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2011 Highlights: UC IPM Annual Report

UC assists Orange County Parks with pest management services
Irrigation systems are checked at a park in Orange County. Managing water use and patterns in concert with implementing IPM will reduce pesticide and fertilizer runoff into waterways. Photo by Rene Orta, UC ANR.

UC assists Orange County Parks with pest management services

IN BRIEF

  • Orange County Parks Department contracts with UC to advise on sound IPM practices.
  • UC trains county staff on safe and effective pesticide use.

The Orange County Parks department is tapping into UC expertise to improve its insect, weed, and water management. The department has contracted with a team of UC academics—including UC IPM Advisor Cheryl Wilen, Cooperative Extension advisors John Kabashima, Darren Haver, and Carl Bell, and other researchers—for a wide range of pest and water management services that include field visits to county facilities, employee training and continuing education, assessments of current programs, research, and sound advice.

Wilen is facilitating the development of guidelines for applicators to use before they apply herbicides, to be compatible with an IPM program. An important feature of the guidelines is a protocol for determining whether any sensitive or endangered species may be in the area, plus information to help applicators make good decisions about actions that may impact those species, including the use and timing of pesticides. The guidelines are being presented in an easy-to-use booklet that includes color photos of sensitive species.

In another project, Wilen and Kabashima trained county staff preparing to take the California qualified pesticide applicator exam. A qualified applicator license or certificate is required by anyone applying pesticides on county property. While the department contracts with private companies for most pesticide applications, they recognize that park employees should be trained about the appropriate use and safety of pesticides and be a source of information for the public when applications are done.

The overall contract touches on many other aspects of pest management, including review of landscape maintenance contracts and other ongoing management programs, pesticide use reporting, bee and yellowjacket control in picnic areas, good pruning of citrus trees, and management of redgum lerp psyllids and the recently introduced Bagrada bugs in parks. The contract is in its second year and is renewable for three more.

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Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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