You are here

Integrated Pest Management is a philosophy that guides us as we address plants and wildlife that threaten the Gardens and natural and perimeter lands.

Like a toolbox, IPM is comprised of a variety of strategies—ranging from physical to chemical control—that Longwood draws upon when a threat arises. Environmentally sound practices are always the preferred method of treatment and chemicals are used as a last resort.

Four Strategies for Managing Pests

There are several proven practices we use—either alone or in combination—for managing pests. They include:

  • Physical or mechanical control-methods include deer fencing, pulling weeds, or squashing bugs
  • Cultural control-encourages the growth of healthy plants by providing them with ideal growing conditions
  • Biological control-draws upon the natural predatory instincts of certain species to control pests (i.e, Longwood cats for mice or lace wings for aphids)
  • Chemical control-used when other forms of pest management fail. Chemicals are selected based upon their proven effectiveness to eradicate only the pest at large and staff members use application methods that reduce toxicity but are still effective.

Longwood's’ Cats 

Our diverse feline family provides an endless supply of entertainment and companionship for all. Each cat has its own caretaker and kingdom. Within their respective territories the cats serve as both guest ambassadors and rodent deterrents.

While the origin of the cats is mostly unclear, they have all found a home in Longwood Gardens. Every cat has been spayed or neutered and all are seen by a vet at least once a year for booster shots and a wellness check.