An effective IPM program can manage the risks from both pesticides and pests, and protect human health by:
- reducing student and staff exposure to pesticides
- suppressing pests that may carry or vector allergens or disease pathogens
- reducing environmental pollution
Implementing IPM may provide cost savings and other economic benefits by:
- reducing pest damage and liability
- reducing unnecessary pesticide applications
- minimizing emergency repairs
- improving maintenance and sanitation
- reducing energy costs
- reducing waste caused by infested food products
To set up an IPM program, a certified and experienced technician should do a thorough inspection to evaluate the situation at each facility and suggest a program to fit the circumstance.
Components of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan:
- Communication: Order of Reporting
- Inspection: The technician must evaluate each scenario and suggest to the IPM Coordinator a program to fit the circumstance.
- Identification of the pest problem (insect, rodent, or animal species).
- Source elimination and exclusion both interior and exterior.
- Non-chemical procedures are always considered first.
- Low-impact or minimum risk pesticides can be used as a control method that does not require notification, however the label must be followed.
- Spot treatments or limited pesticide applications will be done only after 72-hour notification to staff, students, and parents, and after consulting the IPM Coordinator.
- Forms (3): 72-hours, Emergency Form, and sign posting.
Schools – Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
Inspection, Identification and Action Plan:
- A certified pesticide applicator should do a thorough inspection to identify the specific pest and discuss the source of the problem and a course of action to be taken.
- Create a site map of interior and exterior conditions.
- The certified pesticide applicator and school IPM coordinator should discuss correcting the particular problem and situation.
- Note that not all pest problems require an application of pesticides.
The following are keys to a Successful IPM Program:
- We all need to work together.
- Communication is important
- All school staff should be informed of the IPM procedures, including activities in the Pest Control Log Book.
- IPM Coordinators need to communicate with their pest control provider
- Make use of the knowledge of Certified Pesticide Applicators who are experienced with different aspects of pest control.
- IPM Coordinators need to communicate with their school principal
- There is a shared legal responsibility to ensure that the use of any pesticide products used can be justified.
- The IPM Coordinator can make use of tools available on-line from the DEP, and the experience of your pest control company to put together the necessary information for a proper IPM Program.