The first speaker of the morning at the New York Pest Expo 2010 was Dr. Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann, entomologist and a Senior Extension Associate for the New York State IPM Program at Cornell University discussing IPM: Past, Present and Future. She offered some wonderful insight into this pest management approach. Many consumers and industry experts hold different opinions and, in some cases, misconceptions regarding the program.

World War II gave birth to pesticides. Manufacturers began to produce large amounts of synthetic pesticides and their use became widespread. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that studies began to show how detrimental the use of these chemicals could be. In 1969 Integrated Pest Management (IPM) was formalized.  IPM is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices.

No longer are we risking our own health or that of the environment. Today, biological controls are used, such as natural enemies, pheromones and insect growth regulators.  As safe to the environment as this process is, there are still barriers to overcome with regards to IPM. Many people feel there is still a risk, the costs are too high and it may not be effective. Interestingly enough, some schools have researched the cost of implementing IPM and found it to actually lower costs and even complaints over the long run. Of course, initially, there are some expenses and investments to be made in order to implement the program. But as time goes on the expenses go down.

Dr. Gangloff-Kaufmann confirmed IPM supports the use of pesticides when necessary but to use them in a responsible and respectful manner.

In closing, if we as industry educate and promote IPM we should see a better response.

Dr. Gangloff-Kaufmann, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to share your knowledge with us!

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