The Botanical Gardens is a community space and we use pesticides but constantly explore other alternatives.
The Botanical Gardens is an open-air, living museum with a tropical and humid environment. It is home to insects, fish and thousands of species of plants. Insects are an important and natural part of the ecosystem, however some can be considered pests. We utilize an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program, an effective and sensitive approach, to manage the pest population. IPM utilizes a series of progressive actions to care for the Botanical Gardens’ collection with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.
IPM is not a single pest control method but, rather, a series of pest management evaluations, decisions, and controls to reduce damage from insects and diseases. In practicing IPM, here are the steps we take to execute our IPM Plan:
• Monitoring and Identifying Pests
• Pest Assessment - how many are there and do we need to do anything?
• Screening to keep pests out
• Sanitation and cleaning to reduce pest numbers
• Keeping plants healthy so they aren't affected by pests
• Natural Control - We introduce naturally occurring beneficial parasites and predators, to control insect, disease and mite pests. With these measures the environment is disturbed as little as possible.
• Cultural Control - We regularly prune, rake and mulch, select disease resistant plants, use trap plants and host plants for beneficials. We also utilize irrigation where possible and exercise routine maintenance.
• Biological Control - We use naturally occurring fungi and bacteria to control a pest.
• Alternative Chemicals - Some plant extracts are very effective and other examples include soap, sulfur, and horticultural oils. These combined with specialized delivery techniques have become very effective tools. We only use harsher chemicals for difficult pests and only where those pests occur.
• Miscellaneous Controls - Some include pheromone traps, boiling water, diatomaceous earth, and repellant plants.
Keep a sharp eye out and see if you can see our pest control practices.