IPM/Mechanical Control
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Mechanical/Physical Control

Mechanical or physical control methods involve using barriers, traps, or physical removal to prevent or reduce pest problems. An example of a more common physical barrier is the window screening we use to keep pests out of our homes. Also, pests can be removed from plants physically. For example, some aphids and mites can be knocked off the foliage by spraying the plant with a stream of water. Bagworm eggs overwintering inside the bags can be removed from plants and destroyed during the winter months. You can use traps to catch certain pests, and barriers to protect plants from insect attack or disease infection. One effective method for controlling gypsy moth larvae on small numbers of trees is to put a band of folded burlap around the tree trunk to provide an artificial resting site for the caterpillars, and then destroy the caterpillars that gather there. Applying an antitranspirant spray to lilac leaves in summer to prevent infection by the spores of powdery mildew is another example of a protective barrier.

Knocking off aphids and mites with a stream of water

Another approach has been through implementing trapping by using substances attractive to the pests. It is well known that many phases of insect behavior in searching for food, egg-laying sites, and sexual partners are stimulated and controlled by chemicals. Pheromones are an important class of these chemicals that are used for communication between individuals of the same species.

Pheromones are used by many insects to locate mates, warn other insects of danger, mark trails to food, and to attract others to a specific area. These attractive substances have been very useful in IPM programs by using them as sampling and monitoring tools as well as to disrupt mating or eradicate pests in certain situations. Certain colors are very attractive to certain types of insects as well. Yellow, as an example, has been combined with sticky surfaced traps to monitor a variety of insect pests.