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IPM Education of Garden Center Employees and Clients 2001

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Project Leader(s): Dave Swaciak, Horticulture/Natural Resources Cornell Cooperative Extension Allegany-Cattaraugus

Cooperator(s): Erica Fleischman, Program Assistant, Cornell Cooperative Extension Allegany Cattaraugus

Project location(s): Allegany and Cattaraugus Counties

Abstract: We will be offering a workshop to familiarize garden center employees to IPM practices. Common pests in vegetables and ornamentals will be presented along with alternative control measures. In order to get consumers to use IPM methods and reduced risk products, I feel that we need the cooperation of garden centers in Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties. In addition to encouraging businesses to carry IPM products, I hope to depict Cornell Cooperative Extension as a resource for themselves and their customers.

Background and justification: Close to 75 percent of consumer horticulture calls to the extension office require guidelines for pest control. Many times, one of the control options includes traps, barriers, or reduced risk pesticides. The next question from the consumer is always "where can I get this?"

To help me answer this question, last year I sent a survey to area garden centers inquiring which pesticides, from a list of reduced risk products, they carried. In the letter I indicated that I recommend these products to consumers and would use the survey results to compile a source list for consumers. I also offered to supply more information on these products. I did not get any surveys returned or any inquires about alternative pest control products.

In order to get consumers to use IPM methods and reduced risk products, I feel that we need the cooperation of area garden centers. In addition to encouraging businesses to carry IPM products, I hope to depict Cornell Cooperative Extension as a resource for themselves and their customers. They should be aware of our availability to answer pest control questions and provide written references, specifically, Pest Management Around the Home I and II.

In the original grant proposal I intended on distributing the publication "Pest Management Around the Home". The grant committee asked me to rethink the outreach methods and discuss objectives with Charlie Mazza. In an Email on June 2nd I proposed the following;

"We have been sending the MGs around to survey garden centers, hardware stores and mass marketers in the area. I would like to reimburse them for mileage. I would also like to enroll each business in CCE so that we can send them our monthly newsletter. I would like your thoughts on further building confidence with them through a series of fact sheets. You mentioned this once and I wondered if you had some in mind. Jana Lamboy is planning on coming out in September to do a diagnostic clinic and I thought that I could use this as our program to invite gardener center employees to and give out more information."


1. Identify business's that carry pesticides.

2. Introduce pesticide businesses to Cornell Cooperative Extension resources.

3. Provide a local supply of IPM and alternative pest control products.


1. Through DEC resources and personal visits, we intend to survey local garden centers, hardware stores and mass marketers for contact people and pest control products. Master Gardener volunteers will be used to provide much of the legwork and connections with local businesses.

2. Through this effort, we will have at least two opportunities to introduce Cornell Cooperative Extension resources to targeted businesses. The first is the personal contact described in procedure 1. In addition to a survey, a list of resources and services of Cornell Cooperative Extension will be distributed. The second opportunity will be at the employee-training workshop. The workshop will be three hours and focus on common pests of vegetables and ornamentals, and Integrated Pest Management. We will also provide an overview and use of "Pest Management Around the Home" parts I and II.

3. Through the guidelines in "Pest Management Around the Home" we hope to encourage business's to carry many of the IPM products listed.

Results and discussion: The mileage expenses paid to master gardener's enabled us to survey pesticide inventories at 15 garden centers, greenhouses, hardware stores and department stores. We compiled a list of over 200 pesticide products. This list is available for master gardeners and consumer horticulture hot lines to direct people to accurate products and to find less toxic products.

The master gardeners also interviewed store managers to identify the best contact person and to ask what information is needed for employees and customers. This information was used to target the IPM Diagnostic workshop that was held in September

Funds from the grant were used to subsidize the Diagnostic workshop so that businesses would be encouraged to come and bring their employees. Costs incurred were from printing, mailing, refreshments and IPM fact sheets. Master Gardeners also distributed the series of IPM fact sheets at a series of pH clinics conducted at area greenhouses and garden centers.

In the survey conducted at the IPM workshop, valuable information was gleaned regarding the type of information and the method of dissemination preferred by businesses. Monthly newsletters were rated as the most popular means for receiving information. This can easily be achieved by enrolling targeted businesses in our local association and sending them our monthly "Home Grounds and Gardens" newsletter for 2002. Special inserts would be based on chapters taken from MB74, "Pest Management Around the Home" Part I. The inserts could be removed to share with employees and customers. With the help of Master Gardeners, we will also offer employee trainings that coincide with the MB74 information.

Less toxic pesticide products will also be described in hopes of encouraging plant care businesses to make these more available. A survey during the summer of 2002 can then be conducted to evaluate the mix of pesticide and pest control products available.

Since our travel budget was not met, I would like to use the available funds towards enrolling more businesses in Cooperative Extension. This would mean that 18 suppliers of pesticides in Allegany and Cattaraugus Counties would receive our newsletter and other information throughout 2002. It is hoped that many would continue their membership in subsequent years.


  Original Actual Reimbursable
Travel 201.05 48.99 48.99
Supplies: 98.95    

IPM Fact Sheets

  285.99 167.51

Workshop supplies

  13.50 13.50
Printing/Shipping: 200.00    

Enrollment for Newsletter

  270.00 270.00
Total $500.00 $618.48 $500.00