These EPA "reduced risk" pesticides include biopesticides, which are naturally occurring substances, microorganisms, or pesticidal substances produced by plants containing genetic material introduced specifically to control pests.

6. How does IPM reduce hazards ?
IPM reduces hazards by reducing overall pesticide use, using least hazardous pesticides when there is a demonstrated need, and taking special protective measures to reduce pesticide exposure living organisms and the environment.

7. How does IPM differ from organic ?
IPM allows the use of pesticides, fertilizers and other materials made from synthetic materials when necessary. Organic programs largely restrict allowable pesticides to those made from natural materials. Pesticides used in organic programs can also have harmful effects on humans, animals and the environment, and must be used carefully and only when needed. IPM strategies can also help organic programs reduce hazards.

8. What is "IPM certification" ?
Certification implies that a professional, product or service meets a well-defined standard.  Certification can be a powerful tool to demonstrate to customers, neighbors and peers in your profession that your pest management practices meet the highest standards for reduced hazard and effectiveness.
Many programs include IPM as a standard that must be met prior to certification.  Not all programs require IPM performance to the same degree - some programs have minimal IPM requirements and other truly seek to identify top IPM performers.  For an independent rating of many certification programs addressing pest management,

The IPM Institute has worked with public agencies, non-governmental organizations and industry to develop and implement meaningful programs incorporating IPM standards.  Clients have included Food Alliance, Protected Harvest, SYSCO Corporation and the Universities of Wisconsin, Florida, Cornell and Rutgers.

9. How can my products or services become IPM Certified?
Pest control operators, farmers, buildings and grounds managers, wildlife management specialists, crop consultants and others can have their products or services certified under a variety of programs that use IPM as a requirement.
To find out if you or your organization, products or services are eligible for certification, contact the IPM Institute. Anyone can join the Institute and support its efforts to reduce pesticide hazards.

10. What is the difference between a pesticide and household chemical?  
A. Pesticides are agents used to control pests such as insects, weeds, fungus, or rodents. To identify whether a household chemical is a pesticide, look at the product label affixed to the container. All pesticide labels contain what is known as EPA Registration Number (EPA Reg. No.).  

11. What licenses do I need to start a pest control business?  
A. If you plan to do agricultural pest control work as a part of your business, there are two types of licenses: The Maintenance Gardener Business License is for people who perform pest control incidental to their gardening business. Prior to applying for the business license, you must obtain a Qualified Applicator Certificate (QAC) in the maintenance gardener category (Category Q). The Pest Control Business (PCB) License is required for any person who engages in the business of providing pest control. A Qualified Applicator License (QAL) is required in order to apply for the PCB License. The Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) administers the exams for both QAC and QAL. The Business Licenses are also issued by DPR. For further information, you may call the licensing branch at (916) 445-4038 or You can also hire a QAL to qualify your business for a state license.  

12. What is a pesticide? Is it different from an insecticide?

The suffix "-cide" means an act related to killing (from the Latin caedere : "to cut, kill, hack (at), strike"). When attached to a word indicating an animal or plant considered to be pestilent, the combined word is frequently used to indicate a substance used to eliminate the pest in question - Wikipedia. Thus, a pesticide means the killing of a pest or the substance used to perform this function - the target can be an insect (insecticide), rodent (rodenticide), fungus (fungicide), acarid (acaricide), bird (avicide), weed or herb (weedicide or herbicide), bacteria (bactericide), germs (germicide), virus (viricide), microbes (microbicide), and so on. Thus, all insecticides are pesticides, but all pesticides are not necessarily insecticides. Sometimes, insecticides are referred to or grouped according to their use against specific insects (eg. termiticides against termites) or stages of their growth (eg. larvicides against larvae and adulticides against adult stages of mosquitoes).

13. Are all pesticides poisons? Do they all kill in the same way?
Most pesticides are chemicals which have a toxic effect on the target pest - however, they can have different modes of action and are designed to target the pest based on its biology and behaviour. Some are stomach poisons (which are ingested by the pest), some are contact poisons (which kill pests when they come into contact with the poison which enters their body through the skin or body openings), some interfere with the blood coagulation process, while some disrupt the nervous system. Some non-toxic pesticides (such as Insect Growth Regulators or IGRs) do not kill the pest directly but disrupt its growth, preventing it from leading a normal existence, causing death. A point to remember is that all pesticides come with label instructions which give the recommended dosage.

14. Are there any laws or regulations for pesticides in India?

Yes. The Insecticides Act, 1968  and Insecticides Rules, 1971 regulate the import, registration process, manufacture, sale, transport, distribution and use of insecticides with a view to prevent risk to human beings or animals and for all connected matters, throughout India. All pesticides have to necessarily undergo the registration process with the Central Insecticides Board (CIB) & Registration Committee (RC)  before they can be made available for use or sale. Thus, technically we can say that all insecticides (pesticides) in India are those substances that are listed on the "Schedule" of the Insecticides Act, 1968. The Registration Certificate mandates that a label be put on the packaging, which clearly indicates the nature of the insecticide (Agricultural or Household use), composition, active ingredient, target pest(s), recommended dosage, caution sign and safety precautions. Therefore, a pesticide labelled for agriculture is not be used in a household.

15. Are any pesticides banned in India?

Yes, there are. The CIB & RC scrutinizes and periodically reviews all pesticides and their usage - some are banned from registration itself. Sometimes a pesticide can be banned even after registration when it causes serious environmental and public health concerns. Some pesticides are meant for "restricted use" which means that they can be used only for prescribed purposes and by authorised personnel by obtaining the appropriate Government license.

16Do pesticides come in different forms? How should one use pesticides?

Pesticides are available in two basic forms : concentrates and ready-to-use (RTU). Some Concentrates are mixed in recommended doses with carriers (such as water or solvents) to achieve a diluted liquid that can be sprayed, injected or applied to target areas, while certain concentrates, in powder form, need to be mixed with a bait material before use (especially for rodenticides). Concentrates as well as RTUs are available in liquid, powder (dust), gel, granular or cake form. These can be applied through various means such as sprayers, dusters, specialised applicators or manual placement. All RTU pesticides available over the counter should be used after thoroughly reading the label instructions; some household pesticides are available only for professional use. Concentrates available to professional pest managers or pest control operators (PCOs) cannot be used directly as they are too toxic to be used as such and intended dosage on target cannot be achieved. Therefore you see our technicians mixing these concentrates with a carrier like water or solvent and then spraying. This mixing has to be in dosages which are recommended by pesticide manufacturers (and are mentioned on the label).

17Can I use any pesticide in my home? Should I do it myself or call a professional?

RTU products available in the market should be used at home after reading the label instructions thoroughly. Professional pest managers from a reputed company are best suited to carry out pest control in your home - they are specialists, highly skilled, trained in pesticides, application equipment and their use and have access to professional-use products which are not available over the counter. They can readily explain treatment methods, pesticides used and the general why's and what's of their business along with advice on hygiene and pest prevention.

18. What is a pesticide?
Pesticide is a term encompassing a wide variety of substances used in food production to control undesirable plant, insect and other animal populations. Many factors influence the persistence of pesticide residues in or on food. Residues may vary depending on the time between application and harvest, exposure to wind, rain, or sunlight, and the amount removed during processing (plain water washing or peeling). Residues of pesticides can be found in many foods including breast milk. The maximum residue levels of pesticides permitted in food are estimated on the basis that they do not constitute a health hazard for most consumers. 

19What has not been researched about safe levels of pesticide residues?

Components of a mixture react together directly to form (an)other compound(s) that possess(es) a higher or lower toxicity. An example of such a reaction is that which occurs between nitrites and amines to form **carcinogenic nitrosamines. An example of a chemical-chemical interaction resulting in decreased toxicity would be that between cobalt edetate and cyanide to produce a complex less acutely toxic than the individual components.  No examples of this type of interaction involving only pesticides have been identified.

20. The 13 killers 
Pesticides include:

weedkillers (also known as herbicides) 
insecticides (which kill insects) 
fungicides (which kill fungi, including mould) 
acaricides (which kill spiders) 
nematocides (which kill round, thread or eel worms) 
rodenticides (which kill mice and rats) 
algicides (which kill algae) 
miticides (which kill mites) 
molluscicides (which kill snails and slugs) 
growth regulators (which stimulate or retard plant growth) 
defoliants (which remove plant leaves) 
desiccants (which speed plant drying) 
attractants (which attract insects eg pheromones) 
From Pesticides and your Food, Andrew Watterson, Green Print, 1991

21Which parts of our body are affected by acute pesticide poisoning?

Petroleum based chemicals are being found to cause significant attritional (weakening by persistent attack) effects to the nervous system and immune system after prolonged exposure. Illnesses identified in the medical research include adult and child cancers, numerous neurological disorders, immune system weakening, autoimmune disorders, asthma, allergies, infertility, miscarriage, and child behavior disorders including learning disabilities, mental retardation, hyperactivity and ADD (attention deficit disorders). Petroleum based chemicals are believed to cause these problems by a variety of routes including - impairing proper DNA (Gene) expression, weakening DNA Repair, accelerating gene loss, degeneration of the body's detoxification defenses (liver and kidneys) as well as gradual weakening of the brain's primary defense - (the Blood Brain Barrier). Identifying a specific chemical as the "original cause" of these health disorders is difficult and often overlooked as it typically requires years of exposure for the body's inherent defenses to weaken sufficiently to result in observable health problems.

22. How does it affect me?

The simple truth Is: The regulatory authorities in any country do not/cannot** inspect 100% of the produce being sold every day to consumers to check whether the pesticide residues are within safe limits.  There is always the possibility of application of pesticides over the prescribed limits.  This possibility is becoming a reality according to the food inspection agencies survey results, where they find pesticide residue levels being higher than permitted in different items of produce.

All scientific research on the effects of pesticides is based on analysis of a specific chemical. No research has been done on the bad effects of cocktail** of different chemical residues entering our bodies. 

Additionally, there is uncertainty associated with estimating safe levels of pesticides.

The majority of chemicals used on our fruit and vegetables are not soluble in water; therefore water alone will not remove these unwanted contaminants. 

After a fruit or vegetable is picked, it continues to need moisture to stay fresh and edible. To help retain moisture, certain varieties of fresh produce are given a new wax coating to replace the natural wax the fruit or vegetable loses during harvest and shipping. Often a fungicide, a chemical that prevents mould and rot, is mixed in with the wax.

For example, see instructions given below in the manual for the preparation and sale of fruit and vegetables:
"For waxing and/or post harvest disease control with fungicides:

- If simultaneously applied, control the proper operation of the mixing mechanism in the container where wax and fungicide are mixed.
- Control the operation of the application equipment for wax and/or fungicides, because nozzles can be obstructed, drip or produce an uneven coverage of product.
- An inadequate fungicide or wax application can affect consumers ' health."

Some pesticides have been linked to nervous system disorders, immune system suppression, breast and other types of cancer, reproductive damage, and disruption of the hormonal systems. Organophosphate pesticides, such as Parathion, work by inhibiting cholinesterase, an enzyme the helps control nerve transmission. This enzyme is required in both humans and insects, and when disrupted, can lead to a variety of central nervous system problems.  

23. Does all produce have contaminants?
Yes! Approximately 90% of all produce worldwide has surface pesticide residues. The remaining 10% or so are organically grown produce, which should still be washed to ensure safety. Other unwanted contaminants from handling, such as human perspiration, oils, dirt and exhaust fumes from shipping, also need to be washed away.

24. Do I have to apply phosphorus if I use JumpStart®?
If soil tests indicate low to medium levels of available phosphorus, you may need to apply phosphorus fertilizer.JumpStart® is neither a fertilizer nor a fertilizer substitute. It is composed of a soil fungus Penicillium bilaii that makes less available forms of phosphates more available to the plant. Refer to company fact sheet for details.

25. What if my granular inoculant doesn't flow properly?
Granular inoculants absorb moisture and form clumps that plug the distributor slots of the hopper. With early discovery of this problem you can return to the poorly inoculated area and sideband the inoculum. However, if germination has started, this remedy may result in seedling damage and poor stand. The solution is to apply a top dressing of N fertilizer. Crop monitoring for N deficiency symptoms and plant analysis and soil testing may help to confirm need for top dressing. However, be warned that by the time symptoms show, it may be too late to correct the N deficiency. When using granular inoculants, do not leave the inoculant in the hopper for prolonged periods of time.

26. Which herbicide residues should I worry about for my pulse crop? 
Always keep a record of herbicide use for all your fields. Refer to the Saskatchewan Agriculture Guide to Crop Protection for information on recropping restrictions. Also check product label for details.

27. Can I use seed from previous year glyphosate-desiccated crop?
No. Glyphosate residue within seed results in increased field mortality of both germinating seed and seedlings. Seedlings that do survive lack vigour due to the development of abnormal root systems. Roots tend to be gnarled and twisted with little branching as well as devoid of root hair development resulting in poor nodulation.

28. Can I roll my pulse crop?
A land roller can be used in lentil, field pea and chickpea fields to provide a smooth and level surface for harvest. Land rolling can be done in lentil and field pea before or after the crop emerges. Post emergent land rolling can be done up to the 5 - 7 node stage in lentils and 5 node stage in peas. Land rolling beyond these stages can damage plants, increase the spread of foliar diseases and reduce yields. Rolling should not be done on wet soils or when the crop is damp or stressed by extreme heat, frost or herbicide application. Land rollers are less beneficial in chickpea production than in pea and lentil production since chickpea does not usually lodge and the stubble height is greater. Rolling should only be done before crop emergence. Post-emergent land rolling is not recommended as it may spread disease such as ascochyta blight and can cause mechanical injury because chickpea seedlings develop stiff stems early in their development. Beans should be rolled within three days after seeding but rolling after seedling emergence is not recommended. For more information check out Frequently Asked Questions - Pulse Crop Seeding Rates and Rolling.

29. My camellia leaves have yellow markings on the upper leaf surface and under the leaf is a white growth. Is this an insect or disease?
 This is an insect called Tea Scale --  the worst pest on camellias. Oil sprays which suffocate the insects or systemic insecticides are recommended.

30. My poinsettia is showing spots on the foliage and creamy colored scab-like lesions on the stem. What is this and how can I get rid of it?
 This is a fungus disease called Poinsettia Scab. The disease tissue must be pruned off. New growth should be sprayed with fungicides that include Maneb or Mancozeb. Severely damaged plants should be removed.

31. My roses have black and yellow spots on the leaves and the leaves drop off the plant. How do I treat this?
'Black spot' is the most common leaf disease of roses. The disease thrives when the foliage stays wet for 6 hours or longer. It is spread by splashing rain or irrigation. Control is accomplished by keeping the foliage dry (use drip or micro-spray irrigation) and spraying frequently with a recommended fungicide (there are many). Successful rose grower's alternate between 2 or 3 fungicides.

32. The trunk of my oak tree is covered with a silky web and there are little tiny insects under this web.  How do I get rid of these before they kill my tree?
These insects are called psocids (pronounced "so-sids"). They do not damage plants; they feed only on organic matter that is trapped in the crevices of the bark. Once these insects are mature, they will move out of their protective webbing. No control measures are necessary. If they are unsightly, spray the webbing with a strong spray of water to destroy it and disperse the insects.

33. My oleander is covered with reddish-orange colored worms with black hairs. They are eating all the leaves.  How can I control them?
The eggs of the oleander caterpillar are laid on the new, tender growth. When the eggs hatch, the tiny worms cluster and feed on the branch tips. They can be easily controlled at this stage by simply pruning off these branch tips before the worms mature and migrate throughout the entire shrub. 

34. It looks like something is pruning off the twigs on my maple tree (also occurs on other trees).  Everyday I find more twigs under the tree and they have all been cleanly cut. What is doing this?
An insect called "twig girdler" is the culprit. It lays its eggs into the twigs of popular trees like maple, oak, pine and pecan, then chews the twig off so it drops to the ground where the life cycle of the insect will be completed. The only control measure to take is to clean up the fallen twigs and dispose of them. This eliminates the next generation.

35. My crape myrtle has a powdery-like substance on the leaf surface. The leaves then curl up and die.
This a fungus called "powdery mildew." Crape myrtle is very susceptible to this disease.  Good ventilation around the plant and weekly applications of a fungicide throughout the growing season may be necessary. New hybrids of crape myrtle are resistant to this disease.

36. The bark on my Chinese elm is splitting and peeling off, and it is orange where the bark has come off.  Is this a disease?
Splitting and peeling bark and variation in bark color on Chinese elm and other plants like crape myrtle and sycamore is normal and needs no treatment.

37. My azaleas and sycamore leaves have a bleached-out appearance and the undersides of the leaves are covered with tiny, shiny, black tar-like spots. What causes this?
Both azaleas and sycamore are susceptible to an insect called lace bug. Damage results from the insect sucking out cell sap, resulting in mottling of leaves. The black tar spots are actually insect excrement. Control on sycamore may be impractical if the trees are large. If no action is taken, the trees will defoliate early. No permanent damage will result. Azaleas should be sprayed with an appropriate insecticide.  Note: Azaleas in full sun are more frequently attacked by this insect than azaleas in the shade.

38. I have a stand of pines on my property.  One after another the trees are turning brown and dying.  There is sawdust at the base of the tree and sap on the trunk.  Can I save my trees?
Ips beetle and other pine borers are serious pests of pines and other trees. However, they only attack trees weakened by natural or manmade conditions such as drought, lightning or construction damage. The adult beetle attacks the pine by chewing through the bark and laying her eggs. The young larvae feed on the cambium tissue, which girdles and kills the tree. Insecticide sprays on the trunk will probably not save the tree because of the pre-existing  stress. The best protection is to keep trees healthy.

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