Community integrated pest management is used to protect homes, schools, parks and public buildings from pests. Here are some of the IPM projects, innovations and research benefitting communities in the West.
- Research Tests if Warm-Weather Weevils Can Boost Biocontrol of Puncturevine
Call it puncturevine, goatheads, devil’s thorn or whatever creative collection of expletives you mutter after sitting, kneeling or stepping barefoot onto it, Tribulus terrestris is one unpleasant plant. But with funding from the Western Integrated Pest Management Center, a researcher in New Mexico is measuring the cold-hardiness of weevils from different climactic zones to see if biocontrol efforts in cool northern climes could be boosted by importing warm-weather weevils from southern deserts.
- Targeted Grazing Can Reduce Communities' Vulnerabilty to Wildfire
With the West in a state of permanent drought and under constant threat of wildfires, it’s more important than ever for land managers to control undesirable vegetation. For fire-prone communities scattered throughout the West’s tinder-dry hills and woods, it can be a matter of life and death. One tool that can help manage vegetation is grazing.
- Moab Mosquito Project Engages Residents and Visitors
Moab, Utah is known as one the nation’s premier outdoor destinations, drawing millions of visitors each year to bike on its famed slickrock trails, hike through its painted canyons or 4x4 across its rugged desert.
What Moab is not known for – and the community wants to keep it that way – is mosquitoes.
- VIDEO: Moab Mosquito Outreach and Citizen Science Project
Moab, Utah is known as one the nation’s premier outdoor destinations, drawing millions of visitors each year to bike on its famed slickrock trails, hike through its painted canyons or 4x4 across its rugged desert. What Moab is not known for – and folks want to keep it that way – is mosquitoes.
- Group Educates Health Care Providers about Pesticide-Related Illnesses
Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative-Medical produces educational materials and resources on pesticides, specifically targeting health care providers so they can recognize, treat and report pesticide-related illnesses.
- Electric Weed Control Shows Promise
Start with a heaping helping of weeds in an orchard owned by an electrical engineer, then add in a weed scientist and a dash of Western IPM Center funding. What you get is electric weed control – a promising (dare we say shocking?) new way to control weeds in certain landscapes.
- IPM Experience is Helping Schools Plan for Reopening Amid COVID Concerns
As students return to classrooms in the fall of 2020, coronavirus is very much on people’s minds. In the West, having an IPM program in place seems to be helping schools plan for reopening.
- Protecting the Trees that Protect Guam
On the island of Guam, species as different as cucumbers, sea turtles and bananas are all protected in one way or another by ironwood trees, a type of evergreen native to Australia. The problem is many of those trees are dying.
- Educating an Urban Public and Land Managers about Invasive Weeds
Having a clear, consistent message and speaking with one voice is helpful when it comes to educating the public about invasive species. Here's how the area around Portland, Oregon did it.
- 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.
- Montana in Photos: Defending the Last Best Place
The state that calls itself "The Last Best Place" has a lot to protect from pests: vast fields of wheat and barley driving its agriculture sector, miles of mountains, forests and rangeland forming an outdoor paradise, and clear rivers and lakes at the upper end of the North American watershed. Here's a look.
- IPM in New Mexico
Like many states, some of the biggest IPM challenges facing New Mexico are being caused by newly arrived invasive pests, including the Bagrada bug and spotted wing Drosophila. Here's a look at the current state of IPM in New Mexico, and some of the IPM research going on there.
- IPM in Montana
Montana is known as "The Last Best Place." An outdoor paradise, and home to wheat, barley and pulse crop production, Montana actively promotes integrated pest management to protect its agriculture and natural areas.
- VIDEO: Studying the Ecological Impacts of Firebreaks
During wildfires, crew use bulldozers to cut firebreaks to remove vegetation and prevent the fire from spreading. It's effective firefighting, but those bulldozer lines can have lasting impacts on the recovery of vegetation afterward. This video examines new research that is measuring those impacts and developing mitigations.
- Preparing for Zika in Arizona
During a 2016 outbreak of the Zika virus in Florida, it took repeated aerial pesticide sprays to kill the mosquitoes spreading the disease. Arizona has the kind of mosquito that can transmit Zika, but doesn’t allow the kind of aerial spraying Florida needed to stop the disease’s spread. And that raises a serious public-health question: If an outbreak of Zika occurred, could Arizona stop it?
- IPM in Action: Boulder City and County Battle Invasive Weeds
The city and county of Boulder, Colorado illustrate IPM perfectly. They each have weeds to manage on public land, but because their goals, weeds, acreage and approaches differ, their management differs.
- Dropping the Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine Could Impact the West
The U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has proposed lifting the domestic quarantine designed to slow the spread of emerald ash borer, an action that could speed the destructive insect’s introduction into Western states that have so far kept it at bay.
- 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.
- Preparing for the Invasion: Emerald Ash Borer in Colorado
As part of its urban planning, the city of Denver recently asked residents what they wanted most in a revitalized downtown and they chose trees. It’s a shame so many of them are about to die.
- Developing IPM Resources for Non-Ag Audiences
A new effort in Oregon aims to provide just the right amount of pest and pest-management information to homeowners, landscapers and public agencies using a responsive website.
- Learning to Manage – and Live with – Coyotes in Southern California
Forrest Gump believed life was like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get inside. It’s much the same for graduate student Danielle Martinez, except she isn’t reaching for tasty chocolates. She’s digging into coyote stomachs as part of a larger research effort studying urban wildlife in Southern California.
- VIDEO: Using IPM to Protect a Long-Vanished Community
In the Arizona desert, the National Park Service and the University of Arizona teamed up to develop an integrated pest management program to protect sensitive archaeological sites from digging pests. IPM is being used to protect a community that vanished 1,000 years ago.
- 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.
- Rooting for the Underdogs of the Pollination World
As pollinating insects, bees get all the credit – but they don’t do all the work. new research is documenting the unsung heroes of the pollinating world.
- 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.
- Death From Above: Encouraging Natural Predators
Native predators like kestrels and barn owls can play a valuable role in controlling pests not only on farms, but also in parks, golf courses and large yards and gardens. While they rarely eliminate a pest problem, they can reduce the need for pesticide use and other pest-control measures.
- 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.
- Center-Funded Website Helps Vets Treat Animals for Fleas, Ticks and Other Pests
Whether it's cattle with face flies or a dog with ticks, vets throughout the West can now easily find the available treatment options in their state thanks to a new website built with Western IPM Center funding.
- IPM Curriculum for Elementary Students Creates InPESTigators
How do you get teachers interested in integrated pest management? Turn IPM into a science curriculum they can use in their classrooms.
- 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.
- VIDEO: Learning about Insects in Anchorage
Anchorage-area sixth graders learn about forest insect ecology during the 43rd annual Outdoor Week at the Bureau of Land Management's Campbell Creek Science Center.
- IPM in Utah
Utah is one of the most urbanized states in the nation, with 90 percent of the population living on just 1.1 percent of the land. It’s also the second driest state, has alkaline soils and the risk of drought is high every year. These factors drive Utah's cropping systems - and drive the way IPM programs are developed and delivered.
- 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.
- Alaska In Photos: America's Arctic Agriculture
Alaska is huge, diverse, remote and still largely pristine. It's 2.3 times the size of Texas, with a population of just 738,000 people and 175,000 moose.
While small, the state's ag industry is important. Ornamentals, aquaculture, potatoes and cattle are top crops, and home-based and small-scale production help improve food security and diversity. Here's a little of what we saw and learned on a recent visit.
- Nevada in Photos: Fighting Invasives on Land and Lake
Nevada's state flag has the words "Battle Born" above a silver star and crossed sagebrush sprays, celebrating its creation during the American Civil War. Battle born is also a pretty good description of the efforts of many people working for state, federal and local agencies to keep invasive weeds in check in Nevada's challenging landscapes. Here's a look.
- Utah in Photos: Managing Pests in a Unique State
Utah is one of the most urbanized states in the nation, with 90 percent of the population living on just 1.1 percent of the land. It’s also the second driest state, averaging less than 10 inches of rainfall a year, and has alkaline soils with low organic matter. It’s a challenging environment to farm in. Keeping invasive pests out of Utah - and minimizing the damage they cause once they arrive - is a major focus.
- New Mexico in Photos: Loving the Land of Enchantment
In New Mexico, the chile pepper is king. Hay is grown on 40 times the acreage and pecans rack up nearly 4.5 times the farm sales, but you don’t see either of those crops on the “Welcome to New Mexico” signs as you drive into the state. You see red and green chile peppers.
Chile isn’t a crop, it’s culture. Like Florida citrus and Idaho potatoes, New Mexico’s identity is tied to a crop.
- 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.
- Pollinator Protection in the Pacific
The need to protect and conserve beneficial insects - especially pollinators - is being increasingly recognized. The Western IPM Center led the Pacific Pollinator Protection Program, a Center signature project, to help Pacific Island growers protect these valuable species.
- 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.
- Colorado battling Emerald Ash Borer with coordination and cooperation
- In Boulder, Colorado, Assistant Forester Kendra Nash was marking a dead tree for removal, when her spray-painted “X” crossed a D-shaped exit hole characteristic of the insect. The September 2013 discovery was the first in Colorado of the invasive beetle that's killed tens of millions of trees since first being detected in Michigan in 2002. Here's what's happened since.
- Washington State's Carrie Foss Promotes Education and IPM
- Whether it’s working with a school facilities manager one-on-one, or leading a recertification class for 180 pesticide applicators, there are few things Carrie Foss likes more than teaching people about integrated pest management.
- VIDEO: Urban Farm Pest Pressures and Solutions
- Learn about the pest pressures faced by urban farmers -- and how integrated pest management provides economical solutions -- with Ariel Agenbroad, Local Food & Farms Advisor with University of Idaho Extension.
- VIDEO: Where to Get Good Gardening Advice
- In this video, Ariel Agenbroad from University of Idaho offers great tips for home gardeners about where to get good pest-management advice.
- Small Farms IPM Group Finds Invaders, Opportunities and Challenges
- Bringing IPM information to small-scale farmers is a significant challenge, but one that has many potential benefits - including expanded opportunities to spot invasive pests and diseases.
- Gold Spotted Oak Borer Threatens Oak Woodlands and Ecosystems across Southern California
From San Diego County to Los Angeles County, oak trees are dying rapidly, killed by a tiny beetle called the gold spotted oak borer. In areas where the invasive pest has become established, it’s killing 80 to 90 percent of the mature oaks – a dieback that’s fundamentally changing the landscape and the ecosystem the oaks support.
- VIDEO: Gold Spotted Oak Borer, or GSOB, in Irvine Regional Park
- Weir Canyon in the Irvine Regional Park is the only known infestation of gold spotted oak borer in Orange County - and land managers are working hard to protect the park and keep the destructive beetle from spreading.
- VIDEO: Battling Bird Cherry in Anchorage
- European bird cherry, also known as the May Day tree, is one of the most pervasive invasive species in Anchorage, Alaska. Here's how it got there, and what folks are now doing to get rid of it.
- Helping Native Bees and Other Pollinators Thrive in New Mexico
Gardeners, growers, land managers, school groundskeepers and others in New Mexico now have a few new ways to help honeybees and native wild bees thrive.