DEEP: Integrated Pest Management - What is it?

Integrated Pest Management:  What is It?
A Pollution Prevention Fact Sheet

Integrated Pest Management
Turf IPM Methods
Other Ways to Reduce Waste in Turfgrass Management

Integrated Pest Managment or IPM is the use of a variety of pest control methods designed to protect public health and the environment, and to produce high quality ornamental turfgrass with the most judicious use of pesticides.

Turfgrass IPM helps to minimize the use of pesticides through the use of a variety of management techniques. Wherever applicable IPM uses monitoring; pest trapping; action thresholds; resistant varieties and cultivars; cultural, physical and biological controls; and, precise timing and application of any needed pesticides treatments. When other pest control methods fail and pesticides are needed, the safest and most effective materials are selected for use.

Turf IPM methods include the following:

  • Regular monitoring or scouting for pest activity of weeds, diseases and insects.

  • Record-keeping and development of case history on general turfgrass conditions, including but not limited to soil moisture, depth and compaction; watering practices; turfgrass species present; height of cut; thatch depth; temperature and humidity; and general site conditions.

  • Proper identification and evaluation of pest problems and recommendations about the use of correct control techniques. Decisions about type of pest control can be determined by action thresholds and overall turfgrass vigor. The action threshold can often by decided by determining the level of maintenance acceptable to the homeowner.

  • Utilize appropriate cultural practices to maintain a vigorous turfgrass and discourage pest infestations. For example: water one to two times per week deeply, not lightly and frequently. Mow frequently enough not to remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade area and when turfgrass is not wet. Fertilize to optimize turfgrass growth and maintain adequate fertility.

  • Select turfgrass species and cultivars that are well-adapted to the site where they will be growing.

  • Use biological controls as an alternative to pesticides. Beneficial nematodes and milky spore can be used to control some insects of turfgrass.

  • Always utilize other control options before using pesticides. When pesticides are needed, select ones that are the least toxic and most effective.

Other Ways to Reduce Waste in Turfgrass Management

Pesticide Waste Reduction. Develop and implement tight inventory controls over stored pesticides. Order only what is necessary for the current season. Use first in, first out system to use supplies during their shelf life. Store pesticides on pallets or shelves that allow for easy, periodic inspection for damage or leakage. Minimize possibility of spoilage by storing in dry, cool areas, out of direct sunlight.

Container Waste Reduction. Investigate container recycling and reuse opportunities.

Water Conservation. Properly sequence pesticide applications to reduces equipment cleaning time and water usage.

This fact sheet was prepared by the DEP Office of Pollution Prevention in cooperation with the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension Service.  For more information contact the Office of Pollution Prevention at (860) 424-3297, e-mail Pollution Prevention Coordinator, or write to:

Department of Environmental Protection
Planning and Program Development
Office of Pollution Prevention
79 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106-5127


Content Last Updated on December 7, 2006