Oregon State University Extension Service website provides
science-based solutions for garden pests, weeds and disease problems in one
project was shepherded by Weston Miller, an OSU Extension community
horticulturist who started six years ago when collaborators
expressed interest and provided funds for what would become the Solve
Pest and Weed Problems
stakeholders – Metro, the East and West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation
Districts and the city of Gresham – challenged OSU to create a user-friendly
pest management resource for the public. Part of my job was to figure out the
resources Extension has and pull them together in one place,” Miller said.
Pest and Weed Problems focuses specifically on the Pacific Northwest and
prioritizes low-risk approaches. Based on feedback, Miller incorporated
household pests, invasive plants, pesticide safety and pollinators, as well as
pests and diseases.
extensive planning, including community involvement, user testing, feedback
from agencies, nonprofits and many more,” Miller said. “We were able to hire a
professional to design the website and do graphic design. Gradually, we kept
improving it and building on it.”
peer-reviewed content is presented in categories with information presented
below photos. Clicking on the photo takes you to another page that offers
information about identification, look-alikes and specific information on
control. Photos illustrate each subject.
compiling Extension resources from sources like the Pacific Northwest Pest
Management Handbooks, entries are written by Miller with help from Signe
Danler, OSU Extension Master Gardener online horticulture instructor, and other
OSU experts. The content is peer reviewed by the OSU Department of Horticulture
in the College of Agricultural Sciences. Miller edits the content and posts it
on the website. More entries will be added in the future.
provide more information, the website features links to other OSU Extension
resources, as well as to other university-level, science-based sources.
hope that people both public and private property managers find practical pest
management and prevention,” Miller said. “We want people to use it to make
informed decisions for their gardens and public spaces.”
that, users will find sections on using less pesticides, pesticide safety,
organic pesticides and preventive measures like planting in the right place for
the size, water needs, exposure and soil for each plant. Using good selection
criteria keeps plants healthy and a healthy plant can fend off pests and
diseases, Miller said. The hope, he added, is that people will use less
pesticides – or if they do, in a safe manner.
from both sides of the Cascades and from throughout the state – get attention.
Examples include cheatgrass in eastern and western Oregon; pampas grass on the
coast; and tree of heaven, a species of concern statewide. The website includes
guides about how to manage landscapes without pesticides or herbicides and 20
pages of pesticide safety guidance.
putting together material that’s not available in one place with such complete
information,” Miller said. “We are super grateful to our partnerships in the
broader community who were looking to have a durable information service to
meet a fairly defined need. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished.”