We use natural and least-harmful ways to reduce pests and their effect on our parks. Our Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Strategy [PDF] focuses on controlling or preventing pest problems with the smallest possible impact on human health, the environment and other organisms.
Pest Management Philosophy
IPM is not a set of rules. It is a gradual process for improving pest management and it requires a full understanding of pests, their life cycles, habitats and natural enemies. We use a combination of control methods to keep pests from causing economic damage.
For example, we introduced lady bugs into area parks to fight an aphid infestation. This was a natural, cost-effective way to reduce the aphid population and keep it at a reasonable level.
We regularly inspect parks for pests, the damage they cause and other signs they are nearby. If we must use chemicals, we use the least toxic and most pest-specific pesticides possible.
Basic principles of a pest management program:
- Know your key pests
- Plan ahead
- Scout regularly
- Implement management practices
Preferred pest management techniques:
- Encourage natural biological control
- Use different plant species that resist pests
- Select pesticides with a lower toxicity to humans and other organisms
- Adopt pruning, fertilizing, maintenance or irrigation practices that reduce pest problems
- Change the habitat to make it unlivable for pests
Before selecting a pest management option, we ask:
- Is it the technique cost effective?
- Can the technique be used with current management methods?
- Are there any risks? If so, are the risks acceptable?
- Are environmental impacts minimized? For example, does this effect water quality?
- Are health risks to employees and others minimized?
Metropolitan Mosquito Control District monitors and controls mosquito populations in the seven county metro area including Minneapolis.
More information is available on their website www.mmcd.org or by calling 651-645-9149.
For more information about our IPM strategies, contact Park Maintenance at 612-230-6400.