Sustainable Sites Management
UCMC: Sustainable Sites Management
Integrated Pest Management Health Issues
Landscape management methods and practices can have a direct impact on public health. Pesticides can be transported into the health care facility by air or carried in by people from the surface of soil and transmitted to patients, family and staff. According to U.S. EPA, herbicides, insecticides, and excess fertilizers are major sources of nonpoint source pollution (NPS) – the leading cause of compromised water quality in the U.S. These products can contribute to environmental pollution during their manufacture, transport, use, and/or disposal.
UCMC has a vendor who is committed to the principles of integrated pest management. In practice, this translates into using a variety of techniques to provide control and minimize use of chemicals inputs. These techniques may include close extensive inspections to discover small gaps through which rodents and insects enter the premises as well as internal structural voids, cracks and other openings which provide pest harborage, then coordinating efforts with facility staff to repair these defects.
Recommendations are often made to improve sanitary conditions and practices or to modify environmental factors such as high humidity, lack of air movement, temperature and standing water which may be encouraging and sustaining pest activity. We consult with facility staff to detect and eliminate external sources of pest infiltration into the facility, which could include electronics, personal possessions and incoming shipments. Baits (in structural voids wherever possible) and non-toxic traps are used in preference to chemical sprays, especially for the most commonly encountered pests: ants, fruit flies and roaches.
When sprays are employed, it is typically as a last resort and we use least toxic alternatives such as isopropyl alcohol and strong soap solutions. Efforts are concentrated as the site of infestation and “broadcast applications” are avoided.