Assessing the Intergrated Pest Management Practices of Pennsylvania, U.S., Landscape Companies
James C. Sellmer, Nancy Ostiguy, Kathleen M. Kelley, and Kelli Hoover
Abstract: A mail survey was conducted in 2000 to determine awareness and use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices by landscape companies in Pennsylvania, U.S. Participants answered questions pertaining to awareness of common practices, the frequency at which IPM practices were employed, and aspects of monitoring and pest management decision-making processes. Three distinct IPM practitioner segments were identified and labeled "IPM savvy" (companies more likely to employ IPM practices), "part-time IPMers" (companies that employed some IPM strategies), and "reluctant IPMers" (companies least likely to employ IPM strategies). The "part-time IPMers" and "reluctant IPMers" segments represented a substantial part of the industry (68%). Overall, Pennsylvania landscape companies are aware of IPM practices and monitor for insects and mites, diseases, and weeds. However, confidence in identification of specific pests, site analyses, use of diagnostic and monitoring tools, employing beneficial organisms, and maintaining permanent records of pests and management strategies employed remain low. Continued education is warranted to enhance pest monitoring skills, diagnostic tools, pest identification, treatment options, and record keeping. The results of this survey clearly show that landscape companies still have need of demonstrable evidence that the implementation of IPM practices is cost effective and offers marketing benefits to their company.
Keywords: Integrated Pest Management; Plant Health Care; survey; cluster analysis; segmentation.