Integrated Pest Management

October 2010

Commitment to Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective and sustainable approach to managing structural and landscape pests (insects, weeds, diseases). IPM uses comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment to manage pest damage with the least hazard to people, property, and the environment. The College is committed to using Integrated Pest Management programs and procedures for control of structural and landscape pest across all areas of campus.

IPM Control Methods

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) emphasizes prevention and elimination of pest conditions. In the IPM process, monitoring and interpretation of data collected provides estimates of pest populations in a given area. Monitoring allows accurate decisions to be made about what type of intervention measures may be needed and when is the optimum time to apply them.

When chemical pesticides are necessary, a preference is given to materials and methods that maximize public safety and reduce environmental risk.

IPM controls include cultural, physical, biological, and chemical methods.

  1. Cultural: plant selection to meet conditions of site, proper maintenance of soil chemistry – pH & fertility, soil moisture, pruning, mulching; also includes avoidance of situations that create favorable conditions for pests
  2. Physical – removal of insects at various stages when numbers permit
  3. Biological – use of beneficial insects, nematodes, fungal and bacterial agents that feed on, control or inhibit growth/spread/ development of various plant pests.
  4. Chemical – use of synthetic pesticides, and may include organic, natural or inorganic materials applied as sprays, powders, granules, etc.

The above list is prioritized from first defense to last resort, realizing that there may not be options within each of the above approaches in dealing with each pest.

Additional methods for IPM Control of Structural Pests include:

  1. Building design and maintenance – preventing pest entrance through placement and maintenance of structural barriers and eliminating harborage areas.
  2. Building operations – preventing pest entrance through open doors or windows and the introduction of pests on materials brought into the building, and maintaining sanitation levels to avoid conditions attractive to pests.

Landscape and Horticultural IPM Implementation

Implementation of IPM for the MHC Greenhouse, Gardens and Grounds will be supervised by the following MHC staff and use the step listed below. 

Greenhouse – managed by Greenhouse Supervisors and includes Talcott Greenhouse complex and Biology Department greenhouse attached to Clapp Laboratory

Gardens – managed by Greenhouse Supervisors and include the following areas:

  • Class of 1904 Garden, Virginia ‘Tim’ Craig Rhododendron Garden
  • Drue Matthews Garden, Greenhouse foundation plantings/gardens
  • MHC Nursery Coldframes adjacent to Talcott Greenhouse
  • Willits Courtyard, Willits Entrance Garden
  • Newhall Courtyard, Ciruti Courtyard, Chapel Garden, President’s House gardens & plantings

Grounds – managed by Grounds Supervisor and includes all outside areas not included under areas of responsibility for Greenhouse Supervisors

Gorse Children's Center at StonyBrook – exterior pests reports in the vicinity of this building will be referred to Minuteman Pest Control Co. as described in the IPM Plans specific to this location.

  1. Planning and site/plant selection
    1. effective pest management begins with proper planning and design
    2. characteristics of site need to be evaluated, including light, soil type, soil chemistry, drainage, site use, seasonal issues such as snow slides from roofs, snow plowing and special events
    3. The Grounds Supervisor will be largely responsible for plant and site selection for grounds plantings.
  2. Monitoring
    1. detection, monitoring, and observation of pest problems and conditions to conducive to the development of pest problems are key to effective IPM program
    2. all Greenhouse, Gardens, and Grounds staff will report pest seen to the appropriate supervisor for evaluation
  3. Identification of pests
    1. identification of problems is critical to determining how best a pest/problem should be dealt with
    2. this will also result in a better understanding of the life cycle of a pest, what conditions (nutrient levels, soil characteristics, weather, etc.) favor the development of the pest
    3. correct identification avoids treating abiotic problems, (e.g. nutrient deficiencies, various physiological conditions, etc.) as if they were biotic problems
  4. Assessment of damage and potential for further damage
    1. thresholds will determine at what point a pest problem needs to be addressed; threshold levels will vary depending on the pest, the plant or site being affected, time of year, etc.
    2. not all pests cause enough damage to warrant any treatment
    3. assessment is closely related to results of monitoring and identification
  5. Control approach will be chosen from the control methods described above (cultural, physical, biological, chemical). Avoiding the conditions, situations and stresses that can lead to pest problems, as well as various health problems is just as, if not more, important than actual control measures. This concept is included in “cultural”.
  6. Reporting/Recording
    1. all EPA registered pesticides are to be recorded by each applicator indicating application date; product used; EPA registration number; site, crop pest and/or area treated; amount of concentrate applied (Greenhouse and Gardens staff can record in a centralized log book, and Grounds staff can record in a separate log book)
    2. notes will be compiled by the supervisory staff on IPM non-pesticide practices used
    3. an annual meeting will be scheduled by the Director of Environmental Health & Safety to review IPM implementation on campus
  7. Warning Signs
    1. Areas treated with EPA registered pesticides will be marked with clear and conspicuous signs along the perimeter.

Structural IPM Implementation

All reports of interior or exterior building pests are referred to Minuteman Pest Control Co. Minuteman will conduct inspections, identify the pests, monitor the population, make recommendations and implement control practices in accordance with IPM principles.

A log book of all Minuteman activities on campus is kept at Facilities Management. In addition to complaint response, Minuteman conducts monthly inspections of potential harborage areas including kitchens and basements.

All interior applications of pesticides proposed by Minuteman as a result of their investigation of alternatives must be approved by the Director of Environmental Health & Safety, the Facilities Management Manager of Cleaning Services, or the Facilities Management Co-Directors of Operations.

Over-the-Counter Pesticides

No over-the-counter pesticides will be stored or used on campus without supervision of Minuteman or the Gardens, Grounds, or Greenhouse supervisor, with the exception of mosquito/tick repellants. Use of non-toxic products such as “Victor Hornet Spray”, antimicrobials (disinfectants), and pest control devices (e.g., mouse traps) are not restricted by this Plan.

Additional Information

For additional information, please contact the Director of Environmental Health & Safety.