School Integrated Pest Management

Pest Management In and Around Structures February 24, 2014 Print Friendly and PDF

What is School Integrated Pest Management?

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a strategy that provides quality pest control using the least hazardous chemicals and techniques. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycle of pests and their interactions with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.

Schools and child care facilities may be exposed to pests, as well as the pesticides used to control these pests. Pesticides can help control pests but they need to be used carefully. Children may be more sensitive to pesticides than adults. Young children, especially, may have different exposures than adults—they can encounter pesticides by crawling, exploring, or hand-to-mouth activities.

Why is School Integrated Pest Management important?

IPM is based on thorough knowledge of the pests and the technologies used to control them and can be performed by anyone with proper training. A good IPM program attempts to make schools, childcare centers, and other sensitive environments less hospitable to pests by modifying the environment and by using the lowest impact pesticides as necessary. Managing risks from pests and risks from the pesticides used to control them are top priorities under an IPM program. This allows the user to find sample documents, simple how to steps, and detailed management plans to assist in developing or maintaining an IPM program. 

Action Plans for Schools by Pest

Action or management plans helps schools and their applicators not stay in a routine of spraying or applying the same product over a period of time. Management plans also help serve as guidance documents to engage other departments, staff, and teachers their roles in pest problems. 

School IPM Newsletters and Pest Presses

All of these pages link outside of and are excellent resources to consider as part of your school IPM program. Be aware of the fact that the topics covered in these newsletters may be area specific. For example, if your schools are located in the Northeast, Arizona's publication on scorpions will not apply to you.

National and State School IPM Programs in the United States

Click the above link to find national school IPM information as well as find out what School IPM programs are running in your state. Some of the websites you might find particularly useful are the school IPM sites that are put up by the Environmental Protection Agency, IPM Technical Resource Center, The IPM Institute of North America, The National School IPM Information Source (University of Florida), and the Southwest Technical Resource Center (Texas A&M University). 

Forms for Your School IPM Program

These forms have been created, modified, and used across the United States. In some cases, there are variations of the same form. Our goal in providing these resources is that you will modify them to suit the needs of your school IPM program.


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