Hero Image

Integrated Pest Management


Listen as Millions of Monarch Butterflies Make One of the Rarest Sounds on Earth - Click on link/video below

What is IPM?
Integrated pest management (IPM) is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of resistant varieties. Pesticides are used only after monitoring indicates they are needed according to established guidelines, and treatments are made with the goal of removing only the target organism. Pest control materials are selected and applied in a manner that minimizes risks to human health, beneficial and non-target organisms, and the environment.
Successful IPM begins with correct identification of the pest. Only then can a selection of appropriate IPM methods and materials be made.
A big mosquito?  A mosquito hawk?  Daddy longlegs?
A skeeter eater?  No, no, no!!
Class Insecta, Order Diptera, Family Tipulidae
That inch-long, gangly-legged insect that sneaks into your house and bounces around the walls and ceiling is a crane fly, and despite rumors to the contrary, it is neither a predator of mosquitoes nor a colossal mosquito. And it’s harmless.  Larvae feed on decaying-organic matter and assist in the biological decomposition process.  The larvae are found under layers of decomposing leaves in wet locations to include compost piles.  The insect is attracted to light and are medically harmless as it does not sting, bite, suck or transmit disease pathogens.  It is a beneficial insect.
For more information, go to

Lace Wing (Class Insecta, Order Neuroptera)


Do not squish the lace wing in any of its life cycle stages.  It is a beneficial insect which attacks aphids and other harmful insects.  Do not mistake the larva for a harmful "bug."  For further information read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysopidae and http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/NE/green_lacewing.html    If you click on the 4 individual photos at the IPM.ucanr website, you will see how the eggs are attached to vegetation and see the larva attacking an aphid.  But you will have to go to the IPM.ucanr website to see these activities.

The Bees Are Swarming.

honey bee swarm

It was brought to our attention by MG Barbara Miller that honey bees have started to swarm.  She had a swarm enter her yard recently.  Swarming is a natural process in the life of a honey bee colony.  Swarming occurs when a large group of honey bees leaves an established colony and flies off to establish a new colony, essentially creating two from one.  Swarming is a natural method of propagation that occurs in response to crowding within the colony. Swarming usually occurs in late spring and early summer and begins in the warmer hours of the day.  Swarming is common and not dangerous.

For more information, please see http://ipm.ucanr.edu/IPMPROJECT/2012/honey-bees_2012.html



The Aphids are back.  Class Insecta, Order Hemiptera

Aphids seem to find their way into every garden. They are small, soft-bodied insects that feed by sucking the nutrient-rich liquids out of plants. In large numbers, they can weaken plants significantly, harming flowers and fruit. Aphids multiply quickly, so it’s important to get them under control before reproduction starts. Many generations can occur in one season.

Are Foggers Effective?
IPM Foggers
Foggers can be used effectively to kill pests that are flying around or resting on surfaces, like flies, but there are better long-term and more effective ways to manage these pests. Unfortunately, foggers are rarely effective for control of crawling insects like cockroaches, fleas, and bed bugs that can easily hide in crevices or beneath household items, escaping direct exposure. For best results, the active ingredients in these products must make contact with the pests. Insects that spend most of their time hiding will not be significantly affected by insect foggers. Even a small piece of fabric may be enough to protect bed bugs from the pesticide fog created by these products.
Since foggers leave a toxic residue on treated surfaces, users might see a few dead roaches after application, but many active ingredients in foggers are known to be repellent and may even drive pests deeper into wall voids and other hard-to-reach locations, sometimes even spreading them to other rooms. Pesticide resistance is another reason that insect foggers may not work. Many insect foggers contain pyrethrin or pyrethroid insecticides and some populations of household pests are known to be resistant to these pesticides.

Improper Use Can Cause Injuries

Fogger labels list the size of the space they are intended to treat but according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), overuse of foggers is common. Not only does overuse increase insecticide residue and exposure risk in the area, but the propellent used in foggers is flammable! Explosions can occur if pilot lights are not extinguished before use as instructed by the label.

Foggers can also make people sick if they're exposed. In studies by the CDC, the most commonly reported symptoms after exposure were cough, upper respiratory pain or irritation, difficulty breathing, vomiting, nausea, and abdominal pain or cramping. Most of the time, the symptoms were mild and didn't require medical treatment, but there are reports of more serious injuries and people have even died from injuries related to foggers. According to these studies, injuries frequently happen when users don't read the instructions on the label. People can be also be exposed to the insecticide if they don't leave the premises after releasing the trigger on the product or return to their homes too early.
The labels of these products also instruct users to clean all exposed surfaces after use since these products leave pesticide residues. Failure to follow these instructions can lead to health hazards. The pesticide residues can be irritating, especially to occupants with asthma or other respiratory ailments.

For Safety, Follow the Label!

If you decide to purchase foggers, it is important to read and strictly following the instructions on the product label. You need to know the size of the room you're treating before going to the store, so you know how many foggers to buy. Otherwise, be sure to measure the size of the area you are treating before you begin fogging. More pesticide is not better; more can be dangerous.
For more information and safety precautions, see the  US EPA website.
The National Pesticide Information Center also lists  considerations and limitations when using foggers, along with several other resources for more useful information.
There are many effective ways to manage insect pests in the home. You can learn more on the  UC IPM website. There you'll find practical, effective methods for controlling common household pests, without exposing yourself or other occupants of your home to pesticides.

Baby It's Cold Outside


Watch for these intruders trying to come into your warm house from your garden.

 To identify and eradicate this harmful insect, see

http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/GARDEN/VEGES/PESTS/stinkbug.html                                                                       https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_marmorated_stink_bug                                                                                        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentatomidae

Healthier Environment

University of California Master Gardeners preserve and encourage healthy environments with sustainable gardening practices, green waste reduction, and water conservation. UC Master Gardeners prevent, detect, and manage invasive and endemic species by educating communities about invasive species and safe alternatives.Below are just a few examples of the many outstanding projects developed by UC Master Gardeners throughout the state. Visit your local program website for a full listing of projects in your county. 

   Healthier Environment/click to learn more

Quick Tip Cards

Quick Tip cards may be accessed at UC IPM Online.  Choose from Ants, Aphids, Fleas, Spider Mites, Powdery Mildew, Pesticides: Safe and Effective Use in the Home and Landscape, Garden Chemicals: Safe Use and Disposal and more. 

Quick Tips Library in English

Notas Breves en Español

A Master Gardener was having issues with her apple tree. On previous years she was able to harvest bountiful bushels of delicious juicy apples from her tree from which she made fabulous deserts.  One of her pleasures as she strolled through her garden in the morning was to reach up and pluck an apple from the tree and eat it while inspecting her garden. On one particular morning as she reached up to pick an apple she noticed it had a brown spot on it. It seemed that every apple she picked had the same ugly brown spot on it. She brought it to her husband’s attention, and, like George Washington, her husband was ready to chop down that tree.
Enter the Fresno County Master Gardener IPM team.  The Master Gardener had discussed the issue with the team and described what was going on with her tree. They went through a series of questions as one might when a call is
received on the MG help line. The MG IPM team conducted research on the State Integrated Pest Management (IPM) website and found a link to what it considered might be the solution to the apple tree problem. The IPM info described precisely what was happening with the tree and offered
We’re sharing this scenario to demonstrate that the IPM site is a valuable resource for MGs and the public alike. If you haven’t already done so, we’d like to encourage you to check it out in an effort to resolve issues you may be having in your garden or family orchard. Share the site with friends and neighbors.