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Pest management issues are found throughout the school (interior) and outside the school (exterior) on the campus. They involve every aspect of the school, from the obvious locations (cafeteria) to the less conspicuous (lockers and desks).
Different pests (insects, weeds, molds, rodents, or other animals) require different conditions to thrive, but all creatures need food, water, and shelter to survive. As a result, key concern areas include places where pests have access to food, water, and hiding places (harborage). Pest-prone areas include the following:
- Cafeteria: Pests are attracted to food and water in conspicuous locations as well as between appliances, in cracks, and cabinets. Pests enter through openings in exterior walls and doors, and are transported in on packaging. Pests will remain in places of harborage (i.e. stacks of boxes).
- Classrooms: Pests are attracted to food in desks and areas around classroom pets. Pest populations increase in protected areas where papers and clutter accumulate. Some classrooms have even higher levels of vulnerability, such as home economics classrooms, and they will reproduce in these safe spaces.
- Lockers: Large amounts of clutter and food can easily and quickly accumulate in lockers throughout a school year.
- Loading Areas and Docks: Well-managed schools are often introduced to pest problems through deliveries of goods and supplies that have been stored in uncontrolled warehouses. Open spaces over and around garage doors also provide year-round access.
- Dumpsters: Waste receptacles (all varieties) and surrounding areas are especially vulnerable to pest problems.
- Exterior Conduits: All openings from the outside, including gaps around pipes, electrical lines, ventilation ducts, air conditioners, and windows, provide invitations to pests.
- Landscaping: Foundation plantings attract a great variety of insects, including those that destroy structures. Overhanging tree branches are known for providing pest access. Rotting fruit from fruit trees attract flies and stinging insects. Nuts and seeds from trees can attract rodents such as squirrels.
- School Grounds and Athletic Fields: Herbicides are used to control weeds found in landscapes and athletic fields, and insecticides are used to control insects in both areas. Often well-intentioned parents, volunteers, or staff will apply pesticides to control or eliminate problems, unknowingly creating risks for students involved in athletic activities.
Additional locations in schools that are vulnerable to increased pest activity include areas surrounding vending machines, recycling centers, teacher lounges, locker rooms, and theater/back stage areas including dressing rooms.
School administrators and staff must work together to create and manage their own individualized IPM checklist or inspection form. Examples are included in the links to the right. Schools can modify them to suit their individual needs.
Administrator Information, School IPM
Administrator Information includes sample policy statements, organization directories, sample IPM training outlines, school IPM questionaires and surveys, as well as forms and regulatory information.
California School Integrated Pest Management Program
This site has been created by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) as part of its implementation of the Healthy Schools Act of 2000. Here you will find a variety of documents, web links, and other resources related to the Act.
Introduction to IPM (Michigan)
Requirements, procedures, and policies for IPM in public buildings, including schools, and applicator training requirements.
IPM for Your School
Guidelines to aid understanding IPM and how it can be adapted for use in schools. Outlined is general information that applies to almost every pest situation.
IPM in Schools
On this site you will find information on practical pest prevention for schools in Minnesota. We are developing a unique and proactive Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program for schools in Minnesota to increase effectiveness of school IPM programs, reduce pesticide applications and increase cost effectiveness.
IPM in Schools - Model Pesticide Safety and IPM Guidance Policy for School Districts
This model guidance for implementation of integrated pest management in schools can be used by administrators, educators, parents and others to help inform the development, adoption and improvement of policies for school districts. It represents our recommendations for best management practices for successful implementation of pesticide safety and IPM practices in kindergarten to 12th grade schools. It is not intended to supersede state, tribal or local requirements, where those requirements are more stringent or specific.
IPM in Schools Modules
IPM Learning Modules from Nebraska include an introduction to integrated pest management, assessment/evaluation, asthma triggers in schools, IPM treatment strategies and mold and indoor air quality in schools; school ground pest modules; and more
School IPM Directory
Includes links to a variety of publications related to IPM in schools, including standards, newsletters, and news articles.
National Pesticide Information Center
Contents include a pesticide overview, pesticide safety, evaluating your pesticide risk, and pesticide information.
National Pest Management Association
National trade association for the professional pest control industry. The Web site serves as a resource for their memberhsip, consumers, media, and teachers/students.
Pesticide Information Profiles
This is a cooperative effort of University of California-Davis, Oregon State University, Michigan State University, Cornell University, and the University of Idaho. It provides specific pesticide information relating to health and environmental effects.
The Pied Piper
Basic biology, great photographs, and links for rats, mice, cockroaches, fleas, bugs, flies, ants, and wasps, as well as textile pests, pest birds, casual intruders, and beneficial animals