Given San Francisco's environmental bent, the city has gone to great lengths to reduce its pesticide use, cutting applications by 81 percent since 1996.
The city would have made even greater strides toward pesticide elimination if not for a misguided policy to spend taxpayer dollars keeping Harding Park Golf Course up to PGA standards.
According to the report;
The most hazardous pesticides, in the largest amounts, are still consumed by the City's golf courses, and particularly by Harding Park. This is primarily due to the extraordinarily high cosmetic and playability requirements of international tournaments. In 2009, Harding Park managers switched to an herbicide product called K-O-G which contains a much lower concentration of active ingredient - thus posing lower worker health hazard. However, this change also dramatically increases the poundage of herbicides used. Recreation & Park staff have experimented with a variety of less-toxic products in order to control problematic weeds at the course (especially Soliva sessillus) but have not been successful. Nevertheless, Harding has received accolades from PGA Tours for using significantly less pesticides than comparable, tournament level courses.
Soccer players at the Polo Fields in Golden Gate Park are pestered by
ravens. So park workers apply a special chemical that makes grass taste bad to birds. Candlestick Park comes under assault from crows, requiring an application of pesticide. Rats and mice have infested Pier 17, so the Port of San Francisco's had poison bait set out.
For greenies fretful that the city would use any chemicals to kill pests, consider the alternative, the report suggests.
West Nile virus or encephalitis transmitted by mosquitoes, allergies or asthma caused by cockroaches, and enteric diseases spread by rats are a few examples of hazards posed by pests