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Extension > Garden > Landscape, Nursery and Greenhouse Management > About the program

About the program

Integrated pest management programs (IPM) promote the use of cultural, biological and chemical tactics to manage pest insects, while conserving pollinators and beneficial insects.

Nursery and landscape industries contribute around $147 billion each year to the U.S. economy and support over 600,000 workers. Over the last 20 years, public demand for high-quality ornamental plants has more than tripled, with more than $20 billion spent each year at retail and mail order stores on plants and associated products for lawns, parks, urban forests, golf courses, and athletic fields.

Beyond their economic value, these plants are integral to human health, recreation, and community pride. Properly placed and maintained landscapes absorb noise and air pollutants, purify water, reduce soil erosion, and provide wildlife habitat. Well maintained landscapes reduce crime and violence.

Concerns about environmental and human health risks have led to restrictions on many available insecticides and fungicides. For example, there are critical concerns about the impacts of insecticides on honey bees and native pollinators. In addition, heavy use of pesticides also increases the potential that pests and pathogens will develop resistance. For examples, golf courses along the East Coast have populations on annual bluegrass weevils that are resistant to pyrethroid insecticides.

Nurseries, landscapers, homeowners, and governments embrace IPM as an environmentally sensitive and economical approach combining natural plant resistance with available control techniques. This includes prevention, monitoring, pheromones, trapping, weeding, and judicious chemical pesticide use.

To implement IPM, more detailed information about pest biology is needed. Also, many new insecticides were registered with specific modes of action that target pest insects and mites while protecting beneficial insects and bees.

It is important for nursery, greenhouse, and landscapers to be informed about new, environmentally ways to control pests, while conserving beneficial insects and bees.

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