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Pests, Plants & Pesticides

Organicgarden (1)Invasive Plant Removal

Invasive plants are non-native species that have been introduced, either intentionally or accidentally, into a new habitat. They can spread aggressively, taking over vegetation around them. Luckily, Zoo New England has a chemical-free method of combating these plants: our animals love to eat them! If you don't have a gorilla or giraffe to eat invasive plants in your backyard, you can learn more about controlling invasive plant species through other methods on Audubon's action sheet (pdf).

Integrated Pest Management

Both Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo avoid the use of chemicals by using techniques of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM is a science-based process used to minimize pests without the use of synthetic chemical pesticides. Rather than simply eliminating pests repeatedly, IPM looks to determine the reason for the pest’s presence and find a solution that reduces the risk to people and the environment. Once we know what environmental factors allow pests to thrive, we can create unfavorable conditions for them.

IPM techniques include:

  • Biological: Using natural enemies that attack or feed on pests
  • Cultural: Using particular gardening practices, like crop rotation or mulching to create unfavorable conditions for pests
  • Genetic: Planting pest-resistant plant varieties
  • Physical: Using covers, screens, etc.
  • Chemical: As a last resort, pesticides may be used

Read more about Franklin Park Zoo's Organic Garden Project which, of course, uses chemical-free IPM methods!