The building envelope can affect many aspects of a school's environmental performance. Many of our schools today are in poor condition and have areas that lead to unforeseen pest problems. When the lights go out at the end of the day, four-, six-, and eight-legged invaders may find the school building a great place to live and reproduce. Schools are using an integrated approach to pest management. With an integrated approach, pest managers may reduce pest problems while reducing pesticide applications.
To reduce pests in schools, you must reduce pest conducive conditions. These conditions are often found in what we call pest vulnerable areas, or PVAs. These are areas that have food, water, and harborage (a home) available to pests.
To find these PVAs, it is important for pest managers to monitor the school for pests; this is done through monitoring stations (sticky cards) placed throughout the school. Not only do pest managers monitor for pests, but they keep an eye out for pest harborage sites as well.
Once an infestation is identified, measures are taken to reduce the infestation including, exclusion, reduction of food, water and harborage, and the judicious use of pesticides, usually in a targeted area, rather than using a broadcast application. By using integrated pest management principles, we can reduce the numbers of pests as well as maintain a healthy learning environment.