Integrated Pest Management
IPM for Public Landscapes
Biological control makes use of beneficial organisms such as predators, parasites and disease-causing bacteria, viruses, fungi or nematodes to control pests.
Genetic control means using plants that have been selected or genetically manipulated to become resistant or less susceptible to pests. This is frequently called host plant resistance (HPR)and is considered by landscape managers as one of the most important tactics available to them. Some plants that can be used for genetic control are:
Mechanical or physical control methods involve using barriers or traps to prevent or reduce pest problems.
Government agencies can prevent or slow the spread of pests through quarantines, a method of inspecting plants and foods that are transported between states and countries. This same principle of regulatory control applies to all landscape managers and even homeowners. A good landscape manager will avoid introducing new pests into a landscape by inspecting plants before purchasing and planting. You should inspect plant materials for such pests as:
Although this is sometimes the last tactic considered, chemical control may be the only way to quickly and effectively keep a particular pest in check. Remember to always read the label before purchasing and using a pesticide. Timing of pesticide applications is also very critical. Chemical controls include:
Tony Nold, President of Horticultural Design and Development
Former Landscape Supervisor
Kentucky Kingdom Amusement Park, Louisville, Kentucky
|“To keep landscape plants looking good and healthy, it’s important to use plants that are tough. You must choose plants that are resistant to pests and disease and that can take the environmental conditions that a public area can dish out. With plantings so close to guests and food stands in the area, we have to reduce pesticide applications. We train our employees in IPM methods so they can identify different pest problems and recognize beneficial insects. We have been able to reduce our pest management costs without reducing quality. I think that’s what IPM is all about.”|
Vickey Hypes, Landscape Manager
Kentucky State Fairgrounds and Exposition Center, Louisville, Kentucky
|“Healthy and attractive plants make a good impression. And with over five million people coming through our gates annually, public safety and timing of pest management activities are critical. One of the best aspects of IPM is being able to use a safer chemical to achieve the same control of a pest. Everyone involved benefits—-the applicator, the general public, and the environment. To cut down even further on chemicals, as we make replacements we choose plant materials that are less susceptible to insects and diseases. IPM is a real bonus for any facility.”|
Steve Foltz, Horticulturist
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden
|“A lot of our plantings are done in naturalistic settings where there is a wide variety of plant material. That way, a pest attack on any one plant is not so noticeable. We train our staff to recognize problems early, and have refresher courses every time a new disease or insect pest crops up. IPM is very cost-effective. Our chemical bill is next to nothing, especially with the help of beneficial insects. IPM is a common sense approach to pest management using high quality plant materials, planted in the right places and properly maintained.”|
Leslie Isaacs, Horticulturist
Churchill Downs, Louisville
|“At Churchill Downs, we have to be concerned not only about the public, but also some million-dollar race horses. We have to be very careful about how we manage our pests to make sure the environment is safe for everyone. To me, IPM advocates the best management practices available to keep chemical usage to a minimum and to promote biodiversity and the environment. That’s the aspect of IPM I like best—not having to rely heavily on chemicals to control pests in the landscapes and the greenhouses. For me, it’s very workable.”|
Eddie Atherton, Supervisor of Landscapes
City of Owensboro, Kentucky
|“Because we’re trying to maintain a lot of areas in the City of Owensboro with minimal help, host plant resistance is a major factor in selecting plant materials. We have over 90 flower beds that are maintained as seasonal displays and another 140 locations of landscape plantings, city buildings and parks. Our employees are familiar with identifying pests and they check flower bed locations weekly. We watch our methods of pest management, too, keeping in mind that on the weekends a park may be full of families having picnics or playing. I started learning about IPM several years ago and I like to think of it as a common sense approach for us.”|
IPM is successful because landscape managers at public areas are committed to using the safest, most effective and economical approach to pest management—- the common sense choice.
IPM is not just for public landscapes. Use the IPM approach in your home landscaping by following these tips:
Learn more about IPM on the World Wide Web. Following are some sites that have more information about IPM. Many of them have links to other useful sites.
For more information on how to use landscape IPM, contact your county Cooperative Extension Service Office.
Prepared by Monte P. Johnson, Extension Specialist, University of Kentucky, and Joe Boggs, Commercial Horticulture Agent, Ohio State University Extension.
Reviewed by Ric Bessin, Douglas Johnson, and John Hartman, University of Kentucky.
Original pamphlet produced by the Public Relations and Marketing Section of Agricultural Communications Services.
Supported by a grant from the University of Kentucky IPM Program.
All photos except gypsy moth image courtesy of M. P. Johnson, copyright, 1999. Gypsy moth photo courtesy of United States Forest Service.
Original document: 12 July1999