In the early 1990s, southwestern Arizona was plagued with billions of whiteflies that destroyed crops and made it difficult for people to breathe outside. The infestation triggered the Arizona Pest Management Center at the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to develop a program aimed to help pest control companies and students learn how maintain the exploding population of insects, according to a report by UA News.
Since its initiation, the Integrated Pest Management program has received the Gold Tier Shining Star Award from the Environmental Protection Agency, the news source said.
"Our mission is to connect scientific research with the community to build programs that minimize risk to people, property, resources and the environment," Arizona IPM coordinator Peter Ellsworth said, according to UA News. "That's the essence of Integrated Pest Management."
The program has received even more attention recently. April is recognized as National Pest Management Month, which is aimed to raise awareness of pest control organizations and all that they do to aid the community, according to the National Pest Management Association.