BY DEPARTMENT OF PESTICIDE REGULATION
The IPM Advocates Program has been awarded a 2013 Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Innovator Award by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR). The Advocates Program is a project of the Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association (BASMAA) funded, in part by a DPR grant.
The Advocates Program is a creative training program that ultimately results in staff at retail stores (from small nurseries to big box stores such as Home Depot) being better educated about ‘green’ or less-toxic products to manage pests. Ten trainers (IPM Advocates) learned IPM practices and spent more than a year assisting 321 employees in 30 stores, reaching out to more than 2,000 customers in California. The Advocates also serve as consultants and offer marketing advice to retail stores from small nurseries to larger stores like Home Depot. The stores have responded to the Advocates’ recommendations by stocking more reduced-risk products, such as traps for rodents and iron phosphate for slugs and snails, and by directing customers to these products through prominent product placement and explanatory signage. As a result, 77 percent of store managers surveyed reported greater sales of less-toxic products from 2011 to 2012. The program began in 2011 with a DPR Pest Management Alliance grant. In the Bay Area, this project has been in more than 170 stores.
“BASMAA is thrilled to have helped to support this amazing project,” said Geoff Brosseau, executive director of BASMAA. “The Advocates Program is extremely hardworking; it takes the principles of less-toxic pest control and brings them right into the store where consumers can get the information they need to make informed choices. There is no doubt this program is helping us prevent pollution of stormwater runoff.”
The Advocates Program is one of five honorees this year; Innovator awards are given to California businesses and organizations that use ‘greener’ methods to effectively control pests. This award is DPR’s highest environmental honor.