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Integrated Pest Management for Schools and Childcare Facilities

Pest Management Practices - Pest Management Stratigies

Pest Management Strategies

What is IPM? Working with a pest control service The decision making process Pesticide use in IPM program The pest problem solver

What is IPM?

IPM is a process for achieving long term, environmentally sound pest suppression through the use of a wide variety of technological and management practices. Control strategies in an IPM program extend beyond the application of pesticides to include structural and procedural modifications that reduce the food, water, living space, and access used by pests. By eliminating potential food, water, and living space for pests, and sealing up their entry routes into buildings, the need for pesticides is greatly reduced. Pesticides are used only when a confirmed pest problem is present (no preventive treatments). Then, the most effective pesticide that poses the least risk to people and the environment is applied using precision, targeted treatments. Return to top of page

Working with a Professional Pest Control Service

Pest management professionals are trained in pest identification and problem solving strategies, including the safe use of pesticides, when needed. For many schools and childcare centers, hiring a professional contractor that can provide IPM services may be the best pest control option. Be aware, however, that not all professional services are equal with regard to their ability to provide true IPM services. It is the responsibility of the school or facility to assure that the contractor delivers a service that is consistent with the IPM policy. Tip on working with a pest control service in an IPM program [PDF file] Return to top of page

The Decision-making Process

IPM includes regular (usually monthly) inspections to determine if pests are present. The pest management professional and/or IPM Coordinator will examine data from pest sighting logs, sticky traps, and visual inspection to decide whether a pest problem exists, and to recommend a course of action, if needed. Recommendations could include: - Sealing doors, windows, or other potential pest entries - Sealing off entries into pest harborage areas such as equipment or wall voids - Removing cardboard and/or reducing clutter - Improving sanitation practices - Repair of leaking plumbing fixtures - Maintenance tasks such as cleaning floor drains or ventilation screens - Behavioral changes of staff, such as keeping doors closed or not feeding wildlife - Structural changes to the building such as moving lights away from doors - Landscape improvements such as trimming low-lying shrubs or cleaning up fallen fruit or yard debris - Application of a pesticide Depending on the nature of the pest problem, one or more of these practices may be used to eliminate the pest. Certain pest situations will best be resolved through the use of a pesticide. More on selecting treatment strategies from EPA Region 9’s School IPM Manual. [PDF File] Return to top of page

Pesticide Use in IPM Programs

IPM takes advantage of recent pest control technologies such as baits for cockroaches, ants, or termites. When used correctly, these products are effective and pose less risk of potential chemical exposure of children, staff, or the pest management professional. Non- bait spray pesticides (if needed) are generally applied as targeted treatments such as crack and crevice applications indoors or spot treatments outdoors to lower the potential for exposure. We recommend the following with regard to pesticide use in schools and childcare centers: - Inform parents, staff members, and pest control contractors of the facility’s policies regarding pesticide use - Identify a staff member (usually the IPM coordinator) to serve as contact person for parents or staff who have questions about pesticide use in the school or facility - Pesticides should only be applied by someone trained in their safe use, such as a certified Commercial Pesticide Applicator - Pesticides should never be applied when children or staff are present - Pesticides should not be stored on school grounds if it can be avoided - Any pesticides that are stored on site must be kept in their original containers and should be stored under lock and key- Pesticide products such as aerosol “bug sprays” should not be kept or used by teaching or custodial staff - Any pesticide applications must be made in a manner consistent with the school’s pest management policy - Notify parents and staff of pesticide applications, if mandated by the pest control policy - The school or facility should maintain records on pesticide applications for at least 90 days following treatment Return to top of page

The Pest Problem-Solver

The following links contain information and specific IPM strategies for controlling common pests found in and around schools and childcare centers. IPM methods can vary considerably from one program to another. Make sure the recommendations you follow are consistant with your IPM policy. We would like to acknowledge the Illinois Practical Guide to Management of Common Pests in Schools, University of Wisconsin School IPM Manual, EPA Region 9 IPM for Schools: A How-to Manual, and University of Florida’s School IPM Website as the primary sources for the information provided. Each of the following links will open in a new window.


Management of Common Midwest Ant Species Ants: IPM Action Points IPM for Ants in Schools Success with Ant Baits


Cockroach Management Cockroaches: IPM Action Points IPM for Cockroaches in Schools Least Toxic Methods of Cockroach Control

Clothes moths and carpet beetles

IPM for Clothes Moths and Carpet Beetles


IPM for Fleas in Schools


Flies: IPM Action Points IPM for Flies in Schools

Head lice

Preventation and Treatment of Head Lice

Head Lice: IPM Action Points Head Lice Control IPM for Head Lice

Landscape pests

IPM for Trees and Shrubs

Mice and other rodents

The House Mouse Rats and Mice: IPM Action Points IPM for Rats and Mice Non-chemical Rodent Control

Mystery bugs

Dealing with Complaints of Mysterious Biting Bugs

Occasional invaders

When Outdoor Insects Come In

Outdoor vertebrate pests

Controlling Moles, Voles, Pigeons, and Other Vertebrate Pests Outdoors

Pantry/stored product pests

Food-Infesting Pests Pantry Pests

Silverfish, firebrats, and booklice

IPM for Silverfish, Firebrats and Booklice Silverfish and Firebrats: IPM Action Points


Spider Control and Management Spiders: IPM Action Points IPM for Spiders in Schools

Termites and wood-damaging pests

Termites and Other Wood Damaging Pests Swarming Termites and Ants Using Termite Baits

Turf management and pest control

General Turf Management IPM for Turf Turf Insect and Disease Management Lawn Insect IPM IPM for Weeds on School Grounds

Yellowjackets and hornets

Yellowjacket Control and Management IPM for Yellowjackets and Hornets in Schools Wasps and Bees: IPM Action Points Distinguishing Bees, Wasps, Yellowjackets and Hornets Return to top of page


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