2013 Highlights: UC IPM Annual Report

Retail stores extend IPM

IPM Advocate Suzanne Bontempo uses UC IPM materials to train store employees. (Photo by A. Joseph.)


  • Garden center and nursery employees are often the first people consumers ask for pest control information.
  • UC IPM has trained 150 garden center employees in integrated pest management over the past two years.
  • Certified IPM Advocates work with stores to promote IPM and the UC IPM Web site.

UC IPM’s education programs for retail nurseries and garden centers are paying off. Recent surveys confirm that retailers are passing IPM information along to consumers we probably wouldn’t otherwise reach.

Over the past two years, UC IPM has trained about 150 employee,s representing 60 retail stores and 22 Northern California counties, in regional train-the-trainer workshops. Follow-up surveys conducted in 2013 show that about 91% of those who responded have used materials from the training to educate other store employees or customers.

Some of the major UC IPM materials that have been used include the beneficial insects poster, the UC IPM Web site, landscape pest identification cards, and printed Quick Tip cards. In 2012 and 2013, 22 stores in 9 counties also displayed a UC IPM interactive touch-screen kiosk to help customers solve their pest problems.

IPM Advocates are another major initiative to improve IPM in retail stores. These IPM consultants to retail stores, certified in 2012 through a collaboration with the Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association, continue to expand their reach and now serve about 80 Northern California retail nurseries and garden centers. Cooperating stores post UC IPM posters, distribute information about our Web site, and use other UC tools when providing customers with information about pests and pest management.

Surveys prepared for the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, which funded the program, indicate that over 76% of participating stores used the UC IPM Web site for identifying pests or solving problems, over 70% increased shelf space for green or less-toxic pest management products, and over 76% increased sales of green products in 2012.

UC IPM continues to work with retailers by providing training, a newsletter, and updated online resources. The IPM Advocates stay current with pest-related topics through UC IPM-sponsored continuing education and a collaborative Web site for communicating issues and questions within the group.

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

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