Home Gardener Preferences, Perceptions, Knowledge and Behaviors Associated with Pest Management Strategies and Information Acquisition
Matheny, Amanda Leigh
Brown, Amy E.
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Abstract The overuse and/or misuse of pesticides by home gardeners has been verified through various reports indicating home gardeners may fail to recognize opportunities to implement more preferable pest management practices such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). A series of three surveys, facilitated by Master Gardeners, were conducted to investigate home gardeners' knowledge, values, and attitudes about pest management; changes in their behavior over time; and factors that impact their acquisition of pest management information. Respondents were primarily over age 50 and highly educated, with a high level of environmental concern. They preferred sources of information that could present both pesticides and alternatives, and preferred to access gardening information from Cooperative Extension, Master Gardeners, and the Internet. These respondents showed strong agreement between environmental concerns and their pest control decisions. The results of the study will help educators improve the efficacy of educational outreach on IPM and pesticide safety.