Measuring Integrated Pest Management Programs for Public Buildings

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Integrated pest management (IPM) tends to be perceived by different stakeholder groups either as a methodology for effective pest control or as an ideology of responsible environmental stewardship. The IPM process has never been subjected to a rigorous empirical test as a control methodology in buildings; published studies have either tested isolated program components or have presented uncontrolled, sequential descriptions of IPM replacing traditional pest control service procedures. Because ideological measurement is simpler, cheaper, and more relevant than methodological testing to evaluate structural IPM performance in the public sector, data on pesticide use/risk and customer satisfaction, rather than control efficacy, are used by the General Services Administration (GSA) IPM program to demonstrate success compatible with Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) guidelines. Implementation of IPM in 1989 resulted in significant decreases both in quantities of insecticide applied indoors and requests for pest control service by building occupants throughout the first decade of the program. Although these results do not provide an empirical test of structural IPM methodological superiority as a means of reducing pest populations, they indicate that replacing sprayed insecticide formulations with baits and using client reporting as the primary pest surveillance method can successfully achieve the policy goals of a large-scale IPM program for public buildings.

Keywords: cockroach control; insecticide baits; integrated pest management; measurement; monitoring; public buildings

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2002

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