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Integrated Pest Management

Early in the 1960’s, concern over widespread pesticide misuse and the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring launched the environmental movement.  Pesticides are still relatively unique as toxic contaminants in that they are intentionally put into the environment to accomplish their purpose.  Therefore, all pest control programs have a special responsibility to fully consider the impact of these chemicals and to prioritize the use of least toxic alternatives.

Modern, responsible pest control is often termed “Integrated Pest Management (IPM).”  IPM can be defined as: A coordinated system of technological and management practices to control pests in a safe, environmentally sound, and economical manner.  It is a process for minimizing pesticide use and risk while maximizing the control of pests that affect public health, impede operations, or damage property.  IPM has been mandated on Federal property since 1996 by Section 136r-1 of Title 7, United States Code, and is cited  in Title 41 of the Code of Federal Regulations (102-74.35) as a required service for agencies subject to the authority of the General Services Administration (GSA).  

GSA is the lead Federal agency for providing structural IPM guidance. Since 1989, GSA has distributed IPM guidance to over 70 Federal agencies, two foreign governments, and about 50 public agencies in 17 states.  Nearly every Federal agency has adopted GSA IPM specifications and/or program guidance.  In 1999, GSA won the White House Closing the Circle Award in the environmental program excellence category for IPM.

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Albert Greene
(202) 205-5703

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