Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program

What is Integrated Pest Management?

An Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Policy was adopted in December 2018 by the Windsor Town Council. The Town’s IPM Policy governs the way pests are managed on all Town properties, but does not apply to private property. Specifically, the policy applies to any Town staff or contractors managing unwanted insects, rodents, plant diseases, weeds, or other organisms negatively impacting buildings and landscapes that are owned and managed by the Town.

IPM, to paraphrase the University of California's definition, only relies on chemical pest controls as a last resort, focusing first on the long-term prevention of pests using a combination of ecosystem-based methods. Examples include removal or manipulation of a pest’s preferred habitat, the use of natural predators or other biological controls, selection of pest and disease resistant plant varieties, and changes to cultural practices that can lessen or prevent unwanted pests. These strategies alone can keep insects, weeds, and other pests below economic, aesthetic, or health damaging levels. Careful monitoring of pest populations determines when or if chemicals are used, selecting products that target the pest without doing harm to non-target organisms, human health, or the environment.

In addition to the use of chemicals as a last resort, the Town's adopted IPM Policy prohibits the use of the most harmful synthetic pesticides, relying instead on an approved products list of least-toxic alternatives.

  • Approved Products List  Based on the use of lower toxicity pest control products and methods, such as non-synthetic products on the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) approved list, and products that are exempt from provisions of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act due to their characterization as a minimum risk pesticide (40 CFR § 152.25).
  • Discontinued Products List  These products are not allowed to be used on Town property and will only be considered for use to protect health or public safety through an emergency exemption process approved by the Town Manager. These include California Proposition 65 listed materials known to the State to cause cancer or reproductive or developmental toxicity, carcinogenic products identified by the US EPA, organophosphates, organochlorines, and more. Under no circumstances will the Town use pesticides banned by the US EPA.

Additional information about approved and discontinued products is available by reading the Town's adopted IPM Policy 

Safety and Transparency

The goal of the Town's IPM Policy is to protect the environment, the public, and worker health and safety. If the use of approved pesticides becomes necessary, the material will be applied in accordance with the product's label and consistent with all laws and regulations. Staff or contractors applying pesticides will be appropriately certified by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation for safe handling and use of these products. Signs will be posted at the application area identifying the name and type of product being used, the active ingredients, and a website link to additional information if available.

It is important to understand that the majority of approved products are deemed very safe and by law or labeling require no signage or posting for their use. The Town's routine use of signage for these products is simply done to provide transparency about the types of products being used. It is also routine for staff or contractors applying approved pest control products to wear protective clothing and other safety equipment. If you observe staff or contractors applying pest control products in the field, please understand that the use of safety equipment in and of itself is not indicative of a high-toxicity pesticide being applied.

For those products on the discontinued list that have been approved for an emergency use through the exemption process, the Town will provide advance public notice on the Town's website at least two days prior to application. Signs for the use of these products will also be posted at the application area in accordance with product labeling instructions and pursuant to state or federal law. Members of the public can also sign up to receive notifications of approved emergency exemption pesticide applications. Website and email notices are not provided for the use of approved products.

IPM for Homes and Businesses

The Town encourages homeowners and businesses to learn about and adopt IPM practices in order to minimize the use of chemical pest controls. When necessary, consider using the least-toxic products first, and always adhere to the chosen product's labeling instructions for safe handling, application rate, and other cautionary guidelines for safe use - for you and for the environment. For additional information and resources, please visit the links provided on this page1.

1Links to products used by the Town of Windsor are provided for public information only. No endorsement of these products is given, nor does the Town's product listing imply any guarantee or warranty of the products.