A pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest. Though often misunderstood to refer only to insecticides, the term pesticide also applies to herbicides, fungicides, rodenticides, and various other substances used to control pests. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) specify rules and regulation of the storage and use of pesticides.
As recommended by the EPA and as a best management practice, Columbia University implements Integrated Pest Management (IPM), an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment. The IPM approach can be applied to both agricultural and non-agricultural settings, such as the home, garden, and workplace. IPM takes advantage of all appropriate pest management options including, but not limited to, the judicious use of pesticides.
EH&S, along with Facilities, ensures that contractors applying pesticides are properly certified by the NYSDEC and that pesticides applied are registered with the EPA and managed in matter that controls the intended pest.