Research and IPM

Grants Programs: Extension IPM Demonstration


Bilingual Urban IPM Training for Child Care Providers and Parents in Contra Costa County

The problem:
When pesticides are used inside child care facilities and homes, children, providers, and parents are potentially exposed to hazardous levels. Children are more likely than adults to be exposed through dermal contact with pesticides as a result of crawling on the floor or through oral contact as a result of placing contaminated objects in their mouths. Research indicates that children exposed to pesticides have dramatically increased risk of certain cancers. Pesticides used in homes and gardens also contribute to non-point pollution in waterways.

What was done:
Project leaders developed a workshop to be given in both English and Spanish to daycare providers and parents to

  • Increase their understanding of health risks to children exposed to readily available residential pesticides which are often sold in supermarkets.
  • Increase their understanding of health risks pregnant women incur when exposed to pesticides.
  • Enable them to correctly identify some very common household pests—ants, bedbugs, cockroaches, fleas, head lice, spiders, mice and rats.
  • Educate them on IPM techniques that they can use for a less toxic way to control those pests.
  • Increase their ability to safely use and dispose of pesticides to reduce residential runoff into streams and waterways.

Leaders gave eight 2-hour workshops for daycare center employees and parents, in both English and in Spanish. Leaders used UC IPM Quick Tips on a variety of pest management subjects, as well as other materials, as handouts.

Results and outcomes:
Exit questionnaires identified 2 new pieces of information participants learned from the workshop. A sampling of responses:

  • Don’t spray Raid inside my house because the spray lands everywhere.
  • I can manage ants with soap and water.
  • Wear gloves when using chemicals so that I don't put the chemicals onto my children when I touch them.
  • I learned how to get rid of cockroaches and head lice.

Project leaders:
Shelley Murdock, 4-H Youth Development Advisor, UCCE Contract Costa County
Emma Connery, Master Gardener Program Coordinator, UCCE Contra Costa County

Determining and demonstrating effective trapping strategies for gophers to promote trapping as part of an IPM approach

The problem:
Pocket gophers (Thomomys spp.) cause extensive damage to numerous crops, golf courses, recreational areas, and homeowner yards in California annually. Trapping has been widely used to control small populations of gophers in California for over a century. However, much ambiguity still exists with respect to trap types and trapping methodology for gophers.

What was done:
We tested two factors of high importance to address some of these issues: 1) trap type (Macabee vs. Gophinator), and 2) covering trap-sets versus leaving trap-sets uncovered. Additionally, we tested the influence of gopher size, gender, and season on trap success.

Results were presented and demonstrated at a number of sites and through several publications throughout California.

Results and outcomes:
We found that Gophinator traps outperformed Macabee traps, primarily due to their ability to capture larger gophers; season and gender had no influence on these results.

  • We found no significant difference in capture success for covered versus uncovered trap-sets, although covered sites did give slightly higher capture rates during spring/early summer than during autumn.
  • Gender and weight did not influence these results.
  • Covered sites took significantly longer to set; therefore, unless concerned about non-target captures, we recommend leaving trap-sets uncovered as uncovered sites are effective yet quicker to set.

Initial feedback has indicated an increase in knowledge and positive attitude towards the incorporation of trapping into an IPM gopher control program.

Project leaders:
Roger A. Baldwin, IPM Advisor, UC IPM/Kearney Agricultural Center
Daniel B. Marcum, Farm Advisor, Shasta and Lassen counties
Steve B. Orloff, County Director and Farm Advisor, Siskiyou County
Stephen J. Vasquez, Farm Advisor, Fresno County
Cheryl A Wilen, IPM Advisor, San Diego County

On-site Disposal of Invasive Plant Materials: IPM Solar Tent Demonstration

The problem:
In difficult-to-access sites, especially in riparian areas and canyons, disinfesting biomass as part of invasive plant removal is a problem. Reaching most of these sites requires hiking through brush and rough terrain. Once an invasive plant population is cut down, it has to be hauled out of the area to avoid spreading plant propagative materials or reinfesting the site.

What was done:
This project demonstrated tent solarization, a process developed by Jim Stapleton, as a way to disinfest invasive plant biomass of propagative material on site. Our demonstration consisted of constructing three solar tents: one in Riverside, one in Del Mar, and one in Lakeside in interior San Diego County. Local invasive plant material was collected at each site. Some material was put into the tent, and control samples were saved for greenhouse germination tests. In all cases, where we had seed that would germinate, the solar tent killed all of the seed.

The Lakeside location was set up as a field demonstration. With the help of local volunteer “weed warriors” we constructed a tent as an example. The following week, we organized a field day at the site and invited our clientele to attend. At the field day, we described the process and built another tent with their assistance. We then deconstructed the first tent and showed them the results—a mushy mass of heated plant material. We recorded the process on video for use in slide shows and on the UC YouTube Channel.

Results and outcomes:
From the three demonstration tents we collected data on the effect of the tenting on six invasive plant species. While no seed emerged in greenhouse trays from any of the solar tents, only three of the species germinated from control samples, so data is limited to these three species. One site, in Lakeside, CA, was used as a demonstration site for clientele, with about 25 people attending.

Results were presented and demonstrated at a number of sites and through several publications throughout California.

We have developed a slide show presentation on the process, which has been converted to a PDF file.

Project leaders:
Carl Bell, Invasive Plants Advisor, San Diego County
Jim Stapleton, IPM Plant Pathologist, UC IPM/Kearney Agricultural Center
Milt McGiffen, CE Specialist, Botany & Plant Sciences, UC Riverside

Sustainable Practices to Manage Root-knot Nematodes in Tomato

The problem:
Root-knot nematodes are common in many vegetable gardens, particularly on sandier soils, and they can cause obvious symptoms and crop damage. Tomato is probably the most popular vegetable grown by home gardeners.

What was done:
The project was focused on testing different nonchemical practices to manage root-knot nematodes in tomato. The methods evaluated were 1) growing nematode-antagonistic cover crops before tomato, 2) soil-solarization, and 3) using nematode-resistant tomato varieties. All three methods were tested separately as well as in combination. The trial was done in micro-plots, heavily infested with root-knot nematodes, at the UCR Agricultural Operations in Riverside. At the end of the trial the tomato yields were determined.

Results and outcomes:
Marigold before tomato was most effective in reducing the nematodes Growing nematode-resistant tomato was the most effective method to mitigate nematode damage. Resistant tomato yielded on average 3 times more than the susceptible tomato. The worse was growing susceptible tomato with no previous cover crop (yield: 0.5 kg), whereas growing an oil radish (var. TerraNova) followed by the resistant tomato was the best combination, yielding 4.6 kg. Soil solarization did not have any effect.

The results were presented at three demonstrations (turf and landscape field day, demonstration at UCR botanic gardens fall and spring plant sales). Attendees included professional landscapers, and home gardeners. Plant materials from the trial (infested tomato plants with root symptoms, bags of tomatoes representing the yields from the different treatments, plants of the different cover crops, nematode samples etc.) were used. Handouts with information on methods that can be employed by home gardeners to minimize nematode damage to vegetable crops were prepared made available.

The project increased awareness about plant-parasitic nematodes with the general gardening public, demonstrated symptoms and effects of nematodes on plant growth, and provided easy-to-implement solutions to home gardeners to minimize nematode damage.

Project leaders:
Antoon Ploeg, CE Specialist, Namatology, UC Riverside
Donna Henderson, Plant Pathology Farm Advisor, UCCE Imperial County
Michael Henry, Farm Advisor Emeritus, UCCE Riverside County
Stephanie Pocock, Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator, UCCE Riverside County

New residential IPM approaches to manage codling moth

The problem:
In McArthur, Shasta County, about a third of the homes have backyard apples, averaging 2.3 trees per home. These are mostly unmanaged, and in 2007, 77% of the apples were damaged by codling moth. A 2008 community-wide codling moth control effort resulted in 100% cooperation in willingness to control codling moth by homeowners or Cooperative Extension using Sevin (carbaryl) treatments or an organic program, and this overall program successfully reduced damage to apples. The current project is a continuation of the original community-wide control project and of intensive efforts to obtain high levels of control of codling moth with SOFT program that included numerous sprays of granulosis virus.

What was done:
In 2009, we asked all other homeowners to treat for codling moth themselves but repeated the organic SOFT treatments at four residences. We conducted pruning sessions and held a training meeting about codling moth biology and control practices. We also monitored community knowledge and attitudes about control of codling moth.

Results and outcomes:
Our primary finding was that with low demand for apples, there is low interest in communitywide stewardship for apple trees.

All homeowners know the life cycle of codling moth and now eagerly look for the CE annual announcement of when to spray. There has been virtually no homeowner adoption of the IPM website and the treatment model. In this community, only PCA's use the IPM model for codling moth. Instead, the community cooperated in the establishment of a mailing list for the "Codling moth" alert and all look for the spring Cooperative Extension announcement of biofix and the estimate of the date of first treatment. Next year we propose to go to a web based announcement. This year we will transition with both a traditional direct mailing and web-based announcement.

The IPM project of 08 and 09 showed that granulosis virus can control codling moth as well as the traditional Sevin treatment. With a new home and garden label for granulosis virus, the homeowners should look much more favorably at it as a control option. The only drawback to granulosis virus is that is degraded by sunlight and must be applied weekly. The more applications McArthur homeowners made for codling moth with Sevin, the better the control of codling moth; a minimum of three Sevin treatments was needed for significant control. The best control of codling moth was achieved by season-long treatment for codling moth, from early June through early September, and since the first of the two generations has the largest moth flight and greatest damage potential, June treatments have the most significant effect upon control.

Project leaders:
Daniel B. Marcum, Farm Advisor, Shasta and Lassen counties
Carolyn Pickel, IPM Advisor, UC IPM/UCCE Sutter/Yuba counties
Alan Knight, USDA Agricultural Research Service

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