At least half the pesticides used in California are applied in urban or residential areas, targeting pests that infest landscape plants and other outdoor areas. Landscape professionals and gardeners who manage outdoor pests and problems often don’t know what problems to anticipate and things to look for from season to season.
Associate Director for Urban and Community IPM, Karey Windbiel-Rojas, working with UC IPM Writer Steve Dreistadt, and a team of UCCE advisors, specialists, UC Master Gardeners, and other staff, helped create a regional and seasonal checklist to help landscape professionals and gardeners find pest-specific IPM information.
This seasonal checklist guides users through the activities they need to implement an IPM program throughout the year in their regions. The checklist is linked to relevant information on specific landscape pests, diagnostic aids, horticultural notes, and other helpful resources. Users can subscribe to receive monthly emails about what pests and activities to consider in their regions. They can also download a PDF of the monthly checklist to use as a guide in the landscape or to provide to clients.
The checklist is part of a landscape professionals web portal page that features a diagnostic tool, pesticide information, links to online and in-person training programs, and access to the UC IPM Green Bulletin e-newsletter.
The landscape checklist increases a gardener or landscape professional’s knowledge of pest management practices and can assist them in making IPM decisions. Windbiel-Rojas plans to increase awareness of the checklist through training and other outreach, with the ultimate goal of better connecting urban audiences with UC IPM’s online information to solve their pest problems.
Prevention is an important component of an IPM program and the checklist delivers prevention practices by providing an easy means to know what to do and when. Employing timely IPM practices such as cultural control, mechanical control, and biological control can help reduce the application of pesticides in landscapes, thereby keeping pesticides out of nearby waterbodies.