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Integrated Pest Management for Schools and Childcare Facilities

Pest Management Practices - Monitoring and Record Keeping

Monitoring and Record Keeping in an IPM Program

Record Keeping Monitoring for Pests Pest Signs Pest Sighting Logs Monitoring traps and tools

Record Keeping

IPM requires keeping careful records of pests reported in schools and on grounds, and actions taken to control pests (including pesticides used). Data from monitoring tools such as sticky traps and pest sighting logs (see below) are used in the decision making process, and also to evaluate the success of pest management strategies used. An overview of how record keeping fits into the IPM plan (including example forms) is provided in Wisconsin’s School IPM Manual.

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Monitoring for Pests

In Integrated Pest Management, the general philosophy is if no pest is present, no pesticide is needed. So it is important in IPM to develop a monitoring system for determining whether or not pests are present. In school and daycare IPM programs we recommend 3 main monitoring tools: - Pest signs - Pest Sighting Logs - Insect and mouse monitoring stations Return to top of page

Pest signs

Sometimes, the presence of pests can be detected by the signs they leave behind. Pest control professionals are trained to recognize the signs of pests, but building occupants can help, by being alert for pest signs and reporting them to the professional, via the pest sighting log. Common examples of pest signs include: Mice and other rodents - Droppings (size and shape indicates species) - Urine stains (fluoresce under an ultraviolet light) - Tracks (in dust or soft, moist soil) - Gnawing damage - Burrows next to walls around the exterior of structure - “Runways” (areas where rodents frequently run, usually along walls, where there is an absence of dust or dirt) - Grease marks along walls next to runways (from oil and dirt on rodent fur) - Live or dead rodents - Rodent odors (especially mice)

(Source: Bennett, GW, Owens, JM, and Corrigan, RM. Truman’s Scientific Guide to Pest Control Operations, 5th Edition. 1997.)

Insect and spider pests

The most common sign of an insect pest infestation is a sighting of the pest itself. Other signs include insect “frass” or droppings, physical damage in the case wood destroying insects, mud or paper nests of wasps, or webbing associated with certain spiders. Again, the building occupants can assist the pest management profession by reporting these signs of infestation. Return to top of page

Pest Sighting Logs

The eyes and ears of staff, teachers, and students can be valuable weapons against pests. The building occupants should be trained to report any pest sightings to the IPM Coordinator who can relay this information to the pest management professional. Tofacilitate communication, it is helpful to utilize a Pest Sighting Log to record each pest sighting and the specific location, time and date of the sighting. For example, it is more helpful for the pest manager to know that ants were sighted in the southwest corner of the cafeteria next to the trash container, than just to read a report that says “ants in cafeteria.” Examples of Pest Sighting Logs and other monitoring forms: Pest Sighting Log from the University of Florida's School IPM Website [PDF File] Pest Sighting Log from Wisconsin’s School IPM Manual [PDF File] Pest Sighting Log and other monitoring forms for indoor and landscape IPM from EPA Region 9 School IPM Manual [PDF File] Return to top of page

Monitoring traps and tools

Many of the most common pests in schools and daycare centers are not active during the day or when people are present. Insect monitors or “sticky traps” are cost effective tools that can be used to help determine if insect or spider pests are present. Monitors can be used by the pest management professional to determine if a control strategy is needed and how it should be applied. Kitchens and kitchen storerooms can be monitored for mice by placing snap traps in a mouse baiting or monitoring box. These boxes should be checked frequently by staff and any dead rodents removed promptly to maintain adequate health standards. Return to top of page

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