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Integrated Pest Management for Schools and Childcare Facilities

Pest Management Practices - Evaluation

IPM Program Evaluation

Both managers and pest control personnel must be aware that pest problems may change. Pests may actively invade schools or be introduced on dry goods, food packaging, pallets, school bags and many other sources. Consequently, the IPM program should be reevaluated periodically. Information from pest sighting reports, visual inspections, glue traps and other monitors should be kept in a central log for reference. Additionally, school administration must insure that changes in food handling procedures or repairs recommended by the pest control technician are acted on in a timely manner. Periodically, pest control staff and/or school personnel should review records to decide if pest numbers are at a minimal level or are increasing. A quarterly evaluation of the IPM program is important because a variety of events in the school can affect the long-term success of the IPM program. Consequently, all aspects of the school's pest management program must be periodically reviewed at least quarterly to determine if a pest problem is chronic or temporary. The quarterly evaluation can also be used to determine if past problems have been eliminated and if new problems are appearing. If a pest problem occurs repeatedly over a three-month period, the problem may be chronic. For example, mice seen repeatedly in the same area suggests they are entering from a harborage area like a hidden crawlspace void. In contrast, temporary or seasonal problems may occur about the same time each year, but usually are over in a few days. Other changes in the school's operations can affect the functioning of the IPM program. For example: - Changes in use patterns like the addition of evening or summer classes - In urban areas, nearby construction causing an invasion of rats - In rural areas, seasonal invasion of mice from nearby fields following grain harvest - Invasion of flies produced from decaying material deposited by stream flooding and receding It is important to maintain contact between administrators and pest control staff, otherwise, the initial priority given to the IPM may be lost among the day-to-day demands of a busy school schedule.

*Source: A Practical Guide to Management of Common Pests in Schools: Integrated Pest Management. Developed by the Illinois Pest Control Association, the Illinois Department of Public Health, The Structural Pest Advisory Council, and University of Illinois Extension.

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