Pest Control in the School Environment: Adopting Integrated Pest Management

Pest Control in the School Environment: Adopting Integrated Pest Management
United States              Office of Pesticide Programs   EPA 735-F-93-012
Environmental Protection   (H7506C)                       August 1993

Pest Control in the School
Adopting Integrated Pest Management

                                                                Printed with Soy/Canola Ink on Paper that
                                                                contains at least 50% recycled fiber
Pest Control in the School Environment: Adopting Integrated Pest Management
As a mother, I understand the importance of a healthy school environment in which
to educate our children. As an environmentalist, I understand the need to eliminate
the unnecessary use of any toxic chemical. The use of integrated pest management
(IPM) in and around school buildings addresses both of these concerns while prepar-
ing our children to become tomorrow’s environmental stewards. This booklet will
provide you with a general understanding of IPM principles, so that you may make an
informed decision about pest control in your neighborhood schools. As EPA’s
Administrator, I encourage all schools to reduce the use of pesticides by adopting
integrated pest management.

                                                                     Carol Browner
                                                       Environmental Protection Agency
Pest Control in the School Environment: Adopting Integrated Pest Management
Pest Control in the School
Adopting Integrated Pest Management
Pest Control in the School Environment: Adopting Integrated Pest Management
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements..................................................................................................... ii
Can Children’s Exposure to Pesticides be Reduced
in the School Environment?........................................................................................ 1
What is Integrated Pest Management?....................................................................... 2
Establishing an IPM Program for Schools.................................................................. 4
Developing an Official Policy Statement for School Pest Management......................... 6
Designating Pest Management Roles............................................................................. 9
Setting Pest Management Objective for Sites.............................................................. 15
Inspecting, Identifying, and Monitoring...................................................................... 16
Setting Action Thresholds........................................................................................... 18
Apply IPM Strategies..................................................................................................... 19
Evaluating Results and Record Keeping...................................................................... 36
Evaluating the Costs................................................................................................... 38
Potential Added Costs................................................................................................... 38
Procurement................................................................................................................. 40
“In-House” or Contracted Services............................................................................... 41
For More Information.................................................................................................. 43

Pest Control in the School Environment: Adopting Integrated Pest Management
     Important and sensitive issues are          Bonny l. Dodson
     involved in adopting integrated pest        National Pest Control Association
     management in schools, and a diverse        William Forbes
     group of individuals was sought to help     Montgomery County [Maryland]
     the U.S. Environmental Protection           Public Schools
     Agency (EPA) develop this booklet.
                                                 Nancy Thorndike Greenspan
     Special appreciation is expressed to the
     following people for their assistance.
     Please note, however, that the organiza-    M. Shaheed Khan, Ph.D.
     tions with which these individuals are      University of the District of Columbia
     affiliated do not necessarily endorse all   Extension Service
     views expressed in this document.           Glenn H. Laycock
                                                 Residex Corporation
     Allen C. Abend                              Michael R. Pontti
     Maryland State Department of                Georgetown University
     Education                                   Facilities Management
     Anne W. Bloom and                           Landscape Department
     Nancy B. Watzman                            Josie Scholz
     Public Citizen                              Parent
     Susan J. Cooper
     National Coalition
     Against the Misuse of Pesticides

Pest Control in the School Environment: Adopting Integrated Pest Management
Can Children’s Exposure to Pesticides be
Reduced in the School Environment?
IPM and Your School
The public’s concerns about health and        scheduled spraying of pesticides. Schools
environmental risks associated with           across the nation that have adopted such
chemicals are increasing, particularly        programs report successful, cost-effective
when children are involved. As the            conversion to IPM. IPM can reduce the
public becomes more aware of the health       use of chemicals and provide economical
and environmental risks pesticides may        and effective pest suppression.
pose, its interest in seeking the use of
                                              This information has been developed
equally effective alternative pest control
                                              to encourage and assist school officials
methods increases. School administra-
                                              in examining and improving their pest         IPM can reduce the
tors and other persons who have pest
                                              management practices. It identifies ways
control decision-making responsibilities                                                   use of chemicals and
                                              to reduce dependence on pesticides in
for school buildings and grounds should
                                              school buildings and landscapes and           provide economical
become aware of the pest control options
                                              discusses alternative methods for manag-
available to them. It is in everyone’s best                                                   and effective pest
                                              ing pests commonly found in schools.
interest to reduce exposure to potentially
                                              School officials are not, however, re-               suppression.
harmful chemicals.
                                              quired by law to adopt the practices
The Environmental Protection Agency           recommended in this booklet.
(EPA) has prepared this booklet to
                                              All information provided in this booklet
acquaint readers with Integrated Pest
                                              may be reproduced and can be shared
Management (IPM), a pest control
                                              with anyone interested in an IPM program.
method that may be an alternative to

Pest Control in the School Environment: Adopting Integrated Pest Management
What is Integrated Pest Management?
                              IPM is an effective and environmentally       Understanding pest needs is essential
                              sensitive approach to pest management         to implementing IPM effectively. Pests
                              that relies on a combination of common-       seek habitats that provide basic needs
                              sense practices. IPM programs use             such as air, moisture, food, and shel-
                              current, comprehensive information on         ter. Pest populations can be prevented
                              the life cycles of pests and their interac-   or controlled by creating inhospitable
                              tions with the environment. This infor-       environments, by removing some of the
                              mation, in combination with available         basic elements pests need to survive,
                              pest control methods, is used to manage       or by simply blocking their access into
                              pest damage by the most economical            buildings. Pests may also be managed by
                              means, and with the least possible hazard     other methods such as traps, vacuums,
    IPM programs use          to people, property, and the environ-         or pesticides. An understanding of what
                              ment. IPM programs take advantage of          pests need in order to survive is essential
    current, comprehensive    all pest management options possibly          before action is taken.
    information on the        including, but not limited to, the judi-
                              cious use of pesticides.
    lifecycles of pests and
    their interactions with
    the environment.

Pest Control in the School Environment: Adopting Integrated Pest Management
Pests seek habitats
which provide basic
 needs such as air,
moisture, food, and

Pest Control in the School Environment: Adopting Integrated Pest Management
Establishing an IPM Program for Schools
                             An efficient IPM program can be inte-
                             grated with the school’s existing pest       Step 1:
                             management plan and other school             Develop an official IPM policy
                             management activities. School manage-        statement. This useful first step in
                             ment activities such as preventive mainte-   making the transition from a conven-
                             nance, janitorial practices, landscaping,    tional pesticide program to an IPM
                             occupant education, and staff training       program goes beyond simply stating
                             are all part of an IPM program. The          a commitment to support and imple-
                             following steps are required to develop      ment an IPM approach. It acts as a
                             an IPM decision network:                     guide for the pest manager to use in
                                                                          developing a specific IPM program.
    An efficient IPM
    program can be inte-
    grated with the                                                       Step 2:
    school’s existing pest                                                Designate pest management roles for
    management plan and                                                   occupants, pest management person-
                                                                          nel, and key-decision-makers; assure
    other school manage                                                   good communications among them;
    ment activities.                                                      and educate or train the people
                                                                          involved in their respective roles.

Pest Control in the School Environment: Adopting Integrated Pest Management
Step 3:                                 Step 5:
Set pest management objectives          Set action thresholds. These are the
for the site(s). For every site, pest   levels of pest populations or site en-
management objectives will differ.      vironmental conditions that require
The type of pest management sought      remedial action.
should be outlined.

                                        Step 6:

Step 4:                                  Apply IPM strategies to control
                                        pests. These include redesigning
Inspect site(s) and identify and        and repairing structures, improving
monitor pest populations for            sanitation, employing pest-resistant     Apply IPM strategies to
potential problems.                     plant varieties, establishing watering
                                        and mowing practices, and applying                control pests.
                                        pesticides judiciously.

                                        Step 7:
                                        Evaluate results to determine if pest
                                        management objectives are reached,
                                        and keep written records of all as-
                                        pects of the program.

Step 1
                                     Developing an Official Policy Statement for School Pest Management
                                      A policy statement for school pest                 education and involvement of students,
                                      management should state the intent of              staff, and pest manager. The model policy
                                      the school administration to implement             assessment in figure 1 is provided as
                                      an IPM program. It should briefly provide          an example and may be modified in any
                                      guidance on what specifically is                   way by schools to reflect site-specific
    Figure 1                          expected--the incorporation of existing            needs or intent.
    Model Policy Statement            services into an IPM program and the

       School Pest Management                      the school site for human purposes.          • Prevent loss of or damage to school
       Policy Statement                            Strategies for managing pest popula-           structures or property.
                                                   tions will be influenced by the pest
       Structural and landscape pests can                                                       • Prevent pests from spreading into the
                                                   species and whether that species poses
       pose significant problems to people,                                                       community, or to plant and animal
                                                   a threat to people, property, or the
       property, and the environment.                                                             populations beyond the site.
       Pesticides can also pose risks to people,
                                                                                                • Enhance the quality of life for
       property, and the environment. It is        Pest Management                                students, staff, and others.
       therefore the policy of this School         Approved pest management plans
       District to incorporate Integrated Pest     should be developed for the site and        Integrated Pest Management Procedures
       Management (IPM) procedures for             should include any proposed pest            IPM procedures will determine when to
       control of structural and landscape         management measures.                        control pests and whether to use
       pests.                                                                                  mechanical, physical, chemical, cultural,
                                                   Pests will be managed to:
       Pests                                                                                   or biological means. IPM practitioners
                                                    • Reduce any potential human               depend on current, comprehensive
       Pests are populations of living organ-         health hazard or to protect against      information on the pest and its environ-
       isms (animals, plants, or microor-             a significant threat to public safety.   ment and the best available pest control
       ganisms) that interfere with use of

School Pest Management Policy Statement (Continued)

   methods. Applying IPM principles              regulations in 40 Code of Federal           sent home to parents who whish to
   prevents unacceptable levels of pest          Regulations, Occupational Safety and        be informed in advance of pesticide
   activity and damage by the most               Health Administration regulations, and      applications.
   economical means and with the least           state and local regulations.
   possible hazard to people, property, and
                                                                                             Pesticide Storage and Purchase
   the environment.
                                                 Education                                   Pesticide purchases will be limited to
   The choice of using a pesticide will be       Staff, students, pest managers, and the     the amount authorized for use during
   based on a review of all other available      public will be educated about potential     the year. Pesticides will be stored and
   options and a determination that these        school pest problems and the IPM            disposed of in accordance with the
   options are not acceptable or are not         policies and procedures to be used to       EPA-registered label directions and state
   feasible. Cost or staffing considerations     achieve the desired pest management         regulations. Pesticide must be stored in
   alone will not be adequate justification      objectives.                                 an appropriate, secure site not accessible
   for use of chemical control agents, and                                                   to students or unauthorized personnel.
                                                 Record Keeping
   selected non-chemical pest management         Records of pesticide use shall be           Pesticide Applicators
   methods will be implemented whenever          maintained on site to meet the              Pesticide applicators must be educated
   possible to provide the desired control.      requirements of the state regulatory        and trained in the principles and
   It is the policy of this School District to   agency and School Board. Records must       practices of IPM and the use of
   utilize IPM principles to manage pest         be current and accurate if IPM is to        pesticides approved by this School
   populations adequately. The full range        work. In addition, pest surveillance data   District, and they must follow regulations
   of alternatives, including no action, will    sheets that record the number of pests      and label precautions. Applicators
   be considered.                                or other indicators of pest populations     should be certified and comply with
   When it is determined that a pesticide        are to be maintained to verify the need     this School District IPM policy and Pest
   must be used in order to meet important       for treatments.                             Management Plan.
   management goals, the least hazardous*
   material will be chosen. The application      Notification                                * Precautionary statements are required
   of pesticides is subject to the Federal                                                   on all pesticide labels. Signal words
                                                 This School District takes the
   Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide                                                    indicate the level of acute toxicity, the
                                                 responsibility to notify the school staff
   Act (7 United States Code 136 et seq.),                                                   hazard to humans posed by the pesticide
                                                 and students of upcoming pesticide
   School District policies and procedures,                                                  product. Every label bears the child
                                                 treatments. Notices will be posted
   Environmental Protection Agency                                                           hazard warning: Keep Out of Reach of
                                                 in designated areas at school and

Notices will be posted
    in designated areas at
    school and sent home
    to parents who wish to
    be informed of
    upcoming pesticide

Step 2
Designating Pest Management Roles
The concepts and methods of IPM were         objectives of the site. These functions
developed originally in agricultural         and responsibilities are identified below
settings. Later, it was found that IPM had   and should be outlined in the school’s
great value in school pest management as     pest management plan.
well. The interactions of the people
involved in a school pest management         Students and Staff —
system are the key to the success or         The Occupants
failure of the program. When the
                                             Occupants are concerned about the
respective roles of all the people in the
                                             safety of the pest control methods used,
pest management system are identified
                                             about their effectiveness, and about
and agreed upon, and when these people                                                        Occupants are con-
                                             possible adverse effects. School staff,
communicate well with each other,
                                             students, and their parents should receive   cerned about the safety
effective and less expensive protection of
                                             information addressing these concerns
the site and the people can be achieved                                                        of the pest control
                                             and their roles in the school’s pest
with fewer risks.
                                             management system.                             methods used, about
In successful urban pest management          The most important responsibility of the     their effectiveness, and
systems, people function effectively as      students and staff is sanitation. Much of
occupants, pest managers, or decision-       the prevention and reduction of pest         about possible adverse
makers, gaining the information they         infestation at the school site depends on                    effects.
need, giving the information that others     whether or not students and staff clean
need, cooperating with each other, and       up food leftovers, food in lockers, gum
meeting their special responsibilities to
achieve the unique pest management

Prevention and reduc-
     tion of pest infestation
     at the school site
     depends on whether or
     not students and staff
     clean up leftovers,
     food in lockers, gum
     under desks, paper,
     clutter, etc.

under desks, paper clutter, etc., or       practices and follow them at home so that
perform proper maintenance. In addi-       pests are not carried to school in note-
tion, because people at the school site    books, lunch boxes, clothing, or the chil-
may observe the presence of pests, they    dren’s hair. Second, parents should be
should report any evidence of pest         aware of the current pest management
activity.                                  practices in their children’s schools. The
                                           schools should welcome questions by the
Other actions may be required of stu-      parents and encourage the parents to
dents and staff or undertaken by them,     seek information. Visible interest and
depending on their interest in the site    concern on the parents’ part is a valuable
and the pest management system. The        resource and stimulus for the implemen-
more occupants “buy in” to this, the       tation of a school IPM program. Parents
better the pest management system          may express their views to the school
will work.                                 superintendent, School Board, school
                                                                                         Parents have the most
Parents’ Special Roles                     district management, and the school’s
                                           Parent Teacher Associations (PTA).            responsibility for their
Parents have the most responsibility for   Parents may participate on IPM advisory
their children, and they are their                                                        children, and they are
                                           or oversight committees with school and
children’s natural advocates. Thus,        government management.                        their children’s natural
parents can bring the need to reduce
dependence on pesticides to the atten-     The Pest Manager                                          advovates.
tion of school personnel, and they can     In a pest management system, the pest
assist greatly in the transition to an     manager is the person who observes and
IPM program.                               evaluates the site, or directs others to do
Parents’ first school pest management      so, and decides what needs to be done to
responsibility is to learn about IPM       achieve the site pest management

objectives. The pest manager could be the     The system for the site must achieve the
     school principal, the custodian, a desig-     goals within the limitations posed by
     nated faculty member or an individual         safety, time, money, and available ma-
     under contract to the school system. The      terials. Pest managers monitor the site
     pest manager designs a pest management        and the pest population to determine
     system that takes into account potential      if actions taken are successful and must
     liability, applicator and occupant safety,    keep accurate records of the amount and
     costs, effectiveness, time required, and      location of any pesticides used and dates
     customer or occupant satisfaction.            of each application.
     The pest manager draws on knowledge           Decision-Makers
     gained through prior training and uses
                                                   Generally, persons who authorize the pest
     information on the site, the pest and its
                                                   management program and control the
     biology, occupant health and concerns,
                                                   money for pest management are people
     appropriate control measures, and
                                                   involved in the direct management or
     expected results. The pest manager also
     performs the necessary pest management        administration of the school or schools,
     actions or directs others in the actions to   such as a superintendent or assistant
     be taken.                                     superintendent of schools. However, a
                                                   person indirectly involved with the site
     Because the pest manager usually has          may become a pest management deci-
     the responsibility of keeping both the        sion-maker, e.g., the health department
     occupants and school administrators           inspector. On other occasions, the
     informed, he or she has the greatest need     purchasing agent or contracting officer
     for available information about the site,     for a school system or district may be a
     pest, and appropriate pest management         major decision-maker for a school site.

For decision-makers, concerns about         Educating IPM Participants
costs, liability, time expended, method
effectiveness, safety, and customer or      A school IPM program should include a
occupant satisfaction are foremost.         commitment to the education of
These decision-makers also determine if     students, staff, and parents. This educa-
the pest manager is performing at an        tion should include not only the teachers,
acceptable level and if the pest manage-    but also school nurses, cafeteria
ment objectives are being met. Among        employees, and housekeeping and
other methods, this assessment can be       administrative personnel as well. All
done by monitoring complaints from the      occupants must understand the basic
occupants, by observing the site environ-   concepts of IPM and who to contact with
ment, or by a combination of both.          questions or problems. Specific
Decision-makers must also provide the       instructions should be provided on what
necessary level of financial commitment     to do and what not to do. For example,
                                            staff should not bring and use pesticides    A school IPM program
for any IPM program to succeed.
                                            on their own on school sites. All                  should include a
A great deal of understanding, coopera-     pesticide products, including those
tion, and commitment from everyone in       purchased at a retail store, should be         commitment to the
the system--students and parents, school    applied only by designated qualified per-    education of students,
staff, managers, administrators, and the    sonnel. Educating and training staff
public--is needed in order for an IPM       to function within an IPM context is             staff, and parents.
program to succeed.                         important to the success of an in-house
                                            IPM program. (Note: More specific
                                            training is required for the pest manager.
                                            Universities and State Cooperative

Extension Services have the expertise to    certain beetles--are actually beneficial in
     meet most IPM training needs. Needed        controlling pest populations. If good
     training materials that are not already     sanitation is practiced, the population of
     available can be developed jointly          these beneficial insects can be kept at
     between the School District and the         tolerable levels.
     Extension Service.)
                                                 All staff at the school should learn about
     Education is a vital component of pest      the basic concepts of IPM and how these
     management. Many schools across the         principles are being applied in their
     United States have incorporated environ-    particular school. Staff and students
     mental issues into their curricula.         need to understand how their own be-
     Science classes might include discussions   havior helps alleviate or contributes to
     and activities to learn more about the      pest problems. School staff should
     fascinating and diverse roles of insects,   encourage the Parent Teacher Associa-
     plants, rodents, and birds in our world.    tions, student organizations, and other
     Most are harmless, and many--e.g., some     school-affiliated groups to participate in
     spiders, predatory mites, centipedes, and   the IPM program.

Step 3
Setting Pest Management Objectives for
School Buildings and Other Sites
Pest management objectives differ from        Examples of pest management objectives
site to site, and these differences must be   include -
considered before setting action thresh-
                                              (1) Manage pests that may occur on
old levels. (See Step 5.) For example, for
                                                  school sites to prevent interference
an athletic field, the objective would be
                                                  with the learning environment of
to maintain healthy turf as well as a
                                                  the students.
specific type of playing surface. With
ornamental plants, the objective would        (2) Eliminate injury to students, staff,
more likely be to maintain aesthetic              and other occupants.
value. With buildings or other structures,
the main objective might be controlling       (3) Preserve the integrity of the school
damage caused by termites. Schools                buildings or structures.
should outline specific objectives in a       (4) Provide the safest playing or athletic
pest management plan.                             surfaces possible.

Step 4
                                Inspecting, Identifying, and Monitoring
                                An IPM program consists of a cycle of       sanitation efforts--may greatly reduce the
                                inspecting, identifying, monitoring,        prevalence of the pest. Monitoring
                                evaluating, and choosing the appropriate    includes inspecting areas for pest evi-
                                method of control. Routine inspection       dence, entry points, food, water, and
                                and accurate identification of pests are    harborage sites, and estimating pest
                                vital steps in IPM to ensure that control   population levels. The information
                                methods will be effective. Once the pest    gained through monitoring is evaluated
                                has been identified and the source of its   to determine whether the action thresh-
                                activity pinpointed, habitat modifica-      old has been exceeded and what can be
                                tions--primarily, exclusion, repair, and    done in the way of prevention.
     Routine inspection and
     accurate certification
     of pests are vital steps
     in IPM to ensure that
     control methods will be

Once the pest has been
      identified and the
   source of its activity
     pinpointed, habitat
  rily, exclusion, repair,
and sanitation efforts—
        may greatly the
  prevalence of the pest

Step 5
                               Setting Action Thresholds
                               An action threshold is the level at which     When pest populations exceed pre-set
                               action is initiated. It is determined by      action thresholds, action must be taken.
                               deciding, based on the sensitivities of the   Precise recommendations or actions to
                               school occupants, how many pests can be       achieve specific results are an essential
                               tolerated. The action threshold is set by     part of an IPM program. Specific recom-
                               the pest manager and the occupants and        mendations, including an explanation of
                               should reflect the pest management            the benefits, should be based on the
                               objective for the site. The presence of       evaluation of all available data obtained
                               some pests does not, in itself, necessarily   through inspecting, identifying, and
                               require action.                               monitoring.
     The action threshold is
     set by the pest
     manager and the
     occupants and should
     reflect the pest
     management objectives
     for the site

Step 6
Applying IPM Strategies
Pest-prevention measures can be incor-        Entryways
porated into existing structures. Such
preventive measures reduce the need for       Door-ways, overhead doors, windows,
pesticide applications and include            holes in exterior walls, openings around
sanitation and structural repair, employ-     pipes, electrical fixtures, or ducts:
ing physical and mechanical controls
such as screens, traps, weeders, air doors,     •   Keep doors shut when not in use.
etc. Specific IPM strategies for specific       •   Place weather stripping on doors.
school sites are provided below. (Note:         •   Caulk and seal openings in walls.
Every school will experience slightly dif-
ferent combinations of pests.)                  •   Install or repair screens.
                                                •   Install air curtains.
IPM Strategies for Indoor Sites                 •   Keep vegetation, shrubs, and wood
Typical Pests:
                                                    mulch at least 1 foot away from
Mice, rats, cockroaches, ants, flies,
wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, spiders,            structures.
microorganisms, termites, carpenter
ants, and other wood-destroying insects.
Although beneficial as predators, wasps,
hornets, yellow jackets, and spiders can
be troublesome.

Install or repair

Classrooms and Offices                       Food Preparation and Serving Areas
Classrooms, laboratories, administrative      (dining room, main kitchen, teach-
offices, auditoriums, gymnasiums, and         ers’ lounge, home economics kitchen,
hallways:                                     snack area, vending machines, and
                                              food storage rooms):
   • Allow food and beverages only in
       designated areas.                       • Store food and waste in contain-
   • If indoor plants are present, keep            ers that are inaccessible to pests.
       them healthy. When small insect             Containers must have tight lids and
       infestations appear, remove them            be made of plastic, glass, or metal.
       manually.                                   Waste should be removed at the end
                                                   of each day.
   •   Keep areas as dry as possible by
       removing standing water and water       •   Place screens on vents, windows,
       damaged or wet materials.                   and floor drains to prevent cock-
   •   In the science lab, store animal            roaches and other pests from using
       foods in tightly sealed containers          unscreened ducts or vents as path-
       and regularly clean cages. In all           ways.
       areas, remove dust and debris.          •   Create inhospitable living condi-
   •   Routinely clean lockers and desks.          tions for pests by reducing avail-
   •   Frequently vacuum carpeted areas.           ability of food and water--remove
                                                   food debris, sweep up all crumbs, fix
   •   If students get head lice, consult
                                                   dripping faucets and leaks, and dry
       with your local health department
                                                   out wet areas.
       and have their parents contact a
       physician. Discourage students from
       exchanging hats or caps at school.

• Improve cleaning practices, includ-        • Routinely clean floor drains, strain-
     ing promptly cleaning food prepa-             ers, and grates. Seal pipe chases.
     ration equipment after use and             • Keep areas dry. Avoid conditions
     removing grease accumulation from             that allow formation of condensa-
     vents, ovens, and stoves. Use caulk           tion.
     or paint to seal cracks and crevices.
                                                • Areas that never dry out are condu-
   • Capture rodents by using mechani-             cive to molds and fungi. Increasing
     cal or glue traps. (Note: Place traps         ventilation may be necessary.
     in areas inaccessible to children.
                                                • Store paper products or cardboard
     Mechanical traps, including glue-
                                                   boxes away from moist areas and
     boards, used in rodent control
                                                   direct contact with the floor or the
     must be checked daily. Dispose of
                                                   walls. This practice also allows for
     killed or trapped rodents within 24
                                                   ease in inspection.
                                             Maintenance Areas
Rooms and Areas With Extensive
Plumbing                                     (Boiler room, mechanical room,
                                             janitorial-housekeeping areas, and
(Bathrooms, rooms with sinks, locker
rooms, dishwasher rooms, home eco-
nomics classrooms, science laboratories,        • After use, promptly clean mops and
swimming pools, and greenhouses):                  mop buckets; dry mop buckets and
                                                   hang mops vertically on rack above
   • Promptly repair leaks and correct             floor drain.
     other plumbing problems to deny
                                                • Allow eating only in designated
     pests access to water.
                                                   eating areas.

Capture rodents by
     using mechanical or
     glue traps

• Clean trash cans regularly, use               • Repair cracks in pavement and
      plastic liners in trash cans, and use           sidewalks.
      secure lids.                                • Provide adequate drainage away
  •   Keep areas clean and as dry as pos-             from the structure and on the
      sible, and remove debris.                       grounds.
  •   Top of page                               Turf
                                                (Lawns, athletic fields, and playgrounds):
IPM Strategies for
Outdoor Sites                                     • Maintain healthy turf by selecting a
                                                      mixture of turf types (certified seed,
Typical Pests:                                        sod, or plugs) best adapted for the
Mice and rats. Turf pests--broad-leaf and             area. Check university or Coopera-
grassy weeds, insects such as beetle grubs or         tive Extension service for recommen-
sod webworms, diseases such as brown patch,           dations on turf types, management
and vertebrates such as moles. Ornamental             practices, or other information.
plant pests--plant diseases, and insects such
                                                  •   Raise mowing height for turf to
as thrips, aphids, Japanese beetles, and bag
                                                      enhance its competition with weeds;
                                                      adjust cutting height of mower,
Playgrounds, Parking Lots, Athletic               •   depending on the grass type;
Fields, Loading Docks, and Refuse                 •   sharpen mower blades; and vary
Dumpsters:                                            mowing patterns to help reduce soil
  • Regularly clean trash containers              •   compaction.
    and gutters and remove all waste,             •   Water turf infrequently but suffi-
    especially food and paper debris.                 ciently during early morning hours
  • Secure lids on trash containers.                  to let turf dry out before nightfall;
                                                      let soil dry slightly between waterings.

Secure lids on trash

• Provide good drainage, and periodi-          • Obtain more information on turf
    cally inspect turf for evidence of             from EPA’s brochure entitled,
    pests or diseases.                             Healthy Lawn, Healthy Environ-
•   Allow grass clippings to remain in             ment: Caring for Your Lawn in an
    the turf (use a mulching mower or              Environmentally Friendly Way
    mow often) or compost with other
    organic material.                         Ornamental Shrubs and Trees
•   Have the soil tested to determine          • Apply fertilizer and nutrients to
    pH and fertilizer requirements.            • annuals and perennials during active
•   Use a dethatcher to remove thatch.             growth and to shrubs and trees
    Do this in early fall or early spring      • during dormant season or early in
    when the lawns can recover and                 the growing season.
    when overseeding operations are            •   If using a fertilizer, use the correct
    likely to be more successful.                  one at the suitable time, water
•   Time fertilizer application appropri-      •   properly, and reduce compaction.
    ately, because excessive fertilizer can    •   Prune branches to improve plants
    cause additional problems, includ-             and prevent access by pests to
    ing weed and disease outbreaks. Ap-        •   structures.
    ply lime if necessary. Use aeration        •   Use the appropriate pest-resistant
    to place soil on top of thatch so that
    microbes from soil can decompose           •   variety (check with your local
    thatch.                                    •   Cooperative Extension Service), and
                                                   properly prune for growth and
•   Seed over existing turf in fall or             structure.
    early spring.
                                               •   Correctly identify the pest in ques-
                                                   tion. When in doubt, send several

Raise mowing height
     for turf to enhance its
     competition with

• specimens to your local Cooperative       • personnel, or money. Some orna-
  Extension Service. Once the pest is         mental plants, trees, and turf are
  identified, recommendations can             so susceptible to plant diseases that
• be made.                                    efforts to keep them healthy may be
• Use pheromone traps as a time-              futile.
  saving technique for determining        Applying Pesticides
  the presence and activity periods of
  certain pest species. Pheromones
  are chemicals released by various       Many different kinds of pesticides are
  organisms as means of communica-        currently available for use against urban
  tion with others of the same species,   and structural pests. An appropriate ap-
  usually as an aid to mating.            plication uses the least toxic and most
• Select replacement plant material       effective and efficient technique and
  from among the many disease-            material. Due to their potentially toxic
  resistant types being developed by      nature, these materials should be applied
  plant breeders throughout the           by qualified applicators in a manner to
  country.                                ensure maximum efficiency, with minimal
                                          hazard. Pesticides should be applied only
• Check with your local State Cooper-
  ative Extension Service or university   when occupants are not present in areas
                                          where they may be exposed to materials
  for information on plant types
  appropriate for your site.
• Remove susceptible plants if a plant    Although EPA registers pesticides for use
  disease recurs and requires too many    within the United States, the fact that a
  resources, such as time, energy,        particular product is registered does not
                                          mean that it is “safe” under all conditions

Use pheromone traps
     as a time-saving
     technique for
     determining the
     presence and activity
     periods of certain past

of use. All pesticides used in the U.S.            This procedure helps conserve
must be EPA registered, and the registra-          predators and parasites needed to
tion number must be listed on the label.           reduce future pest populations and
Read and follow the pesticide label di-            increases the time between pest
rections, know how to apply and handle             outbreaks.
these chemicals, and try to minimize the       • Limit the use of sprays, foggers, or
exposure to children, adults, and other            volatile formulations. Instead use
non-target species.                                bait and crack and crevice applica-
The following general recommendations              tion when possible. Look for crack
should minimize exposure to people and             and crevice label instructions on how
other non-target species when the ap-              to apply the pesticide. These treat-
plication of pesticides is being                   ments maximize the exposure of the
considered:                                        pest to the pesticide while minimiz-
                                                   ing pesticide exposure for the          Check for state recom-
  • Read and follow all label instruc-         •   occupants.
      tions.                                                                                     mendations and
                                               •   Place all rodenticides either in
  •   Choose a pesticide that is labeled for       locations not accessible to children         requirements for
      the specific site, intended for the          and non-target species or in tamper
                                                                                               pesticide storage.t
      pest you are trying to control, and as       resistant bait boxes. Outdoors, place
      target specific as possible, rather          bait inside the entrance of an active
      than broad spectrum.                         rodent burrow, and then collapse
  •   Use a spot-treatment method of               the burrow entrance over the bait to
      application when pesticide treat-            prevent non-target species’ access.
      ments are required. Treat only the           Securely lock or fasten shut the lids
      obviously infested plants in an area.        of all bait boxes. Place bait in the

• baffle-protected feeding chamber of          and Material Safety Data Sheets
                              • the box. Never place bait in the             (MSDS) easily accessible.
                                runway of the box.                       Storing Pesticides
                              • Apply only when occupants are not        Store pesticides off site or in buildings
                                present or in areas where they will      that are locked and inaccessible to all
                                not be exposed to the material           undesignated personnel. Be sure
                                applied. Note any re-entry time          adequate ventilation is provided for the
                                limits listed on the label, and be       pesticide storage area. Store herbicides
                                aware that some residues can remain      separately to avoid potential damage to
                                long after application.                  plants from the absorption of vapors onto
                              • Use proper protective clothing or        other pesticides stored nearby. Avoid
                                equipment when applying pesti-           storing pesticides in places where
                                cides.                                   flooding is possible or in open places
     Schools should           • Properly ventilate areas after pesti-    where they might spill or leak into the
                                cide application.                        environment. Store flammable liquids
     consider posting
                                                                         away from an ignition source. Check for
     notices in areas to be
                              • Notify students, staff, and interested   state recommendations and requirements
                                parents of upcoming pesticide
                                                                         for pesticide storage.
     treated or that have     • applications if that is part of the
     been treated.              school pest management policy. Pay       If pesticides are stored in occupied
                                particular attention to those indi-      buildings, take special care to ensure
                                viduals that may be at higher risk.      that the air in the occupied spaces does
                                                                         not get contaminated. Place a notice out-
                              • Keep copies of current pesticide
                                                                         side the designated storage area. Store
                                labels, consumer information sheets,
                                                                         all pesticides in their original containers,

and secure lids tightly. Make sure that      Posting and Notification
childproof caps are properly fastened.
However, even closed pesticide contain-      Local law may require schools to notify
ers may release toxic chemicals to the air   students and staff of impending pesticide
through volatilization. Therefore, store     applications. If not, the school system
pesticides only in spaces that are physi-    may take the responsibility of informing
cally separated and closed off from          school staff and students’ parents of
occupied spaces and where there is ad-       upcoming pesticidal treatments. When
equate exhaust ventilation (i.e., the air    good IPM practices are followed, con-
is vented directly to the outside). In       cerns raised by notification and posting
addition, precautions are needed to          activities may be minimized. If
ensure that the air in the storage space     notification and posting is a new practice
has no chance of mixing with the air in      at the school, the new policy should be
the central ventilation system.              explained so that it will not be mis-
                                             interpreted to imply that more pesticides    Store pesticides only
The pest manager is responsible for          are being applied than previously.              in spaces that are
periodically checking stored pesticide
containers for leaks or other hazards. To    Notification can be accomplished by          physically separated
reduce pesticide storage problems, buy       posting notices around the school and
                                             sending notices home to those parents         and closed off from
only enough of the pesticide product to
last through the use season. Mix only        who wish to be informed in advance of           occupied spaces.
the amount of pesticide needed for the       pesticide applications. Schools should
immediate application.                       consider posting notices in areas to be
                                             treated or that have been treated. The
                                             school pest manager should be prepared
                                             and be available to provide more specific

information to concerned parents           poison control center and emergency
     and others.                                personnel should be kept readily
                                                accessible. The school may also wish to
     A voluntary registry of individuals who    consider informing the adjacent commu-
     could be adversely affected by exposure    nity in advance of planned outdoor
     to pesticides can be kept at the school    pesticide applications.
     health or administrative offices. Infor-
     mation on how to contact the local

Capture rodents by
using mechanical or
         glue traps

Step 7:
     Evaluating Results and Record Keeping
     Successful practice of IPM relies on         A complete and accurate pest manage-
     accurate record keeping. Record keep-        ment log should be maintained for each
     ing allows the school to evaluate the        property and kept in the office of the pest
     results of practicing IPM to determine if    manager or property manager. Pesticide
     pest management objectives have been         use records should also be maintained to
     met. Keeping accurate records also leads     meet any requirements of the state
     to better decision-making and more           regulatory agency, School Board, and
     efficient procurement. Accurate records      applicable local regulations. The log
     of inspecting, identifying, and monitor-     book should contain the following items:
     ing activities show changes in the site
                                                     • A copy of the Pest Management Plan
     environment (reduced availability of
                                                         and service schedule for the prop-
     food, water, or shelter), physical changes
     (exclusion and repairs), pest population
     changes (increased or reduced numbers,          •   A copy of the current EPA-registered
     older or younger pests), or changes in              label and the current MSDS for each
     the amount of damage or loss.                       pesticide product used on school

• Pest surveillance data sheets, which   • A diagram noting the location of
  record, in a systematic fashion, the     pest activity, including the location
  type and number of pests or other        of all traps, trapping devices, and
  indicators of pest population levels     bait stations in or around the site.
  revealed by the monitoring program
  for the site. Examples include date,
  number, location, and rodent
  species trapped or carcasses
  removed as well as date, number,
  and location of new rat burrows

                                                                                    IPM can reduce the
                                                                                   use of chemicals and
                                                                                    provide economical
                                                                                      and effective pest

Evaluating the Costs
     Preliminary indications from IPM            any program, insufficient resources will
     programs in school systems suggest that     jeopardize the success of IPM.
     long-term costs of IPM may be less than a
     conventional pest control program that      Potential Added Costs
     relies solely on the use of pesticides.     Initiating an IPM program may require
     However, the long-term labor costs for      repair and maintenance activities to
     IPM may be higher than those for            prevent pest entry and to eliminate
     conventional pesticide treatments. The      sources of shelter, food, and moisture.
     labor costs may be offset by reduced        Examples of these one-time expenses that
     expenditures for materials.                 may result in future budgetary savings
     Whether an IPM program raises or lowers     include--
     costs depends in part on the nature of        • Improving waste management by
     the current housekeeping, maintenance,            moving trash or garbage contain-
     and pest management operations. The               ers away from school buildings to
     costs of implementing an IPM program              reduce the opportunity for pest
     can also depend on whether the pest               invasion. This cost is a one-time
     management services are contracted,               expense that will result in fewer pest
     performed in-house, or both. To fit the           problems and reduce the need for
     IPM program into the existing budgetary           other pest control procedures.
     framework, school administrators must
     consider what additional and redistrib-
                                                   •   Installing physical barriers such as
                                                       air curtains over the outside en-
     uted expenditures are involved. As with
                                                       trances to kitchens to reduce flying

Place flood drains to
 prevent pests from
using pipes as path-
ways. Keep areas as
  dry as possible by
 removing standing
    water and water
    damaged or wet

• insect problems. This is also a one-     budgets. Whether these costs are actually
                                  time cost and results in fewer flying    budgeted as a pest control expense or
                                  insect problems and a savings in         under some other budgetary category
                                  years to come.                           depends on the budgetary format of the
                                • Stepping up structural maintenance       school system. School systems with an
                                  to correct such situations as leaky      active maintenance and repair program
                                  pipes. This effort reduces future        may be able to absorb these activities
                                  maintenance problems, prevents           within the current budget.
                                  pest problems, and saves money in        Procurement
                                  the long term.
                                • Training and/or certifying staff in      Successful practice of IPM relies on
                                  IPM. The amount of information           accurate record keeping, which leads to
                                  necessary to implement IPM is            more efficient procurement. As the IPM
     Successful practice of       greater than that required for           program progresses, predictable events
                                • conventional pest control. As a          and pest control needs will be identified.
     IPM relies on accurate                                                Close consultation with the pest manage-
                                • consequence, training or certifying
     record keeping               staff in IPM will probably increase      ment specialist is essential for good
                                  costs.                                   decisions on purchases within the budget.
                                • Re-landscaping the area adjacent to      Some non-pesticide products, such as
                                  buildings to discourage pests.           traps, can be stocked to reduce purchas-
                                                                           es in future years, but few savings can be
                              In the long term, these repair and
                                                                           realized by purchasing pesticides in bulk.
                              maintenance activities will reduce overall
                                                                           It is probably best to keep no more than
                              costs of the pest control operation, as
                                                                           a 60-day pesticide inventory to assure
                              well as other maintenance and operating
                                                                           product freshness and to avoid limiting

cash flow. Pest managers should be able        • Know cultural or alternative
to anticipate needs to fit a 60-day buying         methods.
schedule.                                      •   Know recommended methods of
                                                   judicious pesticide application.
“In-House” or Contracted Services
                                               •   Know the hazards of pesticides and
IPM programs can be successfully                   the safety precautions to be taken.
implemented by “in-house” school
                                               •   Know the pesticide label’s precau-
employees or by contracting with a pest
                                                   tionary statement(s) pertaining to
control company. A combination of
                                                   exposure to humans or animals.
in-house and contracted functions may
be mixed and matched to the needs and        “In-House” Services”
capabilities of the school system. Both
approaches have advantages and disad-        One of the most important tasks for an
vantages. Individual school systems must     in-house program is training staff to
decide what is best for them given their     function within an IPM context. Univer-
unique circumstances. Whether you            sities and State Cooperative Extension
choose in-house or contracted services,      Services have the expertise to meet most
pest management personnel should be          IPM training needs. Needed training
trained to--                                 materials that are not already available
                                             can be developed jointly between the
  • Understand the principles of IPM.        School District and the Extension Service.
  • Identify pests and associated prob-
      lems or damage.                        Contracted Services
  •   Monitor infestation levels and keep    Pest control firms should work with the
      records.                               pest manager and the responsible school
                                             official to solve pest control problems.

Use of an outside pest control firm may    The pest management services contract
                                increase costs but eliminate the need      should include IPM specifications.
                                to hire and train personnel and store      Contracts should be written to provide
                                pesticides. The contract should specify    expected results. Pest management
                                the use of IPM principles and practices    objectives specific to the site should be
                                in meeting pest management objectives.     jointly developed, agreed upon, and
                                                                           written into the contract. Any special
                                When choosing a pest control firm,         health concerns (such as those for
                                contact your local Better Business         children, or for individuals with aller-
                                Bureaus or state regulatory agencies for   gies, etc.) should be noted and reflected
                                information about whether they have        in the pesticides that can be utilized, or
                                received complaints about a pest control   excluded from use.
                                company. State regulatory agencies can
     IPM programs use           also provide information on pesticide
     current, comprehensive     applicator certification.

     information on the
     life cycles of pests and
     their interactions with
     the environment.

For More Information                       Operators provide the medical, veteri-
For additional copies of this document,    and professional communities and
contact—                                   the general public with-

  • Public Information Center                • Information on recognizing and
      U.S. Environmental                         managing pesticide poisonings.
      Protection Agency                      •   Referrals for laboratory analyses,
      401 M Street, SW                           investigation of pesticide incidents,
      Washington, DC 20460                       and emergency treatment informa-
  •   Field Operations Division (H7506C)         tion.
      Office of Pesticide Programs           •   Tips for using pesticides correctly.
      401 M Street, SW                       •   Clean-up and disposal procedures,
      Washington, DC 20460                       and much more.
For information about pesticides,
  • National Pesticide
      Telecommunications Network
      1-800-858-PEST (toll-free)
      8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
      Central Standard Time.

United States
Environmental Protection Agency
Washington, DC 20460

Official Business
Penalty for Private Use
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