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Too often people see insects as invaders to be attacked with various toxic chemicals. While such actions may take care of the immediate problem, they usually create a host of others. Today, an ecologically sound concept called Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is receiving serious recognition and support among home gardeners, professional landscapers, and scientists. With IPM, the yard is as an ecosystem with components that are interdependent and where every action has a wide-ranging impact. The goal of IPM is to keep insects, diseases, and weeds at tolerable levels using the least toxic methods available. Techniques include planting pest-resistant cultivars, following appropriate lawn-care practices, inspecting regularly for problems, encouraging beneficial insects, and when necessary, spot-treating affected areas.
Bugs are here to stay and most are actually desirable and serve important functions in biological processes such as decomposition. Some bugs are beneficial because their diet includes the insects chomping on your grass. Studies have shown that predators such as ants and ground beetles are able to remove up to 74% of Japanese beetle eggs and up to 53% of fall armyworm pupae from pesticide-free plots within 48-hours. Before reaching for the insecticide, wait a while to give the natural enemies a chance to bring your pest problem under control.