Pest Management Approaches

Protecting Plants and Trees from Invasive Pests

There are many possible pest management methods and applications. Selecting the most effective and appropriate approach depends on knowledge, experience and observation. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a "systems" approach that uses a variety of complementary strategies, including mechanical devices; physical devices; and genetic, biological, cultural and chemical management. The biological control approach may include releasing beneficial insects to eat destructive invasive insects; dispersing pheromones in the infested area to confuse and disrupt insect mating and reproduction; releasing sterile insects to reduce mating success; and using natural pesticides such as bacteria. Synthetic chemicals are used when other methods cannot provide effective control and are applied as precisely as possible at the most vulnerable time in the pest's lifecycle.

When Are the Various Methods Used?

Many factors are considered when determining which pest management method will work best in any given area. Some of those factors include the size of the affected geographic area; the estimated number of pests; the lifecycle stage of the majority of the pests; whether the affected area is urban or rural, flat or mountainous; the time of year; and the cost relative to the effectiveness of the strategy.


Pheromone-infused twist ties, applied by hand, may be used to treat infestations of a few pests in an isolated area. This technique is labor-intensive and not appropriate to use for large pest populations spread across large geographic areas. It can be used in both urban and rural settings and has been used to treat infestations of the LBAM.


Aerial or ground spraying with a pheromone or pesticide product may be used to treat the heaviest infestations, defined as many pests in a large geographic area. The spraying technique is not as labor intensive as hand applications and is quite effective to manage the spread of pests. It can be used in both urban and rural settings.


USDA and state agricultural agencies always look for the safest, most effective method to deal with the invasive pest in question.


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Last Modified: May 3, 2010