The San Francisco Integrated Pest Management Ordinance was the first ordinance of its kind in the nation.
Enacted in 1996 and revised in 2011, The Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Ordinance laid the groundwork for development of San Francisco's groundbreaking Precautionary Principle Ordinance. The ordinance applies specifically to City properties, and is unique in the following ways:
- Requires pest managers to use pesticides only as a last resort
- Restricts all pesticide use to an approved list of products (Reduced Risk Pesticide List)
- Provides posting of all pesticide treatments
- Keeps data on pesticide use
San Francisco’s IPM program has been emulated by dozens of public agencies nationwide, and received the 2006 National IPM Achievement Award. 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.
- Decreased pesticide use by about 70-80% since the start of the Integrated Pest Management program in 1996.
- Decreased the use of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, by 88% since the program began. See up-to-date graphs.
- Removed most hazardous pesticides from the annually updated Reduced Risk Pesticide list, including dicamba, chlorthalonil, 2,4-D, organophosphate insecticides, brodifacuom, and many others.
- Prohibited pre-emergent herbicides (with the exception of airport runways, which are subject to Federal Aviation Administration regulations).
- 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 San Francisco Department of Public Health. Use is permitted only in sewers and at the airport, where there is no chance of affecting predators.
- Banned the use of gopher baits (2009) as a precautionary measure, due to the potential for adverse impacts on other wildlife.
- Created Pest Prevention By Design Guildelines,
- Eliminated neonicitinoid insecticides from City operations (2014). Some neonicitinoids have been implicated as contributing factors to pollinator decline.
- Established restrictions on Roundup and similar herbicides (2015-6). Following a finding by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the IPM Program and Commission on the Environment enacted strict new requirements for those herbicides rated as "most hazardous" (Tier 1) under San Francisco's hazard screening system.
Download a model Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan by the California Academy of Sciences.
Since 2010, San Francisco Department of the Environment posts summaries of pesticide use trends on City properties on its website. Before the 2010 revision of the Integrated Pest Management Ordinance, the department was required to submit full annual reports on the IPM Program.
2004 Workshop on Approved Pesticide Lists
- Pest Prevention By Design Guidelines - the nation's first set of peer-reviewed guidelines on designing pest prevention into buildings and retrofits
- Compost Tea: Literature review on production, application and plant disease management
Exemption requests - City departments must request special exemptions to use pesticides that are not on the current Reduced Risk Pesticide List.
Exemptions approved - Approved Exemptions are automatically posted online.
Reports of any federal or state pesticide violations, including unsafe application or use in violation of the pesticide label, should be directed to the San Francisco Agricultural Commissioners Office, housed at the Department of Public Health's Pesticide Use Enforcement Program at (415) 252-3862.
Complaints, comments, or concerns about pesticide use or pest problems on City properties can be registered directly with the relevant City department, or can be entered in our list. We will direct the issue to the appropriate City agency.
Meetings: Watch this space for announcements of upcoming meetings and conferences.
- The San Francisco IPM Program receives funding from multiple city agencies: 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 also works with the Urban Pesticide Pollution Prevention Project, a regional IPM network. The city's IPM staff sat on technical advisory committees for the EcoWise Certification program and the GreenPro certification program, both of which are IPM certifications for structural pest control businesses.
Looking for Information for Private Properties?
The City does not have the legal authority to regulate pesticide use on private properties. The enforcement of state and federal pesticide laws is the responsibility of the California Agricultural Commissioners offices.