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2008 Annual Report

UC Statewide IPM Program

Extending IPM to urban audiences

This year, UC IPM has continued to expand and create a variety of products including free online training for retail employees, Quick Tip pest cards, UC IPM kiosks, a 3-minute home and garden Web page video tour, and educational materials about safe ant management for school and building employees and landscape professionals.

Reaching urban audiences with science-based information about how to manage pests is a key goal of the urban and community IPM program. Urban audiences are diverse, often requiring different content or delivery methods. UC IPM resources help consumers, Master Gardeners, retail garden center employees, landscapers, park and recreation employees, and public agency professionals to tackle pest problems wisely, without harming the environment.

  1. Free, online training for retail employees. Although retail clerks in garden centers and other stores are ranked among the top sources for consumer information on home pest management, most store employees have little or no IPM training. In spring 2008, UC IPM released Introduction to Pesticides for Retail Employees, the first of two online courses designed to reach these audiences so that they will be better able to convey IPM information to consumers. In just 40 minutes, the online pesticide course instructs retail managers, or their employees, on how to direct customers to least-toxic products and how to review pesticide labels, choose an appropriate product, safely use and store pesticides, or clean up spills. The training includes video clips, photos, and quizzes designed to reinforce key points. In the six months since its release, more than 300 people have taken the class, including retail employees, landscape professionals, and Master Gardeners. Each person finishing the course receives a certificate of completion. A second online course on IPM will be available in early 2009. The course will focus on educating retailers about IPM tools that are sold in nurseries or garden stores so that employees will know how and when to use them and recommend them to customers. Procedures and tools that prevent pest problems, such as caulking cracks in buildings, planting resistant plants, or applying mulches, will be highlighted. The course also will give tips on pest identification and problem diagnosis. Go to the training page and click on the link under "Online training."
  1. Quick Tip pest cards are a key outreach product for IPM information in California, with close to half a million distributed statewide since 2005. Over 100,000 of these cards were distributed by Master Gardeners and UC Cooperative Extension offices in 2008. There are 33 titles in English and 28 in Spanish. New titles printed in 2008 include ground squirrel, house mouse, IPM and beneficial insects, mosquitoes, peach leaf curl, powdery mildew, spider mites and thrips. Visit Quick Tips, or ask your local UC Master Gardeners for copies.
  1. UC IPM kiosks. The IPM kiosks are portable, touch-screen computers that help consumers get quick and environmentally sound answers to common home and garden pest problems. Since April 2007, kiosks have been used by retail stores, as well as by UC Master Gardener programs, at county fairs, home and garden shows, libraries, and other locations in more than 30 counties across the state. In 2008, the kiosks were updated with information on new pests, videos, and printable handouts. Users can find information on more than 60 common home and garden pests, including identification and management, alternatives to pesticides and least-toxic pest control, as well as safe use and disposal of pesticides. The kiosks also include lawn and landscape tips related to proper watering, fertilizing, and avoiding problems associated with garden chemicals. The kiosks were developed in cooperation with UCCE San Diego. With four new kiosks added in 2008, UC IPM now has 19 units that are moved frequently to new sites around the state. Visit the Kiosk page for current locations, and dates.
  1. Web page video tour. In response to popular demand, UC IPM has created a 3-minute, narrated video tour of the UC IPM home and garden Web pages. The tour gives users a quick, animated review of how to find information about home and landscape pests. Gardeners, residents, and landscape professionals can learn to use the site to identify pests on hundreds of plants and get the latest UC suggestions for managing them. In 2008, more than a dozen Pest Notes were updated or added including new Pest Notes on woody weed invaders, invasive weeds, brooms, dallisgrass, squash bugs, biological control and soil solarization. Click on Take the Tour.
  1. Managing Ants. More pesticide applications are made to manage ants than any other residential pest in California. But, perimeter treatments of pyrethroids for ant management have been suggested as a key source of aquatic toxicity in urban creeks. UC IPM is developing an outreach program to help consumers learn to manage ants, integrating preventive measures and baits. For those who prefer to use a pest control professional, UC IPM has created a tip card of questions consumers can ask to assure that an IPM program is followed. UC IPM, including IPM Advisor Cheryl Wilen, is working closely with the Urban Ant Pest Management Alliance coordinated by Mike Rust at UC Riverside to demonstrate low-risk ant management strategies to local pest control professionals.
  1. IPM for Schools and Building Maintenance. In 2008, UC IPM made available to the public a set of DVDs on principles of IPM, ant management, weed management, and cockroach management that can be used to train building maintenance or pest control employees on how to manage pests with IPM. Programs include videos, review exercises, handouts, and hands-on activities that can be used to carry out a comprehensive training. Originally developed for use in California Department of Pesticide Regulation's IPM for Schools training program and distributed to almost all public school districts in California, the training program’s public release was sparked by requests from out-of-state IPM for School programs and other building managers. See IPM in Schools Training DVDs.
  1. Resources for Landscape Professionals. Landscape pest management professionals have long used the UC IPM Web site, Pest Notes, and the publication, Pests of Landscape Trees and Shrubs, now in its second printing. However, the UC IPM program has two other resources for this audience that are scheduled for release early in 2009. One is a pocket-sized set of 48 landscape pest identification cards. The other is a new publication, Lawn and Residential Pest Control, for maintenance gardeners who use pesticides as an incidental part of their jobs maintaining lawns and landscapes. This will be volume 8 of the Pesticide Applicator Compendium series.

For more information on any of these programs, contact UC IPM Associate Director for Urban and Community IPM Mary Louise Flint, at (530) 752-7692 or by e-mail.

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