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The importance of developing efficient and environmentally sound methods for managing turf grass pests has been reemphasized by recent concerns over environmental safety, the loss of long-term residual insecticides, and a growing awareness of the problems associated with the overuse of pesticides. Integrated pest management (IPM) addresses these concerns while maintaining the aesthetic and utilitarian qualities of the turf IPM is an approach that utilizes all suitable methods and techniques in a compatible manner to maintain pest densities below levels causing unacceptable damage. Although insects and mites are discussed in this handbook, the same management principles apply to other turf problems such as diseases and weeds.
Inherent in the IPM philosophy is the recognition that, for most pests, population levels exist that can be tolerated without substantial plant injury. Eradication of pests is not attempted because moderate pest levels help maintain natural enemies, and chemical overuse can lead to pesticide resistance. The overall objective ofIPM is to optimize and diversifY, rather than maximize pest control. The selection of optimal management strategies will vary depending on site requirements and will change as new practices and products become available.