Reducing Environmental Risks From Pesticides in Urban Landscapes: Metro-Atlanta as a Case Study
Latimer, Joyce G.
Braman, S. Kristine
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Little definitive data is available on pesticide use in metropolitan areas. Questionnaires on pesticide use and pest management practices were mailed to landscape maintenance lawn care firms in the metro Atlanta area; 350 firms responded. Of these firms 159 provide pest management services for turf grass or ornamentals or both. Responding professionals purchased 13,210 kg AI of insecticides, 93,447 kg AI herbicide, and 3,867 kg AI of fungicides during 1993. Total area serviced by these firms was 14,770 ha. Insecticides were most frequently applied to ornamentals (65%), while herbicides were primarily used on turf (93% pre emergence, 790/0 post emergence). Fungicides were more evenly distributed. Prescheduled applications determined timing of application for 32% of respondents. While 46% report that monitoring of pest populations influences treatment decisions. Only 8% of respondents incorporate monitoring of beneficial arthropods into this decision-making process. Although practices reported by the industry include many principles of integrated pest management, more education of maintenance professionals and consumers to include greater incorporation of pest resistant plant materials and biological control agents is warranted.