Integrated pest management (IPM) is a broad-spectrum approach to limiting wildlife damage that has been adopted by many fruit growers. Several methods of control are integrated simultaneously or alternately, and the key to success is routine monitoring. Wildlife control procedures are integrated with practices to manage all classes of pests, including insects, diseases, and weeds. For example, research by I. A. Merwin at Cornell University demonstrates that hay/straw or fabric mulch increase the potential for vole damage and therefore should not be used for weed control in situations where voles are a threat. Effective monitoring entails assessing wildlife and predator populations, wildlife habitats and behaviors, damage patterns, possible impacts on nontarget organisms, and various conditions that may influence control efficacy. An example of a widely used monitoring tool is the apple sign test, developed by R. E. Byers of Virginia Polytechnic Institute, for estimating the potential for meadow or pine vole damage in an orchard block. With timely monitoring, management tactics can be employed prior to the establishment of animal feeding or browsing habits.
Was this article helpful?