Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida, Gainesville
John T. Woeste, Dean for Extension
By: Carolee Boyles, 4-H IPM Coordinator, Florida 4-H Department, and Dr. Philip G. Koehler, Extension Entomologist, Department of
Entomology and Nematology, IFAS, University of Florida, Gainesville 32611.
Revised by: Richard W. Gleason, Adjunct Assistant, Florida 4-H Department, IFAS, University of Florida, Gainesville 32611.
Principal Investigators: Dr. James C. Northrop, Extension 4-H Youth Specialist, Florida 4-H Department and Dr. Philip G. Koehler,
Extension Entomologist, Department of Entomology and Nematology, IFAS, University of Florida, Gainesville 32611.
This publication was developed through educational grants provided by the United States Department of Agriculture, Florida Power
and Light, and the Center for Environmental and Natural Resources, IFAS.
We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Dr. John Strayer, Professor of Entomology, and various Extension Specialists, IFAS, for
reviewing this publication.
Karen A. McFadyen and Jane Wells provided the illustrations for this publication.
Plants Protected From Pests
C. A. Boyles and P. G. Koehler
To Help You Most pesticides are made from the same
As you use this book, watch for words materials as gas and oil. Gas and oil are also
written in italics. Look in the glossary in the used to apply pesticides. Through IPM, wiser
back for the meaning of these words. use of pesticides helps to save energy.
Statement of Purpose The purpose of this book is for you to learn
the basic ideas of IPM and how plants resist
In the 1960's and 1970's, people began to pests. You should be able to manage pests
worry about the harmful effects of pesticides safely, with less energy and lower costs.
and other poisons. Pesticides are needed to For more information check these
manage many pests of man, his crops and publications, available from your County
animals. To help protect soil, water and air (the Extension Agent.
environment), man no longer uses some Pest Management Where to Start -
pesticides. Circular 548
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an All About Pests Circular 543
effective, but less harmful way of managing Using Natural Enemies to Manage Pests -
pests of all kinds. An IPM user looks at the Circular 545
whole picture the pest, the host, and the Cultural Practices to Manage Pests -
environment. Then following IPM methods, the Circular 547
user chooses one or several ways to manage Spraying Away Pests Circular 544
the pest. The ABC s of IPM Circular 549
Who Lives in the Bushes? 0
Think about plants. They are all around.
Almost everywhere you look, you can see many
kinds of plants. fit
Look closely at a plant. Look on the
undersides of leaves. Look where branches and
stems join in a "Y."
Many different organisms live around plants.
Insects, lizards, birds, and other animals live
Some of the organisms that live around
plants do more than just walk around on the
plants. They may also feed on the plants.
Many insects feed on plants. Tiny worms called nematodes feed on the
roots of plants. This often causes the plants to
./ wilt, turn brown, and die.
Some birds eat plants. Animals such as rabbits and deer feed on
Organisms called pathogens live in plants
and cause plant diseases.
Every plant has something that eats it. Some
plants are eaten by just a few kinds of
organisms. Some plants are eaten by many
kinds of organisms.
Man manages some kinds of plants for food
and other uses. These plants are called crop
plants. Examples of crop plants are oranges,
corn, lettuce, and pine trees.
Many organisms may eat or live on man's
crop plants. Organisms that harm man's crop
plants are called pests.
Some kinds of pests harm only one kind of
crop plant. Other kinds of pests harm many
kinds of crop plants.
Because we depend on crop plants for many
things, we must find ways to manage these
Why Pests Attack Plants
Pests have several reasons for attacking
plants. They may be looking for shelter or they
may be looking for a place to lay eggs. Mostly,
though, they are looking for food.
Basically, each pest prefers a certain kind of
plant. Pests won't eat plants they don't like.
Plants That Are Protected
Often, plants are not damaged when they are
exposed to pests. They may be resistant to the Some plants have special traits that may help
pest. keep pests away. For example, they may be
For example, some plants may be bad for the very hairy, waxy, or thick-skinned. The color of
pest that eats them. The plant may not have some plants also can be important. Some pests
everything in it that the pest needs to grow and are attracted to certain colors more than other
be healthy or the plant may be harmful to the colors.
pest. Often, plants can produce a crop even if they
Some plants grow in ways that help protect have been attacked by a pest. This is called
them from pests. For example, some onions tolerance. The age and size of the plant can
have many tightly bunched leaves at the base. affect tolerance. Also, the health of the plant
This helps keep some pests away. Some corn affects tolerance. Older, well established plants
has very tight husks. This protects the ear of often can stand more damage than younger
corn inside from attack by some insects and plants (if the plants are healthy). Some plants
pathogens. can even regrow if they are damaged.
Helping Man's Crops
If all pests liked all plants, no plants would be
left. But, most pests prefer to eat certain kinds
of plants. A pest won't eat a plant it doesn't Q
like. Resistance of plants to pests is mostly due
to a special trait of the plant. Some plants have
developed resistance to some pests. The
amount of resistance can vary. Some plants are
very resistant to some pests, others are only /
Man has learned how to help plants develop
resistance to pests. Plant breeders have worked
on many crop plants. Many plants showing
.-..-: :.-. /" resistance to certain insects, pathogens, and
*'. :-:. nematodes have been developed. These have
been very helpful in today's agriculture.
STEP I. IDENTIFICATION STEP 2. PREVENTION
STEP 3. MONITORING STEP 4-. PREDICTION
cos Pes.iictes How Resistance Is Used in IPM
e,f 'toX~c's In Pest Management Where to Start, you
Seo, L learned about the six steps of IPM:
\\y 13 e 1. Identification
". ; 2. Prevention
S S P 6. A N3. Monitoring
STEP 5. DECISION STEP 6. EVALUATION 4. Prediction
continue 6. Evaluation
mon-orin9 apply Resistant varieties of plants are a very
con+4rol valuable IPM tool. Resistance can be used to
C) prevent many pests from becoming a problem
Problems with Resistant Varieties The activity of the pest is important. What are
Resistance will not solve all pest problems. the pests doing?
Are they mating?
1. Some kinds of pests still damage varieties Are they aing eggs?
that are resistant to other pests. Are they aing s
2. Pests may, over a period of time, become Are they in a growing stage?
tolerant of the resistant variety. Are they resting over winter?
3. How well resistance works depends on Summing Up
The environment is important. Things like Man grows many crop plants. They can be
light, temperature, humidity, and rainfall affect attacked and damaged by many pests. But some
how well general resistance works. Other of these plants are not damaged when they are
conditions such as soil moisture and fertility exposed to pests. They are resistant to the
can also affect resistance. pests. Plant resistance to pests is a valuable IPM
The abundance of other hosts is also tool. It can be used to prevent many pests from
important. Many hosts in one area often mean becoming a problem.
more pest problems.
1. Breeder One who produces and/or or is bad for something that belongs to
develops new offspring with good man. A pest may be an insect, a plant, an
qualities, animal, a disease, or any other kind of
2. Environment Surroundings, including organism.
anything that affects man, other animals or 8. Pesticides Poisons that are used to kill
plants. organisms that man regards as pests.
3. Host Any plant or animal that shelters Insecticides kill insects. Herbicides kill
or gives a home to a parasite or other plants. Fungicides kill fungi.
natural enemy. 9. Prefer To choose over another; to value
4. Nematode A tiny worm-like organism more.
that lives in the soil and damages the roots 10. Resistant, Resistance Withstanding
of plants. Nematodes may live in the soil, attack; offering opposition to pests. Able
in water, in animals, or in plants. to withstand infection or contamination.
5. Organisms Living things; includes all Resistance is the ability of a pest
animals and plants. population to stay alive after it has been
6. Pathogen A very tiny organism that treated with a pesticide.
causes a disease. The three types of 11. Tolerance Capable of growing and
pathogens are fungi, bacteria, and viruses, producing even when subjected to a pest.
7. Pest An organism that hurts something 12. Traits Different features or qualities.
This publication was promulgated at a cost of $597.35, or 23 cents per copy, to inform Florida residents
about IPM (Integrated Pest Management). 5-2.6M-83
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL
SCIENCES, K. R. Tefertlller, director, In cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture, publishes this Infor- L
matlon to further the purpose of the May 8 and June 30, 1914 Acts of Congress; and Is authorized to provide research, educa-
tional Information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex or
national origin. Single copies of Extension publications (excluding 4-H and Youth publications) are available free to Florida
residents from County Extension Offices. Information on bulk rates or copies for out-of-state purchasers is available from
C. M. Hinton, Publications Distribution Center, IFAS Building 664, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611. Before publicizing this
publication, editors should contact this address to determine availability.