The University of Vermont follows Integrated Pest Management (IPM) methods in the maintenance of its campus landscape.

What is IPM?

Integrated Pest Management or IPM refers to a systems approach for managing pests in a sustainable manner. IPM is a comprehensive, ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage, through a combination of properly timed techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, and modification of cultural practices and use of resistant varieties.

University of Vermont IPM Principles

  1. We base our pest management program on preventative, non-chemical and cultural measures for control. These controls begin with selecting healthy, zone hardy, pest resistant species with a focus on proper planting techniques and maintenance practices.
  2. When applicable, physical barriers are placed to prevent plant pests from doing repeated damage. Examples include bands around trees to discourage gypsy moth defoliation, wraps around trunks of young trees to prevent damage from rodents or other animals and boulders or planting beds for turf protection.
  3. UVM Grounds staff monitor for pests as they patrol and work on campus, reporting pest activity to Grounds Management. Environmentally friendly or target specific materials are chosen to bring the amount of pest to an acceptable level.
  4. Dormant horticultural oils or insecticidal soaps may be applied to manage insects on ornamental plantings when the level of damage threatens plant heath or aesthetics.
  5. Trees and shrubs are mulched annually with bark mulch. Mulch aids in water retention, serves as a physical weed barrier and as a natural insect repellent (through the natural oil and strong fragrance). Most weeds in tree and plant beds are manually pulled and discarded.
  6. High quality lawns and athletic fields are aerated to relieve compaction with over seeding and mowing at their optimal heights to ensure health and vigor. Soil nutrient balance is maintained through the use of non-phosphorus, organic fertilizers.
  7. Irrigation is used in limited areas and monitored for correct water usage. Maintaining healthy turf reduces soil erosion and storm runoff.
  8. Many annual flowerbeds are being replaced over time with more sustainable mulched perennial flower beds.
  9. UVM maintains a database of campus trees, and this combined with our practical working knowledge of the campus landscape, is used to monitor for insects, disease and environmental stresses and aids us in our maintenance efforts.

December 2022 Revision