Here are summaries of some of the IPM research, innovations and projects going on in Arizona, or benefitting Arizona agriculture, communities and natural areas. Projects listed here are not necessarily funded by the Western IPM Center.


IPM Helps Makes Golf Courses Green

There was a time when golf courses were expected to look perfect – lush green flawless fairways, spotless smooth putting greens, shimmering water hazards and no weeds in sight. Some players still expect unnatural perfection and judge courses by their looks. But a growing number – especially younger players – judge courses by their environmental practices as well, an area where most courses have made dramatic improvements over the past 10 to 20 years. Integrated pest management is integral to those improvements.

Protecting a Long-Vanished Community with IPM

The practices and principles of integrated pest management are used across the country to protect communities from pests. And in the Arizona desert, those same principles are being used to protect a community that disappeared 600 years ago.

School District Creates a Healthier Environment by Adopting IPM

Every day, nearly 7,000 students come to the Maricopa Unified School District’s six elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school outside Phoenix, Arizona. They’re joined on the campuses by more than 800 teachers and other employees. And every one of those people comes to schools that are healthier to learn in and teach in because the district embraced integrated pest management.

Using IPM Techniques to Battle Bed Bugs in Public Housing

Public housing presents unique pest-management challenges, including rapid turnover of residents, language and cultural barriers and even second-hand clothing and furniture. And those pest problems – especially when bedbugs are involved – can lead residents to resort to some pretty drastic and harmful pest control strategies.

Tribal Bed Bug Workshop Dispels Myths

There is a lot of fear about bed bugs, and a stigma surrounding them that can keep some people from seeking help with a bed bug infestation. But bed bugs have been hanging around humans for a long time and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. 

New Guide Helps Land Managers Control Medusahead

As an ecosystem-transformer species, medusahead is among the worst weeds. Not only does it compete for resources with more desirable species, but it changes ecosystem function to favor its own survival at the expense of the entire ecosystem.

Grazing Guidelines for Noxious Weed Control

Researchers, ranchers, and land managers know that livestock grazing can be a valuable and selective noxious-weed management tool, and this guide summarizes all the effective techniques.

Hill-Climbing Cows May Bring Big Benefits to Western Rangeland and Ranchers

Conventional wisdom says cows don’t go up steep slopes. They don’t climb hills and don’t travel very far from water. But some cows never got that memo, and researchers are looking into whether naturally hill-climbing cows can provide production and environmental benefits in the rugged West.

VIDEO: Gold Spotted Oak Borer, or GSOB, in Southern California

The gold spotted oak borer is a tiny beetle causing huge damage in Southern California. It infests the region's towering oak species - coast live oak and canyon live oak - and can kill a centuries-old tree in just a year or two. This video follows the beetle from San Diego to Los Angeles counties to see what damage it's doing and what many fear may come next.

Protecting Kids from Pests and Pesticides by Promoting IPM in Schools

Both pests and pesticides in schools can pose a health risk to children, so promoting IPM practices in schools is doubly important. That's why the Western IPM Center has been helping Western researchers develop regional resources and promote school IPM.

School IPM Protects Kids from Pests and Pesticides

Both pests and pesticides are potentially harmful for kids and adults in schools. Common schools pests like the German cockroach or mice can carry disease and cause allergic responses. And children can be more at risk for harm from sprayed pesticides because of their behavior – playing on the floor or in grassy fields, for instance – and because of their developing physiology.

Progress against Onion Pests

An update to the Pest Management Strategic Plan for dry bulb storage onions shows progress against thrips and Iris yellow spot virus, but still challenges to overcome.

Spray Reductions in Cotton

For the past 15 years, researchers have been tracking pesticide use on cotton fields in the Southwest, and the reductions they've documented have been nothing short of remarkable.

Boosting Invasive Species Cooperation Using Zebra Chip as a Model

When an invasive species is first detected in an area, the initial response is critical. Like with a cancer, the correct early detection and response can make a big difference in controlling the spread and severity of the outbreak.

Can an Economic Model Show Growers the Importance of Reducing the Weed Seed Bank?

How important is it to keep weed seeds out of vegetable fields? Mexico State University's Brian Schutte recently looked at that very question. Funded by the Western IPM Center, Schutte studied one particular weed, tall morning glory, in Southwest chile pepper fields, and developed an economic model growers can use to see for themselves how managing the weed seed bank can help their operations.

IPM Adoption is Widespread in the West

Many integrated pest management practices are so widely adopted in Western agriculture they have become conventional pest management. That is one of the key findings of a new report by the Western Integrated Pest Management Center titled Adoption and Impacts of Integrated Pest Management in Agriculture in the Western United States.

Decoding Chemical Communications to Control Insects

University of California, Riverside chemical ecologist Jocelyn Millar identifies the chemical signals insects use to communicate, then synthesizes versions of them to help monitor, trap or disrupt their activities. Lygus bug is just one of dozens of species Millar and his team are working on. The common thread is that they all communicate chemically, and decoding those chemical signals can create new ways to control those species where they are pests.

Toolkit for Assessing IPM Outcomes and Impacts

The Western IPM Center’s IPM Adoption and Impacts Assessment Work Group, a collection of natural and social scientists from across the country, created online resources showing IPM researchers how to conduct basic impact assessments.

Water Quality Protection

To protect water sources from pollution by pesticides, one of the first Western IPM Center signature projects created training materials for proper pesticide application for agriculture, professional landscapers and homeowners. In a little more than one year, the slides were downloaded 106 times in 20 U.S. states and one Canadian province, and used to train more than 1,400 people.

South American Palm Weevil

The South American palm weevil is a serious palm pest in its native range in Mexico, Central and South America. It is highly likely that the insect has established permanent populations in southern San Diego County in an area that ranges, at least, from San Ysidro to Chula Vista.