campus - Old Mill tower

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

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. This strategy also uses small amounts of organic and/or approved pesticides to minimized pest quantities only after monitoring indicates they are needed. Treatments are undertaken with the goal of controlling only target organisms to an acceptable level in specific areas. Pest control materials are selected and applied in a manner that minimizes risks to human health, beneficial non-targeted organisms and the environment while protecting landscape aesthetics preventing economic losses.

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 cedar bark, which aids in water retention, blocks weeds, and acts as an 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. Irrigation is used in limited areas and monitored for correct water usage. Health turf lessens erosion and storm runoff.
  7. Many annual flowerbeds are being replaced over time by more sustainable mulched perennial flower beds.
  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.

Updated April 4, 2019