An effective Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management (IRVM) program requires the vegetation manager to be knowledgeable about turfgrass, ornamental plantings, brush control and noxious and invasive weeds. During the pest control evaluation phase, herbicides may be the only realistic and cost effective control method available. The use of herbicides is not an automatic response to sighting a pest, but rather the
result of a "step down" procedure of evaluating all methods of control to maintain public safety and aesthetics. When herbicides are the chosen method of control, general use materials are selected based on least environmental impact and general use materials. Herbicides are then applied in a safe manner according to label directions when the pest is in a controllable stage.
Decisions to utilize herbicides are made after cultural or biological control methods have been evaluated. Short term and long term pest impacts
are also considered and the cost of application and economic benefits are evaluated in the decision making process. With proper planning, herbicides can be used to reduce the frequency of mowing cycles and ultimately reduce the annual maintenance cost for interstate and primary routes.