The Malibu City Council Monday adopted a new policy aimed at selecting the least toxic, most environmentally sensitive methods to eliminate pest problems.
Integrated Pest Management Policy (IPM), which aims to manage pests that are harmful to the health, function or aesthetic value of park, landscapes in an efficient, effective, and environmentally responsible manner, while paying careful attention to public safety.
"IPM practices will result in the reasonable use of the least toxic method in order to balance management objectives [environmental sensitivity, general effectiveness and economic feasibility], but does not necessarily eliminate the use of pesticides," according to the city of Malibu staff report.
In July, the Malibu City Council voted to oppose the sale, purchase and use of anticoagulant rodenticides in Malibu. The council also voted not to use anticoagulant rodenticides as part of its maintenance program for city-owned parks and facilities.
Under the new program, pesticide use would only be considered by the city if non-toxic methods are found to be cost prohibitive or ineffective.
The city will now focus to minimize the conditions that pests need to live; rely on known enemies of pests, including predators; and use naturally derived or synthesized pesticides
Kian Schulman, Malibu Agricultural Society's secretary, has been leading the charge of educating the public about the harmful effects of pesticide use.
“We look forward to a poison free Malibu, including our
schools,” Schulman said.
The Malibu Agricultural Society is currently working with the cities of Agoura Hills, Calabasas and Moorpark to adopt similar policies.