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The Importance of Integrated Pest Management in Landscaping

By Alison Hoover

Whether you’re redesigning your outdoor space or putting in landscaping for the first time, there’s a lot to consider –– soil conditions, sun exposure, climate, aesthetics, and even functionality all factor in to the design and upkeep of your landscape.

While you’re well aware of the need to water and trim your plants to keep them healthy and looking good, have you considered how you will safeguard them against pests?

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is the best way to mitigate the presence and subsequent damage of harmful bugs in your landscaping. By combining several methods, such as exclusion, pest-resistant plants, and natural remedies, you can preserve the health and beauty of your landscaping. Here are a few of the reasons IPM should be an intentional aspect of landscaping.

Support Local Ecology

Instead of planting exotic trees and bushes, use native plants. This will allow birds, insects, and other animals to find shelter and food (harmful pests) in your yard. Plus, native plants are more resistant to local pests, so you’re less likely to have any issues to begin with. What’s even more helpful? Since the pest population will be lower and any pests that do show up will be dinner for the birds, you won’t have to use artificial pesticides. Not only are the sprays toxic to the environment, but they don’t discriminate –– they kill everything, the good and the bad pests.

Limit Additives

Using integrated pest management will reduce the need for harmful and abrasive chemicals. All corners of life, landscaping included, have recently seen an uptick in the way of natural solutions. While there is still likely a time and place for weed killers and powerful bug repellants, by incorporating preventative measures, you won’t need to risk health and safety by solely relying on synthetic means.

Reduce Ongoing Maintenance

All of these benefits combined add up to one really great attribute of IPM: reduced ongoing maintenance. By relying on native plants and sustainable practices that naturally deter bugs, you won’t have to spend all your free time watering, trimming, spraying, and spreading. Yes, all landscaping requires some maintenance, but with various precautions against pests and a focus on native plants, you won’t have nearly as much to maintain throughout the year.

Save Money

Integrated Pest Management is typically more costly at first, but it’s an investment. IPM calls for layers of protection, and often a knowledge of plants and environment that warrants bringing in a professional. But this investment comes with the added benefit of knowing you’re doing the right thing for your landscape and the environment. Working alongside a pro also affords you opportunities to learn from them, setting you up for success moving forward. Over time, without the need for pest treatments and remediating damage, you will find that your thoughtfully planned landscaping saves money.

Integrated Pest Management is an eco-friendly approach to pest control focused on preventing and managing pests by combining methods such as biological controls, habitat modification, and sparse use of pesticides. In addition to lower costs and less maintenance, IPM minimizes environmental impact and emphasizes sustainable practices, all to protect the health and safety of your small corner of the Earth and the entire ecosystem.

Alison is a world traveler who loves to spend her time writing and reading. When she’s home, you can find her playing with her pet rabbit, gardening, and baking.

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