The City of Edmonds is committed to reducing pesticide use in its parks and has achieved a 60% reduction since 2008 by using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to park maintenance.
Using an IPM approach protects a systems’ natural balance, and keeps unnecessary chemicals out of the environment. This approach has enabled many areas within the Edmonds parks system to be managed and maintained as pesticide free.
What is Integrated Pest Management?
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a multifaceted and adaptive approach to controlling pests such as insects, rodents, weeds, and plant diseases. IPM employs physical, mechanical, biological, and evaluative processes for pest control to minimize damage to the landscape and the surrounding environment; chemical treatments are used as a last resort, and the least toxic chemicals are preferred.
An IPM approach strives to achieve long-term, sustainable prevention of pest problems through regular monitoring to determine if and when treatment is needed. Public safety and short- and long-term cost effectiveness are also considered when deciding among prevention and treatment options.
In IPM, pest control decisions are based on agreed upon Threshold and Action levels.Threshold level
: The point at which a pest population will cause unacceptable impact to public safety, natural or managed ecosystems (including aesthetic value and economic damage), or to the function or service life of facilities.Action level
: The point at which action must be taken to prevent a pest population at a specific location from reaching the Threshold level.
Keys to Successful IPM
Successful IPM both improves the look and health of our parks and reduces pesticide use. The primary keys to success using an IPM approach are:
Proper care to keep plants healthy and disease-resistant
Routine plant monitoring for early pest detection
Correct pest identification and diagnosis
Understanding pest life cycle and behaviors in order to target appropriate treatment