Pesticides & Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
IPM - Integrated Pest Management
Thurston County adopted an Integrated Pest and Vegetation Management Policy to provide guidelines for county personnel who are involved with operations and provide advice related to pest and vegetation management. The county defines integrated pest management (IPM) as an approach to pest and vegetation control that utilizes regular monitoring to determine if and when treatments are needed. This approach emphasizes physical, mechanical, cultural, and biological tactics to keep pest numbers or vegetation problems low enough to prevent intolerable damage, annoyance, or public safety hazards.
We have since taken our pest research and have produced a great deal of information for homeowners and land managers. Additionally, the county has requirements for integrated pest management plans for certain land development or land use projects which are located in areas where the drinking water sources are vulnerable to contamination.
Healthy Gardening: A common sense guide to gardening without the use of pesticides.
Thurston County believes that effective pest control should begin with a very good understanding of the pest (habitat, life cycle, diet, reproduction, etc.) and why it is a problem. We have researched many pests to better understand what types of environmental factors promote them and what combination of control methods will keep them at tolerable levels. We then develop prescriptions (fact sheets) that provide information about the pest and the procedures that will be used to monitor and control it. Each prescription contains a description of the pest or vegetation problem, its negative impacts, a monitoring process, non-chemical control strategies, chemical control strategy, and the timing for these events.
IPM Prescriptions: The following link will take you to prescriptions that have been developed by county staff with information that has been researched and been shown to be effective. Many of these prescriptions follow the same methods that the county uses; some have been developed specifically for homeowners and land managers in Washington state. The information that is provided may be useful to people in other regions, but the chemicals that have been reviewed for use within these prescriptions are registered for use in the state of Washington and may not be available or be registered for use in other states.
Noxious weed control
Control of specific noxious weeds is mandatory in Thurston County.
Invasive plant control
Control of these plants is recommended.
Nuisance insects and other pests
The Environmental Health Division reviews each pesticide product proposed for use by a Thurston County department. All active ingredients in the pesticide products are evaluated to determine the hazards they present to non-target organisms and the environment.
Chemical hazards evaluated include mobility, persistence, bioaccumulation, acute and chronic toxicity, inert ingredients, degradation products, and exposure risk. Pesticide chemicals are considered to have unacceptable hazards when they are: persistent and can bioaccumulate, known or suspected carcinogens, mutagens, known to cause endocrine disruption, or considered high in risk for toxicity to non-target organisms. Products that are found to have an unacceptable level of hazards fail the review. Chemicals that pass the review do not have these toxicological or environmental hazards.
Grow Smart Grow Safe: A guide to selecting pesticide products.
If you have additional Pesticide and IPM questions, please contact our IPM Program Coordinator at 360-867-2664 or email PHSSPollutionPrevention@co.thurston.wa.us.