County IPM Program
The Contra Costa County IPM Program began in 2002 when the Board of Supervisors adopted the County's IPM Policy. From 2002 to 2009, an informal IPM Task Force met regularly to coordinate implementation of the IPM Policy. In January of 2009 an IPM Coordinator was hired, and in November 2009, a formal advisory body to the Board of Supervisors was formed called the IPM Advisory Committee.
The County's IPM Program involves only County operations and not pest management in cities, businesses, or residences.
Two County departments manage pests. Their pest management responsibilities are described below:
The Agriculture Department manages the County's Noxious Weed Program with the goal of protecting the county's agricultural industry and public open space. The negative impacts of noxious weeds in California reach into the billions of dollars each year.
The majority of acreage under contract for noxious weed management is state and local park land.
The Agriculture Department also provides ground squirrel management for critical infrastructure in the County. Ground squirrels can undermine roads and railroad beds, and cause levies and earthen dams to fail. In 2012 the Department conducted an in-house trial to evaluate the cost and efficacy of using trapping to manage ground squirrels around critical infrastructure. You can read the full report here.
Public Works Department
The Facilities Maintenance Division is responsible for managing pests in County buildings and pests that may enter buildings from the outside such as ants, fleas, rats, mice, cockroaches, bed bugs. The County contracts this service out to Pestec IPM Provider.
The Grounds Maintenance Division is responsible for managing pests in landscapes around County buildings. Weeds are the principal pest problem in County landscapes.
Roadside Vegetation Management
This program is responsible for managing weeds along the 660 miles of County roads and at the County's 2 airports. Roadside weeds are managed for fire prevention, to maintain road surface integrity and roadside drainage, to prevent the spread of noxious weeds throughout the County, and to maintain clear sightlines so motorists can see signs, other vehicles, bicycles, and roadside hazards such as ditches. Weeds are managed at the airports according to specific Federal Aviation Administration rules.
Flood Control Vegetation Management
This program is responsible for managing vegetation in and along the County's 75 miles of improved flood control channels with the main goal of preventing flooding and maintaining access along the creek service roads. Some kinds of vegetation, such as trees, shrubs, and various weeds can impede the flow of water in a channel causing water to back up and flood nearby property. Noxious weeds growing in or along creeks, flood control channels and service roads are removed to prevent their spread throughout the County.