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Chapter 29 - IPM in structural habitats

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 September 2010

Edward B. Radcliffe
University of Minnesota
William D. Hutchison
University of Minnesota
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Over the past 30+ years, there has developed a sizeable complement of knowledge about structural pests, as well as the devices and methods for detecting and controlling these pests. Despite existing knowledge, there is still much to learn about implementing this knowledge into IPM programs that are robust in ability to prevent or reduce pest infestations, provide opportunities for decision making and result in continued successes or directed improvement. IPM programs for residential, institutional, commercial and industrial structures are largely undeveloped and fragile in operation; there are considerable challenges involved in adopting the IPM philosophy and practices for these different structures. Some urban structures have established programs typically mandated by regulations (e.g. public schools and government buildings), while others employ programs using industry-developed standards (e.g. food processing). Overall, structural IPM practices typically resemble modified conventional practices compared to how practices should operate under a true IPM program.

In the current state of developing IPM programs for structures, insects can be monitored, excluded, cleaned up, or controlled with least-toxic products, but how these elements are delivered in a program is subject to the type of structure, past experiences and opinion of the practitioner, and forces of competition by companies that provide pest management services. Structural IPM programs are in a fragile state, readily discarded when things go wrong, resulting in a “knee-jerk reaction” return to recognized and convenient “conventional” methods of control. In many cases, IPM programs become “conventionalized” because of control failure resulting from incomplete or inconsistent IPM processes (e.g.inaccurate monitoring, technical decision not to spray in an area, lack of training), and seldom do IPM programs become re-established after such failure.

Integrated Pest Management
Concepts, Tactics, Strategies and Case Studies
, pp. 378 - 389
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2008

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