Definition: The point at which pest populations reach a critical level that causes damage, necessitating pest control action.
Action Threshold in the Forest Garden:
A pest presence in agricultural systems, including Forest Gardens, is an inevitability. It is virtually impossible to keep all insect pests, mites and arthropods out of your sites – and that’s okay. Healthy, diverse Forest Gardens can tolerate small populations of pests, but if these populations begin to grow, a farmer will need to assess the situation and decide whether to take additional measures to avoid further infestation or crop loss.
Through regular scouting, practitioners should identify the presence of pests early. Then, the farmer should ask a series of important questions:
Is this pest likely to create a major problem?
Is irreparable damage being done?
Could the crop be lost?
Would it be financially wise to invest in other solutions instead of losing a potential harvest?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, a Forest Gardener will determine that their action threshold has been met and pest control should be taken immediately. In all cases, the earlier that pests are identified and monitored, the easier it will be to determine if an action threshold has been met and to act before it is too late.