Hefner, M., Kratsch, H. 2017, Green Industry Professional’s Guide to Integrated Pest Management (IPM), University of Nevada Cooperative Extension SP-17-14

A Green Industry Professional’s Guide to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is designed to help green industry personnel understand IPM and to aid in implementing a pest control plan. This guide is limited to landscape pests; it does not pertain to structural pests or pests of agricultural crops. This publication does not contain all the information necessary to identify and control pests. Wherever possible, the reader will be referred to additional websites for further information.

What Is IPM?

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a sustainable approach to managing pests by combining cultural, physical, biological and chemical tools in a way that minimizes economic, health and environmental risks.

IPM is the strategic use of multiple strategies to control pests. Often, our first impulse is to apply a pesticide at the first sign of a problem. IPM helps develop a pest control plan that can prevent or limit pest problems in the future. IPM control strategies are commonly shown as a pyramid. The major emphasis is on the base of the pyramid, preventing pest problems, and the use of chemical controls is limited to situations where it is really needed. IPM is not a no-pesticides approach to pest management. IPM control plans consider all available methods to control pests.

What Are Pests?

Pests are organisms that damage or interfere with crops, ornamental landscape plants, homes, structures or wildlands.

  • Landscape pests can be divided into four groups: weeds, insects, plant diseases and wildlife. Below is a list of websites that will help identify pests and provide further information.
  • Managed by Extension, this site contains information on IPM, including photo galleries of noxious and nuisance weeds, pest insects, beneficial insects and exotic insects.
  • Nevada Department of Agriculture plant industry site, with links to the entomology, noxious weeds, and plant pathology departments. For wildlife problems, the link is http://agri.nv.gov/Resource_Protection/.
  • University of California statewide IPM programs website with home, landscape and agricultural pests. It has a weed gallery, exotic and invasive pest information, and a beneficial insects gallery.
  • Prevention and control of wildlife damage handbook. This site was funded by the National IPM Network and USDA - CSREES.
  • The Nevada Pesticide Education site is managed by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension to educate certified pesticide applicators in pesticide safety.


The term “weed” refers to a plant growing where it is not wanted. Among weeds, there are some important distinctions. Noxious weeds are weeds designated by the state as requiring control. Nuisance weeds are weeds that have not been designated as noxious, but occur commonly in our area. Weeds are plants that are:

  • Competitive: They grow well in spite of interference from other plants.
  • Persistent: They will return year after year. They reproduce vigorously and spread seeds effectively.
  • Harmful: They may be harmful to native plants, livestock and wildlife, and to the environment in general.

Weeds can be subdivided in several ways. A common way to subdivide weeds is by class: Dicots versus Monocots. Dicots have two seed leaves and are also called broadleaf weeds. Monocots have one seed leaf; these are grasses, sedges and rushes. Dicots commonly have a coarse taproot and net-like leaf veins. Monocots commonly have fibrous roots and parallel leaf veins. Understanding the class of the weed you wish to control becomes important when you choose to use chemical control. Some herbicides are grass-selective (kill monocot plants), and some are broadleaf-selective (kill dicot plants). There are also nonselective herbicides that will kill all plants.

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