(complying with the Act to Protect Children and Families From Harmful Pesticides)
The law mandates that schools must
follow an Integrated Pest Management approach to pest control, and that
each school have an IPM plan. An IPM Plan for a school should not be a
complicated document. It is simply an overview of a schools approach to
IPM focuses on preventing pest problems
rather than reacting to them. Preventing pest problems in a school entails
minimizing pest access to the building and the food and shelter available
to it. Consequently, IPM relies heavily on the cooperation and participation
of the people who inhabit and maintain the school building, not just the
pest control contractor.
You should follow and include in your IPM plan(s) the following:
1). General School Information-Although
self-explanatory, your IPM plan should incorporate this important information
into each IPM plan (for both the indoor and outdoor plans).
2). School IPM Coordinator, Leader,
or Supervisor- The IPM Coordinator is the individual within the facility
who is generally in charge of pest control activities for the school.
This individual is someone who has the authority and backing of the school
administration or management. Finally, this individual will have the primary
responsibility for ensuring that the IPM plan is carried out. Ultimately,
this person is tied directly to the integration of all IPM activities
through the coordination and communication of all parties including but
not limited to custodial, building, food service, outside vendors, the
pest control contractor, grounds staff, students, parents, and teachers.
For example, the school may designate their facility director as the IPM
For an outdoor IPM plan, the IPM coordinator
might be the head groundskeeper or athletic director. The IPM Coordinator
will typically be the facility manager, or head custodian. A successful
IPM program relies heavily on the cooperation of all who maintain and
inhabit a building. As such, the IPM Coordinator should have some decision-making
authority concerning the maintenance of the school property. If something
is occurring in the school, which is contributing, to pest problems (for
instance broken screens on windows), the IPM Coordinator should have the
ability to have the problem remedied.
The Pest Control Contractor cannot be the IPM Coordinator. The IPM Coordinator
must be someone directly employed by the school. IPM plans are essentially
public documents. The title of the IPM Coordinator is necessary so that
people reviewing the plan understand this person's overall role within
the management of the school. A phone number is required so that if readers
have questions or concerns, they have someone to contact.
3). School IPM Committee or Team-IPM committee or team members are individuals
who have interests/concerns or who are involved in activities directly
or significantly related to pest control at the school. For a small daycare
facility, the IPM Committee may be composed of just the IPM Coordinator.
For a large school, the IPM Committee for an indoor plan might include
the school nurse, a representative of the food service staff, a teacher
representative, a custodian, etc. Outdoor plans might also include a representative
of the school athletic department, a parks superintendent, or others who
utilize the playing fields. It is recommended that any pest control, landscaping
or turf care contractors hired by the school also be on the IPM committee
Ultimately, the IPM committee or team
should designate each member's role, develop a school IPM policy (see
# 4), schedule meetings, and agree who will make the final decisions pertaining
to pest management decisions.
4). School IPM Policy- Policy statements help set the overall goal of
your school regarding pest management and pesticides. Basically, it is
a statement of purpose pertaining to your IPM program. It should state
the intent of the school administration or management to implement an
IPM program for your particular school. Why does your school want to adopt
IPM? It should briefly provide guidance on what specifically is expected--the
incorporation of existing services into an IPM program and the education
and involvement of students, staff, and pest control contractor.
Example: This IPM plan was prepared
in response to the Children's Protection Act (Chapter 85 of the Acts of
2000), which requires a written IPM plan for both INDOORS and OUTDOORS.
IPM is a common sense approach to pest management that uses a variety
of methods to manage pests. Chemical pesticides may be part of this IPM
plan. However, considerable effort will be put towards preventing pest
problems by controlling conditions inside and outside the school, which
may attract and support pests. This plan will improve existing pest control,
improve indoor air quality and reduce the amount of pesticide used by
the school for the purpose of protecting our children and employees
5). School Pest Problem(s) Description-Proper identification and inventory
of your pest problems is critical to understanding its management and
the prioritization and selection of the appropriate non-chemical and chemical
treatment options. What is your most common pest problem(s)? Is it a new
problem or has it been a historical problem? What specific areas inside
and outside of the school are being impacted? What time of year do pest
problems occur? Is the appearance of the pest problem related to specific
structural deficiencies or sanitation problems? Is the current control
6). School IPM Information Flow and Training-Communication is critical
to the success of any IPM program especially a back and forth information
flow. Your IPM plan should discuss your communication information flow.
Describe how pest problems specific to your school will be reported. Indicate
the type of method that will be used and specify location of a pest and/or
service log? Indicate who in the school will be responsible for responding
to the sanitation and building repair problems that are identified through
For example, if a kitchen staff member observes immature roaches in the
cafeteria, s (he) should know whom to inform so that corrective actions
can be taken. Conversely, the pest control contractor who observes pest
conducive conditions should know who to inform such as the IPM Coordinator
Talking with the pest control contractor,
maintenance, grounds personnel, food service workers, housekeeping staff,
students, and interested parents about pest sightings, how to report these
sightings, depends on a back and forth information flow.
Training is another essential element of your IPM plan. You should identify
the individual(s) providing the training. You should indicate the employees
or staff who will receive training. Your IPM plan should discuss the subject
matter of training as well as the frequency of training.
Example: If the maintenance personnel
do not recognize that non-chemical sticky traps are used as monitoring
devices, these important tools may be thrown away. This action is contrary
Example: Sanitation should not be
viewed as only the maintenance personnel responsibilities. If students
and staff are shown the connection between food, water, clutter, and pests,
they are more likely to take sanitation seriously.
Describe the content and format of
IPM related training. Also, describe specific training that particular
individuals will receive.
Example: "The school or pest
management contractor will provide an IPM training seminar to all facility
staff on an annual or as needed basis. The training will include the information
about the Children's Protection Act, Why IPM is important, pest reporting
procedures, pest identification, monitoring, thresholds, sanitation, prevention
actions such as stock rotation, use of service/pest log, and general pest
Some training will cover specific
subject matter and only require the attendance of particular staff responsibilities.
For example, (Joe Jenkins Head Custodian would attend a source reduction
through sanitation training session. Jill Rogers, Food Service Director
might attend IPM training on kitchen environments. John Downs, Waste Disposal
Contractor Supervisor might attend a dumpster and waste disposal management
7). School Chemical Pesticide Use-Chemical pesticides should not be used
unless both the pest has been identified and its presence verified. Chemical
pesticides should only be used by a licensed or certified pesticide applicator
(never by a teacher or unlicensed individual). Finally, chemical pesticides
are generally used when other control methods are not effective or practical
in resolving a pest problem. Discuss the use of chemical pesticides in
your IPM plan. If you do not use pesticides, your plan should highlight
this circumstance. Indoors, the law permits only certain pesticides such
Outdoors, your IPM plan must identify
the product names and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) numbers of
those chemical pesticides you anticipate to use. This includes any potential
emergency situation for example stinging insects. You can consult with
your pest control contractor to assist you in listing the products that
might be used.
8). School Non-Chemical Options-Your IPM plan should discuss those methods
and practices that do not require the use of chemical pesticides such
as Pest Proofing, Sanitation/Housekeeping, Trapping, and Light Management.
These methods are long-term remedies to pest problems and ultimately prevent
Example: Vacuuming can be an important
part of a sanitation program removing food debris that pests may feed
on. Also, it is a physical control that meets the objective of removing
pests such as spiders or vagrant flies in sensitive areas such as classrooms
or kitchens. Another example, might be installing a door sweep to exclude
pests from certain areas such as a storage area. Finally, caulking and
sealing of cracks and opening around pipes and utility wires can help
exclude ants and roaches.
9). School IPM Program Evaluation-Your IPM plan should be a dynamic and
working document. It should be evaluated on an on-going basis such as
every three months or at least once a year. Is the IPM program working?
What changes are needed if necessary? Your IPM plan will change over time
as pest management performance fails or succeeds. It may also change as
the result of new chemical pesticides and pest control technologies that
are introduced to the marketplace. When an IPM plan does change, the entire
plan must be resubmitted.
10). School Record keeping and IPM
Plan Location*-Keeping good records such as pesticide use, service reports,
logbook, posting and notification, emergency waivers etc and maps (especially
for outdoor chemical uses) in a central location on site is essential
to make available when requested.