Managing the University of Vermont Landscape through IPM
The University of Vermont follows an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach in the maintenance of its campus grounds. This is a comprehensive, ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation and modification of cultural practices and the use of resistant varieties. Low toxicity pesticides are applied only after monitoring indicates they are needed. Treatments are undertaken with the goal of removing only target organisms. Pest control materials are selected and applied in a manner that minimizes risks to human health, beneficial and non-targeted organisms and the environment.
Our IPM Principles:
- 1) We base our pest management program on cultural control. Cultural controls begin with selecting healthy, zone hardy, pest resistant species with a focus on proper planting techniques and maintenance practices.
- 2) Where feasible, we use physical controls (barriers) to prevent plant pests from doing repeated damage. Examples include bands around trees to discourage gypsy moth invasion or barriers around the trunks of young trees to prevent damage from rodents and other animals.
- 3) In-house grounds staff monitors for pests as they patrol the campus and report any pest issues they discover to their Grounds Manager. The Manager (or one of her supervisors) determines the best corrective action. If all other methods are exhausted and a pesticide treatment is needed, the impacts to the environment dictate which product is chosen.
- 4) Dormant horticultural oils are applied to manage insects on high quality ornamental plantings.
- 5) Trees and shrubs are mulched annually with cedar bark, which aids in water retention, blocks weeds, and acts as an insect repellant (through the natural oil and strong fragrance).
- 6) High quality lawns and athletic fields are aerated to maintain soil tilth and over seeded to ensure health and vigor. Soil nutrient balance is maintained through the use of non-phosphorus, organic fertilizers.
- 7) Many annual flowerbeds are being replaced over time by more sustainable perennial flowerbeds.
- 8) UVM maintains an inventory of all campus trees. This inventory, together with our knowledge of the University landscape is used to monitor for insects, disease and environmental stresses and aids us in our maintenance efforts.