Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
Updated: Jan 4, 2021
What is it? Why use it?
Integrated Pest Management is a system of utilizing multiple approaches to control pests efficiently and sustainably. It uses both preventative and reactive strategies for long term pest prevention. The Woods uses a variety of strategies to control pests and diseases. It helps prevent pests from becoming resistant to one controlled measure and allows us to create a healthier and more sustainable product.
Chemical control is one of the more common methods that people think of when they hear “pest control.” Chemical controls can be anything from restricted use pesticides to nonrestricted plant-based sprays. Chemical controls can come in the form of liquid sprays, drenches, granular applications, pellet applications, and more. They can be applied as a preventative measure before a pest problem arises, or as reactive measures to control already present pests. At The Woods, we don’t use any restricted use pesticides. Instead, we selectively apply plant-based sprays and beneficial microbes that target specific pests; they work synergistically with the rest of the Integrated Pest Management tactics we employ.
The cultural control method involves controlling the environment around the plants so that pests and disease cannot become established. This is due to the environment being optimal for plant growth but suboptimal for pests. For example, fine-tuning watering schedules so plants are getting the exact amount of water they need can prevent problems like overwatering. Overwatered plants are susceptible to diseases since their roots are sitting in wet soil with low oxygen levels; a perfect place for plant pathogenic fungi and bacteria to reproduce. We control our indoor cultivation space with state-of-the-art environmental systems to deliver the exact amount of water, light, humidity, and airflow that our plants need. This minimizes the ability of pests to become established.
Biological controls are the use of natural enemies to help contain and eradicate pests and pathogens. We employ the use of several different helpful organisms throughout the life cycle of our plants as part of our Integrated Pest Management strategy. Natural enemies are microbes and insects that prey on or compete with pest organisms. They simulate how biodiversity controls pests in a balanced ecosystem as a way of keeping our plants clean, healthy, and productive.
Preventative Testing and Monitoring
One of the most important parts of a good IPM strategy is a constant vigilance for problems and establishing thresholds for when it’s time to take action. All grow facilities are required to test their products as part of regulatory measures. Although, The Woods will go above and beyond to provide safe and healthy products. In addition to maintaining a sanitary environment, we also work in conjunction with North Coast Testing Laboratories to perform preventative environmental testing. This includes testing of our facility surfaces, materials, and water in order to diagnose any possible microbial or chemical contaminants before they are able to reach our product. In addition, we perform regular scouting for pests, insects, and diseases so we can ensure our plants remain healthy and produce high quality bud.
At The Woods, we pride ourselves with the sanitation procedures in place in order to ensure quality product. Employees working closely with our products must be in full PPE gear. Everyone is required to wear a hair net and men are required to wear a beard net if applicable. We have designated locker rooms for employees to keep all their personal clothes separate from their work clothes. As employees go in and out of different rooms filled with our product, they are required to change their shoe protectors, gloves, and lab coats. We do this to make sure there is no cross contamination between rooms. Regardless of where you are in the facility, all employees are required to wear a mask at all times. This process not only helps keep pests and disease from moving into and around our facility, but also helps us maintain cleaner, higher-quality products.