Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program

The Edmonds College Grounds staff manages our 50 acre campus, where our goal is to contribute to the success of our students by providing a safe, and aesthetically pleasing campus for visitors, staff, and students. The Grounds staff take great pride in creating a beautiful and colorful environment throughout our entire campus setting. The emphasis of our program has been to reduce pest exposure to people and landscapes on campus through IPM. We communicate this effort through education of our students and college employees concerning expectable and acceptable thresholds for pests and IPM methods used to control them. Edmonds College stays in compliance with RCW 17.15.020


IPM is a decision-making process that utilizes all available pest management strategies including cultural, physical, biological and chemical control to prevent pests that harm or interfere with the landscapes, buildings and people of Edmonds College. 

A pest can be a plant (weed), vertebrate (bird, rodent, or other mammal), invertebrate (insect, tick, mite, or snail), nematode, pathogen (bacteria, virus, or fungus), or other unwanted organisms.

Cultural controls are practices that reduce pest establishment, reproduction, dispersal, and survival. Examples are reducing clutter, maintaining plant health, fertilization, proper irrigation, plant selection, and sanitation to exclude problematic pests and weeds.

Biological controls are the use of natural enemies—predators, parasites, pathogens, and competitors—to control pests and their damage. 

Physical controls kill a pest directly, block pests out, or make the environment unsuitable for it. Traps for rodents are examples of mechanical control. Physical controls include mulches for weed management, or barriers such as screens to keep birds or insects out.

Chemical controls are the use of pesticides. Pesticides are selected and applied in a way that uses the most selective pesticide that will do the job and be the safest for other organisms and for air, soil, and water quality; such as bait stations rather than sprays; or spot-spray a few weeds instead of an entire area.


The Grounds staff regularly checks the campus zones for evidence of pests. This is a two part system consisting of inspection then identification. Through inspection the Grounds staff monitors for evidence of pests and allows for early detection before a pest creates a problem above  acceptable threshold levels. Proper identification of pests then allows for the best selection of IPM strategy for the control method. Grounds staff are trained in proper pest identification. 

The emphasis is on control, not eradication. Our IPM program allows for control because eradicating an entire pest population is often impossible and any attempt at such action can be unsafe for the environment and financially irresponsible. 

Threshold levels are standards by which pests are deemed acceptable. For example we have a strict threshold level in areas such as our kitchens and daycare center where sanitation and human health are held to the highest standard. Other areas and landscapes such as our campus lawns, have a less strict threshold level. For example a threshold level for Bellis perennis in lawns may not warrant a chemical control method. 

Edmonds College hires a third party pest management company for assistance with monitoring and control of pests in addition to the colleges IPM program. 

Record Keeping

The Grounds Department uses a preventative maintenance program where labor is recorded and associated with specific tasks. Elements of that program are directly related to the IPM program and there is a concentrated effort to ensure the IPM program has proper labor dedication. 

Chemical controls are used as required to maintain campus pest threshold levels. All Chemical applications to buildings and landscapes will be applied and recorded in compliance with the Washington State Department of Agriculture as well as Chapter 17.21 RCW.

At all locations of treatment areas there will be notifications to inform the students, staff and visitors of what is being applied, where it is being applied and when it is being applied. 

All staff that hold a Public Pesticide License will have a copy of their license information on file.

Chemicals are held in a designated area which is a pesticide only container with secondary containment.

Chemicals stored will have the most updated SDS on file and located in the storage container. 

SDS information is online at: edcc.edu/safety/ehs

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