Sustainable Gardening. Week 9: Use IPM (integrated pest management) instead of chemicals to deal with bugs

This can be a very extensive topic, but I'm only going to address the basics in this blog. 1st, what is IPM? Basically it's a way to manage pests and disease without chemicals. By prevention (keeping plants healthy - see weeks 4, 5, 6), manual intervention, and as a last resort the least toxic 'natural' chemical available.

Here are a few of the easy ways to apply IPM:

a) Learn which bugs are the ‘good bugs’ and allow them to stay in your garden; they'll eventually eat the ‘bad bugs’
  1. A few good bugs: red ladybugs, spiders, centipedes, earthworms
  2. A few ‘bad’ bugs: green ‘ladybugs’, aphids, most worms (except earthworms)
Check out the good bugs chart and the bad bugs chart

b) Invite birds into the garden; they’ll not only help pollinate your plants but they'll eat the insects. Bats eat insects too! And so do frogs!

c) Keep your plants healthy and strong so they can fight off pests on their own. See weeks 4, 5 & 6 for more information on this topic.

If you like more information check out these websites:

Univ. of California IPM website

Natural products for pest control


Or google "integrated pest management [name of your city or state]", e.g. integrated pest management arizona

Happy gardening and happy IPM'ing !

Click here for the 10 basic steps to Sustainable Landscape Design

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