School IPM Best Practices

Outdoor BMPs: Hardscapes: Sidewalks, Parking Lots, and Some Fence-line Areas

Best Management Practices for Hardscapes such as Parking Lots and Sidewalks

Integrated pest management is the practice of using knowledge, monitoring, recordkeeping, and communication to reduce pest risk with the least amount of pesticide use possible.

  • Install barrier along edge of hardscape to keep grass from intruding into edges of hardscape
  • When installing new walkways, follow good construction guideline to prevent cracking and subsequent weed problems
  • Deal with weeds when they are small and less established
  • Understand the nature of the plant: what is its life-cycle? How does it spread? Why does it favor this type of site?
  • Establish a management plan for long-term success based on thresholds and treatment options
  • Use string trimmers or heat treat options (torch or steam)
  • Hand-pulling weeds: Aim to remove complete plant and root when weeding
  • Understand how frequent soil disturbance can deter some weeds and encourage others
  • Seal cracks in sidewalks and blacktop with flexible caulking or sealers
  • Keep debris and loose soil out of hardscape areas so they don’t provide habitat for weed germination
  • Use mechanical removal where possible (dragging chains or chain-link type fencing to scrape off weeds)

Common Pests

Resources (PDFs)

For More Information