Pests & Diseases
Integrated Pest Management
The University of California encourages home gardeners to manage pests by using Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a science-based strategy to manage the damage pests (insects, diseases, vertebrates, and weeds) cause in the garden.
Advantages of IPM
- Minimizes the use of dangerous chemicals
- Helps you grow healthy plants that can resist pests
- Encourages beneficial insects for control of insect pests
Main elements of IPM
- Accept that a certain amount of disease or pest damage can be tolerated in our home gardens. Home-grown fruit and veggies don't need to look grocery-store perfect in order to be healthy and delicious!
- Provide growing conditions that produce strong and healthy plants that resist pests:
- Good garden planning, soil preparation, plant selection, and spacing
- Correct watering and fertilizing
- Regular weeding and mulching
- Encourage pests' natural enemies (beneficial insects, birds, lizards)
- Minimize health and environmental risks by using physical controls, first:
- Knocking or water-spraying pests off plants
- Squishing or trapping them
- Physical barriers around stems, twigs, or trunks
- If using chemical pest control, use the right spray at the right time, in the right amount.
The statewide UC IPM Program has produced publications about specific pests or pest management topics that are commonly encountered by California's home and landscape audiences. Follow the links, below, to access information on these popular topics.
- What is IPM: An explanation of Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
- UC IPM informational videos: Common pests and beneficials of California
- Local talks and tips: Full length talks and short video tips on pest & diseases
- Mosquito Inspection and Control
- Free delivery of Mosquitofish
- Inspection & Advice for Rats and Mice
- Insect Identification
- Wildlife Advice and Inspection (Coyote, Raccoon, Skunk, Opossum, Rat, etc.)
- Community Education - There are smartphone apps available for requesting services