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Invasive Plant Program

Integrated Pest Management

What is Integrated Pest Management?

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) requires a proactive and preventative approach, while incorporating a variety of control and treatment options. These options use a combination of pest management techniques in an organized program to suppress weed populations in effective, economical and environmentally sound ways.

IPM is a process for planning and managing sites to prevent weed problems and for making decisions about when and how to intervene when problems occur. In an IPM program, land managers regularly monitor sites to collect the information needed to decide whether or not action must be taken. A key idea is that it is necessary to take action only when infestations warrant it, not as a routine measure. If treatment is warranted, land managers choose the most appropriate combination of control measures for the site.

Prevention is the Key
A well developed IPM program emphasizes making changes in the management of the site to prevent invasive plant problems from occurring. This includes protecting and attracting native beneficial species (plants, insects and birds) that help to keep invasive plants at bay. This might even mean changing human activities on the site, such as restricting the use of recreational vehicles, to prevent disturbance that often leads to broad-leaf weed invasion.

Management and Control in IPM

  1. Cultural control (or preventive methods)
    These include plant nutrition, seeding, and choosing strong native plant species that will thrive in the site's ecosystem.
  2. Manual and mechanical control
    These can include digging, pulling, mowing, mulching, burning, and several others.
  3. Biological control
    These include agents (insects and rusts) imported from the area where the invasive alien plants originated. For details on biological control, please visit our in-depth biological control pages
  4. Chemical control
    These include synthetic and naturally derived herbicides. Where herbicides are used, they should be chosen for compatibility with IPM practices. Application methods can range from very specific, such as stem injection, to a broader application with backpack or other sprayers.
  5. Evaluation.
    Monitoring regularly may be necessary to evaluate the efficacy of the IPM program. It is essential to maintain and review records to determine what worked, where improvements should be made, and to determine costs and benefits.
Know your plants! Control method needs to be chosen with the plant species in mind: some species will simply thrive even better when being hand-pulled, while others will not respond to certain herbicides.

"Healthy, functioning BC ecosystems, free of the impacts of invasive plants."