School IPM Personnel Communication

Pest Management In and Around Structures October 09, 2014 Print Friendly and PDF

Communication is the key to beginning and maintaining an IPM program.

Tri-fold Monitoring Station
The success of IPM depends on cooperation of many individuals. Pest management is not the sole responsibility of the pest manager. Proper maintenance, housekeeping and sanitation of buildings are important for successful long-term management.

Because IPM is an integrated approach to pest management, it's a team effort. The team includes the whole community involved. In the case of a school, it would include not only the pest manager, but also the custodians, kitchen staff, maintenance personnel, academic staff, students and administration. These are the people that know the building and are there for many hours a day. Their behavior can effect pest populations, so they should be informed of the IPM plan and its components.

For your IPM program to be successful, you must educate everyone involved about the program and ask for their help. Communication is the key. A broken chain of communication could allow a small pest situation to become a big problem.

To foster this communication, a pest sighting log should be placed in the main office of the school and also in the cafeteria manager’s office. Any pest sighting should be reported and included on this report. The pest manager can then monitor the areas of concern, identify if there is a problem, and determine if action should be taken. The pest sighting log also has a place for the pest manager to note any action taken, even if it is monitoring, so that the person reporting the sighting can verify that the problem is being addressed. The pest sighting log is a form of communication that also serves as documentation of pest concerns and pesticide applications. This type of documentation has proven valuable in cases where parents are concerned about pest management in their child’s classroom.

 

Parents can also become involved in the School IPM process.

The school administrator, concerned parent, school nurse, or pest manager, can provide information about School IPM to the school’s parent association.

Information on pest management is something people can use at home and while they are working in and around the school. Many times parent groups run concession stands at sporting events, have supply closets that contain food products, collect recyclable goods on campus, or volunteer to landscape the school property. Each of these activities affects pest management efforts, so having a knowledgeable parent group will help in pest management efforts. After all, the goal of School IPM is to provide a safe teaching and learning environment for the school community.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.