Pests in City buildings/landscapes
- SF Reduced Risk Pesticide List and Compliance Checklist
- Highlights of the SF Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Ordinance/Program
- Amount of pesticides used on City Properties (annual reports)
- How products are added to the SF Reduced-Risk Pesticide List
- Approved, temporary exemptions to use non-Reduced-Risk Pesticides
- Complaints of pests or pesticides on City Properties
- Recent meetings
- SF IPM Program partners
City staff or contractors managing unwanted insects, rodents, birds, weeds, mold for buildings and landscapes:
- Owned by the City even if in other counties.
- Leased from the City (lease signed after 1996), such as golf courses, vendors at SF Airport.
- Does not include consumer products.
- Includes products that are not least-hazardous (Tier III).
- May not list products you need or may list more toxic ones you don't need.
Summary of the Checklist for City Properties
Save time so you don’t have to read the SF IPM Ordinance (revised 2011).
1. IPM methods for different pests and who to call. Try the pocket-sized University of CA Landscape Pest ID cards with photos of pests and safer pest control tips.
2. Hire the citywide pest management contractor. Or use hire contractors with this Contract/lease language:
Leasee, and any pest management contractors operating on the leased property, shall comply with all requirements of San Francisco's Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Ordinance (Chapter 3, San Francisco Environment Code): SFApproved.org/pest-control-for-city. These requirements include, but are not limited to:
- Using pesticides as a last resort and only using pesticides on the current SF Reduced-Risk Pesticide List.
- Posting notifications of all pesticide applications three days before treatment, and leaving these postings for at least four days after treatment.
- Report all pesticides used by staff or contractors.
3. What to do if you have no choice but to use a pesticide
- Only use SF Reduced-Risk Pesticides
- Your Department IPM Coordinator must request an exemption to use a pesticide that is not a SF Reduced-Risk Pesticide OR is a SF Reduced-Risk Pesticide but your needs are different than what’s in the Use Limitations column.
- When to post this Pesticide Application Notice (revised 2010).
- If the public has pest control questions or complaints on City properties, ask them to call 311 or these staff.
- How Department IPM Coordinators should report all pesticides used by staff or contractors.
4. Get invited to trainings, or meetings to tell us pesticides that work (e.g., monthly SF IPM Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meetings).
In 1996, the SF IPM Ordinance (revised 2011) was the first of its kind in the nation to require anyone using pesticides in City properties to:
- Use IPM in which pesticides are used as a last resort.
- Only use the Reduced-Risk Pesticide List, which has phased out most hazardous pesticides.
- Post signs 3 days before and 4 days after applying pesticides.
- Report all pesticide use to SF Department of Environment.
The SF IPM Program:
- Has been emulated by dozens of public agencies nationwide.
- Received the 2006 National IPM Achievement Award at the National IPM Symposium in St. Louis, MO.
San Francisco's approach to screening pesticides has now been adopted by the US Green Building Council as part of its LEED for Existing Buildings program.
San Francisco is proud to have:
- Decreased the use of glyphosate - the active ingredient in Roundup - by 88% since the program began.
- Decreased pesticide use by about 80% since the start of the program.
- Prohibited pre-emergent herbicides (with the exception of airport runways, which are subject to FAA regulations).
- Been one of the first cities to ban the use of single-feed rodenticides (2006), due to data on adverse impacts to predatory birds. This ban followed a community process incorporating nonprofits and the SF Department of Public Health.
- Banned the use of gopher baits as a precautionary measure (2009), due to the potential for adverse impacts on other wildlife.
- Used only one "most hazardous" (Tier 1) product out of the top ten pesticides used citywide. This product was used on Harding Park golf course in preparation for tournament play.
SF IPM Program Annual Reports:
- Attachment A: Comparison of Approved List Programs Part 1
- Attachment A: Comparison of Approved List Programs Part 2
The City places strict limitations on the kinds of pesticides that may be used.
Each Reduced Risk Pesticide has been:
1. Screened using the SF Pesticide Hazard Screening Protocol;
2. Reviewed by the SF IPM Technical Advisory Committee (IPM TAC) of City staff, contractors, Presidio Trust and UCSF pesticide users that:
- Have met monthly for over 10 years,
- Weigh product hazards, potential for exposure, and existence of safer alternatives before placing products on the SF Pesticide List;
3. Presented at a public hearing;
4. Approved by the Commission on the Environment.
This list of approved, temporary exemptions to use non-Reduced Risk Pesticides is constantly updated.
Contact the SFDPH Pesticide Use Enforcement Program at (415)252-3862.
- Public Hearing on Draft 2012 SF Reduced Risk Pesticide List (1/17/12). The San Francisco Department of the Environment held its annual public hearing on the draft 2012 Reduced Risk Pesticide List on Tuesday, January 17, 5 pm-7 pm, at Room 421 City Hall. This is the public's opportunity to make their preferences known on pesticide use issues (City properties only), and an opportunity for City staff to better explain their activities. Meeting summary will be posted soon.
Click here for the meeting announcement.
SF IPM program partners
- The SF IPM Program is grateful for funding from SF Recreation and Parks, SF Department of Public Health, SF Department of Public Works, SF Public Utilities Commission, SF Municipal Transportation Agency, SF Port, and SF International Airport.
- The City's IPM program frequently organizes workshops, conferences, and events with partners such as the City of Palo Alto, the County of Santa Clara, the Presidio Trust, and the National Park Service.
- San Francisco has also worked with two regional IPM networks, the IPM Exchange (organized by the Urban Pesticide Pollution Prevention Project) and the Regional IPM Conference. The city's IPM staff sits on the technical advisory committee for the EcoWise Certification program, a pilot project aimed at developing IPM certifications for structural pest control operators in California.