Integrated Pest Management

The Parks, Recreation & Open Space Department (PROS) approaches the use of pesticides through the Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM).  IPM is a decision-based process that utilizes the least hazardous pest management options available to reduce or prevent negative impacts on people, other living organisms, and the environment.  The motivation of IPM is proper risk assessment.   

Pests are any noxious weed, problem insect, plant disease, rodent, nematode, or microorganism that is detrimental to the environment, land assets, or as defined in the IPM for our public lands.   

7 Steps of the IPM: 

  1. Prevention (soil management)
  2.  Avoidance and Threshold Tolerance (assessment of threshold tolerance)
  3.  Mechanical Means (hand pulling, mowing, seed-head harvesting, etc)
  4. Cultural Controls (land management best practices)
  5. Biological Controls (beneficial microbes and insects)
  6. Organic Controls (organic pesticide)

If the first six methods for controlling pests prove unsuccessful, the City will utilize synthetic pesticides as prescribed by law and in accordance with product application labels.  The goal is to move away from the use of synthetic pesticides while relying more on the first six methods.

7. Synthetic Controls (synthetic pesticides).

The City of Lafayette encourages natural alternates for controlling pests and have decreased the use of synthetic pesticides using the following methods:

  • Steam machine - a specialized steam machine that uses heated water to eradicate weeds by burning the plant with steam.
  • Beneficial Insects – Releasing specific, beneficial insects that directly consume unwanted weeds in areas where weed growth is undesirable.  
  • Pollinator Insects - Insects such as honey bees are a significant and important part of our natural ecology.  It is our intention to install and grow flowering plant species that support this positive effort.  The City is able to add beauty to public spaces and provide pollen for the pollinator insects while using space that would otherwise be overcome by unwanted weeds.  

 The City is committed to utilizing methods for controlling pests without the need for Synthetic Controls, but it’s important to note that this last resort method remains a viable tool in the IPM tool box until alternative means are developed.  Only Colorado Department of Agriculture trained and licensed applicators are allowed to apply Synthetic Controls on Parks, Open Space & Golf Course properties.   Those licensed employees must continually renew their licenses which are issued and monitored by the State; namely the Colorado Dept. of Agriculture.  All applications are done so in accordance with the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s methods for applying pesticides and strict guidelines and rules are followed.  The City of Lafayette does not generally use Neonicotinoid pesticides. The exceptions for use of neonicotinoids are:

  • in extreme circumstances where the loss of an expensive land asset would be unsustainable.
  • a catastrophic disease presence

 For more information and a complete description, please visit the City of Lafayette’s Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM).