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Where You Play

The Challenge
Whether you are enjoying a night at the movies, a day at the golf course, a picnic in a park, or a weekend at a resort, you don't want pests to interfere with your fun. Pests such as insects, rodents, fungi, and weeds can lurk in recreational spots causing health problems, plant damage, and structural damage.

mother and her sons enjoying the outdoors in their yard or park

Many recreational destinations rely on pesticides to prevent or remedy these problems. While managing pests in and around the places you play is necessary, it also means that you might be exposed to pesticides from:

  • The air you breathe inside camping cabins
  • Direct contact with pesticides that have been applied onto picnic tables or park bathrooms
  • Direct contact with grass or parks on which pesticides have been applied

Reduced-risk pest management practices are available that can soften the impact to human health and the environment, and PestWise programs and initiatives are working to increase use of these practices.

The Solution
Whether you are a facilities or grounds manager controlling pests directly or you hire a professional, you can reduce risks by using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) (print version, 2 pp, 1MB, About PDF) techniques. IPM is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. Examples of IPM practices include:

  • a park district manager using scouting and monitoring practices to determine when pesticide application is necessary rather than simply applying pesticides according to a set time interval
  • a golf course superintendent using pheromones (a biological control that can alter pest behavior) to control oriental beetle populations in turfgrass
  • a hotel custodian using steam cleaning to treat bed bugs
Quick Facts about IPM
  1. Based on information regarding the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment
  2. Uses this information in combination with available pest control technologies to manage pests economically and with reduced risk
  3. Takes advantage of all appropriate pest management strategies, including the careful use of pesticides when necessary

The Results
PestWise program partners are expanding the use of IPM in communities across the United States. For example:

Audubon InternationalExit EPA disclaimer, a Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP) member, partnered with more than 2500 golf courses across the world by showcasing the natural landscape of golf courses to encourage environmental stewardship among golfers. Their efforts resulted in over 145 projects in the U.S. and in eight countries, covering over 72,000 acres of land. Learn More about PESP >>

The Biopesticide Demonstration Program (BDP) funded the use of the biopesticide Bacillus licheniformis (EcoGuard) in managing dollar spot on golf course turf. EcoGuard reduced the incidence of dollar spot by 84% alone and by 95% when applied with an organic fertilizer. The result: EcoGuard decreased fungicide applications by 50% while successfully managing disease and pest resistance. Learn More about BDP >>

Related Resources
The following resources can help you learn more about implementing IPM where you play:

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