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Fight poultry pests proactively with IPM

Fight poultry pests proactively with IPM

By Blake Jackson

Poultry producers face a constant battle against various pests that can wreak havoc on their flocks. To win this war, a proactive approach is essential. Instead of reacting to infestations, producers should prioritize prevention through Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

Think of IPM as a toolbox filled with different tools for specific problems. The core principle is to prioritize preventative measures like maintaining a clean and dry environment. Physical barriers and controls like screens and traps further minimize pest intrusion.  Biological controls like beneficial predators can also be introduced.  Chemical pesticides are the last resort, used only when necessary to minimize environmental impact and economic costs.

This multi-pronged approach offers several advantages. Producers can choose the most effective solutions for their specific needs while minimizing harm to the environment and beneficial organisms.  Furthermore, IPM helps to prevent the development of pesticide resistance – a growing problem as pests can adapt to chemicals over time.

Pesticide resistance is particularly concerning in poultry production, where environments favor the proliferation of flies, mites, and rodents. These pests pose health risks to both birds and humans, and excessive pesticide use can contaminate the environment and harm non-target organisms.

Effective IPM relies heavily on monitoring pest populations and proper identification. Resources like Penn State Extension offer guidance on identifying and controlling common poultry pests.  Regular inspections, proper waste management, and strict biosecurity protocols are also crucial for success.

Water management is a key element, especially for fly control. Wet manure and sick birds with wet droppings create ideal breeding grounds.  Effective drainage systems and minimizing on-site wet manure help to reduce fly populations.  Proper water management also promotes overall hygiene and sanitation within poultry housing.

By reducing reliance on chemicals and adopting a holistic approach, IPM benefits extend beyond just pest control.  Producers can improve flock health and welfare, enhance food safety, minimize environmental impact, and ultimately reduce the economic burden of pest control.

For more information on this topic, contact Hannah Tiffin at or Erika Machtinger at

Photo Credit - gettyimages-wikoski

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Categories: Pennsylvania, Education, Livestock, Poultry

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