A long-horned bee with green eyes on a pink flower

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan Checklist

Bee City USA and Bee Campus USA affiliates are required to have an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan within the first few years of their initial certification. We don’t expect every plan to have every element listed here, and we recognize that it can take years to slowly build up an IPM program. A good IPM plan will change over time, and does not just sit on a shelf. Our IPM guidance is focused on outdoor landscapes, but IPM plans can be comprehensive and cover all portions of a city/campus, from outdoor to indoor/structural pest management, and often also focus on human health and safety.

Strong IPM plans combine three components:

  1. Preventing harmful pest levels,
  2. Monitoring for pests, and
  3. Limiting harm from pesticide use and other actions.

Bee Cities and Bee Campuses’ IPM plans should include these three aspects. Below is a checklist of IPM elements and practices that an ideal plan would contain. 

Main IPM Plan Elements

A person looks towards plants next to a handmade yard sign.
A sign reads "No rocien con spray herbicida" (translation: Do not spray with herbicide spray). (Credit: Bee Campus USA - Agnes Scott College, GA)


Non-Chemical Prevention and Management

Adopt non-chemical prevention and management tools to prevent a pest from arising and to stop pests from reaching harmful levels. Types of non-chemical management to consider include: cultural control (make an area less suitable for pests), mechanical control (physically remove or otherwise stop pests), and biological control (the use of natural enemies to control pest populations)

Effective non-chemical methods include:

A person in a neon green vest holds a long metal pole, flame-weeding on gravel.
Greenwood, SC horticulture staff use a weed flamer instead of pesticides. Credit: Bee City USA Greenwood, SC Committee

Pesticide Use and Risk Reduction

If pesticides (even those approved for use in organic production) are used, have a process in place to:


Community Outreach

Providing ongoing education and information for the public is an important way to build community support. This could include:

Four people stand by a table under a canopy. Two green and white signs with lack lettering are propped up that say in black text: "Mosquito spraying kills bees".
(Credit: Bee City USA - Decatur, GA aka Beecatur)

Further Reading

A pair of gloves rests on the ground by and small trowel and pulled weeds.

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