United States
            Environmental Protection
Office of Pesticide Programs
August 1993
&EPA   Pest Control in the School
           Adopting Integrated Pest Management
                                                  Printed with Soy/Canola Ink on Paper that
                                                  contains at least 50% recycled fiber

 As a mother, I understand the importance of a healthy school environment in which
to educate our children. As an environmentalist, I understand the need to eliminate
the unnecessary use of any toxic chemical. The use of integrated pest management
(IPM) in and around school buildings addresses both of these concerns while prepar-
ing our children to become tomorrow's environmental stewards. This booklet will
provide you with a general understanding of IPM principles, so that you may make an
informed decision about pest control in your neighborhood schools. As EPA's
Administrator, I encourage all schools to reduce the use of pesticides by adopting
integrated pest management.
                                                                 Carol Browner
                                                    Environmental Protection Agency

Pest Control in the School
Adopting Integrated Pest Management

Table of Contents
Acknowledgements	  ii
Can Children's Exposure to Pesticides be Reduced
in the School Environment?	 1
What is Integrated Pest Management?	 2
Establishing an IPM Program for Schools	 4
Developing an Official Policy Statement for School Pest Management	 6
Designating Pest Management Roles	 9
Setting Pest Management Objective for Sites	 15
Inspecting, Identifying, and Monitoring	 16
Setting Action Thresholds	 18
Apply IPM Strategies	 19
Evaluating Results and Record Keeping	 36
Evaluating the Costs	 38
Potential Added Costs	 38
Procurement	 40
"In-House" or Contracted Services	 41
For More Information...                                                  .. 43

Important and sensitive issues are
involved in adopting integrated pest
management in schools, and a diverse
group of individuals was sought to help
the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) develop this booklet.
Special appreciation is expressed to the
following people for their assistance.
Please note, however, that the organiza-
tions with which these individuals are
affiliated do not necessarily endorse all
views expressed in this document.

Allen C. Abend
Maryland State Department of
AnneW. Bloom and
Nancy B.Watzman
Public Citizen
Susan J. Cooper
National Coalition
Against the Misuse of Pesticides
Bonny I. Dodson
National Pest Control Association
William Forbes
Montgomery County [Maryland]
Public Schools
NancyThorndike Greenspan
M. Shaheed Khan, Ph.D.
University of the District of Columbia
Extension Service
Glenn H. Laycock
Residex Corporation
Michael R. Pontti
Georgetown University
Facilities Management
Landscape Department
Josie Scholz

Can Children's Exposure to  Pesticides be
Reduced in the School Environment?
IPM andYour School
The public's concerns about health and
environmental risks associated with
chemicals are increasing, particularly
when children are involved. As the
public becomes more aware of the health
and environmental risks pesticides may
pose, its interest in seeking the use of
equally effective alternative pest control
methods increases. School administra-
tors and other persons who have pest
control decision-making responsibilities
for school buildings and grounds should
become aware of the pest control options
available to them. It is in  everyone's best
interest to reduce exposure to potentially
harmful chemicals.

The Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) has prepared this booklet to
acquaint readers with Integrated Pest
Management (IPM), a pest control
method that may be an alternative to
scheduled spraying of pesticides. Schools
across the nation that have adopted such
programs report successful, cost-effective
conversion to IPM. IPM can reduce the
use of chemicals and provide economical
and effective pest suppression.

This information has been developed
to encourage and assist school officials
in examining and improving their pest
management practices. It identifies ways
to reduce dependence on pesticides in
school buildings and landscapes and
discusses alternative methods for manag-
ing pests commonly found in schools.
School officials are not, however, re-
quired by law to adopt the practices
recommended in this booklet.

All information provided in this booklet
may be reproduced and can be shared
with anyone interested in an IPM program.
 IPM can reduce the
use of chemicals and
 provide economical
   and effective pest

                          What is Integrated  Pest  Management?
IPM programs use
current, comprehensive
information on the
lifecycles of pests and
their interactions with
the environment.
IPM is an effective and environmentally
sensitive approach to pest management
that relies on a combination of common-
sense practices. IPM programs use
current, comprehensive information on
the life cycles of pests and their interac-
tions with the environment. This infor-
mation, 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 environ-
ment. IPM programs take advantage of
all pest management options possibly
including, but not limited to, the judi-
cious use of pesticides.
Understanding pest needs is essential
to implementing IPM effectively. Pests
seek habitats that provide basic needs
such as air, moisture, food, and shel-
ter. Pest populations can be prevented
or controlled by creating inhospitable
environments, by removing some of the
basic elements pests need to survive,
or by simply blocking their access into
buildings. Pests may also be managed by
other methods such as traps, vacuums,
or pesticides. An understanding of what
pests need in order to survive is essential
before action is taken.

Pests seek habitats
which provide basic
  needs such as air,
moisture, food, and

                         Establishing  an  IPM  Program for Schools
An efficient IPM
program can be inte-
grated with the
school's existing pest
management plan and
other school manage
ment activities.
                         An efficient IPM program can be inte-
                         grated with the school's existing pest
                         management plan and other school
                         management activities. School manage-
                         ment activities such as preventive mainte-
                         nance, janitorial practices, landscaping,
                         occupant education, and staff training
                         are all part of an IPM program. The
                         following steps are required to develop
                         an IPM decision network:

Step 1:
Develop an official IPM policy
statement. This useful first step in
making the transition from a conven-
tional pesticide program to an IPM
program goes beyond simply stating
a commitment to support and imple-
ment an IPM approach. It acts as a
guide for the pest manager to use in
developing a specific IPM program.
Step 2:
Designate pest management roles for
occupants, pest management person-
nel, and key-decision-makers; assure
good communications among them;
and educate or train the people
involved in their respective roles.

Step 3:
Set pest management objectives
for the site(s). For every site, pest
management objectives will differ.
The type of pest management sought
should be outlined.
Step 4:
Inspect site(s) and identify and
monitor pest populations for
potential problems.

Step 5:
Set action thresholds. These are the
levels of pest populations or site en-
vironmental conditions that require
remedial action.
                                           Step 6:
 Apply IPM strategies to control
pests. These include redesigning
and repairing structures, improving
sanitation, employing pest-resistant
plant varieties, establishing watering
and mowing practices, and applying
pesticides judiciously.
                                           Step 7:
                                           Evaluate results to determine if pest
                                           management objectives are reached,
                                           and keep written records of all as-
                                           pects of the program.
Apply IPM strategies to
         control pests.

Figure 1
Model Policy Statement
Step 1
Developing an Official Policy Statement for School Pest Management
A policy statement for school pest
management should state the intent of
the school administration to implement
an IPM program. 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 manager. The model policy
assessment in figure 1 is provided as
an example and may be modified in any
way by schools to reflect site-specific
needs or intent.
   School Pest Management
    Policy Statement
   Structural and landscape pests can
   pose significant problems to people,
   property, and the environment.
   Pesticides can also pose risks to people,
   property, and the environment. It is
   therefore the policy of this School
   District to incorporate Integrated Pest
   Management (IPM) procedures for
   control of structural and landscape
   Pests are populations of living organ-
   isms (animals, plants, or microor-
   ganisms) that interfere with use  of
           the school site for human purposes.
           Strategies for managing pest popula-
           tions will be influenced by the pest
           species and whether that species poses
           a threat to people, property, or the

           Pest Management
           Approved pest management plans
           should be developed for the site and
           should include any proposed pest
           management measures.
           Pests will be managed to:
            • Reduce any potential human
              health hazard or to protect against
              a significant threat to public safety.
      • Prevent loss of or damage to school
        structures or property.
      • Prevent pests from spreading into the
        community, or to plant and animal
        populations beyond the site.
      • Enhance the quality of life for
        students, staff, and others.
     Integrated Pest Management Procedures
     IPM procedures will determine when to
     control pests and whether to  use
     mechanical, physical, chemical, cultural,
     or biological means. IPM practitioners
     depend on current, comprehensive
     information on the pest and its environ-
     ment and the best available pest control

School Pest Management Policy Statement (Continued)
   methods. Applying IPM principles
   prevents unacceptable levels of pest
   activity and damage by the most
   economical means and with the least
   possible hazard to people, property, and
   the environment.
   The choice of using a pesticide will be
   based on a review of all other available
   options and a determination that these
   options are not acceptable or are not
   feasible. Cost or staffing considerations
   alone will not be adequate justification
   for use of chemical control agents, and
   selected non-chemical pest management
   methods will be implemented whenever
   possible to provide the desired control.
   It is the policy of this School District to
   utilize IPM principles to manage pest
   populations adequately. The full range
   of alternatives, including no action, will
   be considered.
   When it is determined that a pesticide
   must be used in order to meet important
   management goals, the least hazardous*
   material will be chosen. The application
   of pesticides is subject to the Federal
   Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide
   Act (7 United States Code 136 et seq.),
   School District policies and procedures,
   Environmental Protection Agency
regulations in 40 Code of Federal
Regulations, Occupational Safety and
Health Administration regulations, and
state and local regulations.

Staff, students, pest managers, and the
public will be educated about potential
school pest problems and the IPM
policies and procedures to be used to
achieve the desired pest management

Record Keeping
Records of pesticide use shall be
maintained on site to meet the
requirements of the state regulatory
agency and School Board. Records must
be current and accurate if IPM is to
work. In addition, pest surveillance data
sheets that record the number of pests
or other indicators of pest populations
are to be maintained to verify the need
for treatments.

This School District takes the
responsibility to notify the school staff
and students of upcoming pesticide
treatments. Notices will be  posted
in designated areas at school and
sent home to parents who whish to
be informed in advance of pesticide

Pesticide Storage and Purchase
Pesticide purchases will be limited to
the amount authorized for use during
the year. Pesticides will be stored and
disposed of in accordance with the
EPA-registered label directions and state
regulations. Pesticide must be stored in
an appropriate, secure site not accessible
to students or unauthorized personnel.

Pesticide Applicators
Pesticide applicators must be educated
and trained in the principles  and
practices of IPM and the use of
pesticides approved by this School
District, and they must follow regulations
and label precautions. Applicators
should be certified and comply with
this School District IPM policy and Pest
Management Plan.
* Precautionary statements are required
on all pesticide labels. Signal  words
indicate the level of acute toxicity, the
hazard to humans posed by the pesticide
product. Every label bears the child
hazard warning: Keep Out of Reach of

        Notices will be posted
        in designated areas at
        school and sent home
        to parents who wish to
        be informed of
        upcoming pesticide

Step 2
Designating Pest Management Roles
The concepts and methods of IPM were
developed originally in agricultural
settings. Later, it was found that IPM had
great value in school pest management as
well. The interactions of the people
involved in a school pest management
system are the key to the success or
failure of the program. When the
respective roles of all the people in the
pest management system are identified
and agreed upon, and when these people
communicate well with each other,
effective and less expensive protection of
the site and the people can be achieved
with fewer risks.
In successful urban pest management
systems, people function effectively as
occupants, pest managers, or decision-
makers, gaining the information they
need, giving the information that others
need, cooperating with each other, and
meeting their special responsibilities to
achieve the unique pest management
objectives of the site. These functions
and responsibilities are identified below
and should be outlined in the school's
pest management plan.

Students and  Staff -
The Occupants

Occupants are concerned about the
safety of the pest control methods used,
about their effectiveness, and about
possible adverse effects. School staff,
students, and their parents should receive
information addressing these concerns
and their roles in the school's pest
management system.

The most important responsibility of the
students and staff is sanitation. Much of
the prevention and reduction of pest
infestation at the school site depends on
whether or not students and staff clean
up food leftovers, food in lockers, gum
    Occupants are con-
cerned about the safety
     of the pest control
  methods used, about
their effectiveness, and
about possible adverse

                                                                       MAN! WHAT'S
                                                                    WITH THESE KIDS
        Prevention and reduc-
        tion of pest infestation
        at the school site
        depends on whether or
        not students and staff
        clean up leftovers,
        food in lockers, gum
        under desks, paper,
        clutter, etc.

under desks, paper clutter, etc., or
perform proper maintenance. In addi-
tion, because people at the school site
may observe the presence of pests, they
should report any evidence of pest

Other actions may be required of stu-
dents and staff or undertaken by them,
depending on their interest in the site
and the pest management system. The
more occupants "buy in" to this, the
better the pest management system
will work.

Parents' Special Roles

Parents have the most responsibility for
their children, and they are their
children's natural advocates. Thus,
parents can bring the need to reduce
dependence on pesticides to the atten-
tion of school personnel, and they can
assist greatly in the transition to  an
IPM program.

Parents' first school pest management
responsibility is to learn about IPM
practices and follow them at home so that
pests are not carried to school in note-
books, lunch boxes, clothing, or the chil-
dren's hair. Second, parents should be
aware of the current pest management
practices in their children's schools. The
schools should welcome  questions by the
parents and encourage the parents to
seek information. Visible interest and
concern on the parents' part is a valuable
resource and stimulus for the implemen-
tation of a school IPM program. Parents
may express their views to the school
superintendent, School Board, school
district management, and the school's
Parent Teacher Associations (PTA).
Parents may participate on IPM advisory
or oversight committees with school and
government management.

The  Pest Manager

In a pest management system, the pest
manager is the person who observes and
evaluates the site, or directs others to do
so, and decides what needs to be done to
achieve the site pest management
Parents have the most
 responsibility for their
 children, and they are
 their children's natural

                                   objectives. The pest manager could be the
                                   school principal, the custodian, a desig-
                                   nated faculty member or an individual
                                   under contract to the school system. The
                                   pest manager designs a pest management
                                   system that takes into account potential
                                   liability, applicator and occupant safety,
                                   costs, effectiveness, time required, and
                                   customer or occupant satisfaction.

                                   The pest manager draws on knowledge
                                   gained through prior training and uses
                                   information on  the site, the pest and its
                                   biology, occupant health and concerns,
                                   appropriate control measures, and
                                   expected results. The pest manager also
                                   performs the necessary pest management
                                   actions or directs others in the actions to
                                   be taken.

                                   Because the pest manager usually has
                                   the responsibility of keeping both the
                                   occupants and school administrators
                                   informed, he or she has the greatest need
                                   for available information about the site,
                                   pest, and appropriate pest management
The system for the site must achieve the
goals within the limitations posed by
safety, time, money, and available ma-
terials. Pest managers monitor the site
and the pest population to determine
if actions taken are successful and must
keep accurate records of the amount and
location of any pesticides used and dates
of each application.


Generally, persons who authorize the pest
management program and control the
money for pest management are people
involved in the direct management or
administration of the school or schools,
such as a superintendent or assistant
superintendent of schools. However, a
person indirectly involved with the site
may become a pest management deci-
sion-maker, e.g., the health department
inspector. On other occasions, the
purchasing agent or contracting officer
for a school system or district may be a
major decision-maker for a school site.

For decision-makers, concerns about
costs, liability, time expended, method
effectiveness, safety, and customer or
occupant satisfaction are foremost.
These decision-makers also determine if
the pest manager is performing at an
acceptable level and if the pest manage-
ment objectives are being met. Among
other methods, this assessment can be
done by monitoring complaints from  the
occupants, by observing the site environ-
ment, or by a combination of both.
Decision-makers must also provide the
necessary level of financial commitment
for any IPM program to succeed.

A great deal of understanding, coopera-
tion, and commitment from everyone in
the system-students and parents, school
staff, managers, administrators, and the
public-is needed in order for an IPM
program to succeed.
Educating IPM  Participants

A school IPM program should include a
commitment to the education of
students, staff, and parents. This educa-
tion should include not only the teachers,
but also school nurses, cafeteria
employees, and housekeeping and
administrative personnel as well. All
occupants must understand the basic
concepts of IPM and who to contact with
questions or problems. Specific
instructions should be provided on what
to do and what not to do. For example,
staff should not bring and use pesticides
on their own on school sites. All
pesticide products, including those
purchased at a retail store, should be
applied only by designated qualified per-
sonnel. Educating and training staff
to function within an IPM context is
important to the success of an in-house
IPM program. (Note: More specific
training is required for the pest manager.
Universities and State Cooperative
A school IPM program
      should include a
   commitment to the
education of students,
    staff, and parents.

                                   Extension Services have the expertise to
                                   meet most IPM training needs. Needed
                                   training materials that are not already
                                   available can be developedjoindy
                                   between die School District and the
                                   Extension Service.)

                                   Education is a vital component of pest
                                   management. Many schools across the
                                   United States have incorporated environ-
                                   mental issues into their curricula.
                                   Science classes might include discussions
                                   and activities to learn more about die
                                   fascinating and diverse roles of insects,
                                   plants, rodents, and birds in  our world.
                                   Most are harmless, and many-e.g., some
                                   spiders, predatory mites, centipedes, and
certain beedes-are actually beneficial in
controlling pest populations. If good
sanitation is practiced, die population of
these beneficial insects can be kept at
tolerable levels.

All staff at die school should learn about
die basic concepts of IPM and how these
principles are being applied in their
particular school. Staff and students
need to understand how their own be-
havior helps alleviate or contributes to
pest problems. School staff should
encourage die Parent Teacher Associa-
tions, student organizations, and other
school-affiliated groups to participate in
die IPM program.

Step 3
Setting Pest Management Objectives for
School Buildings and Other Sites
Pest management objectives differ from
site to site, and these differences must be
considered before setting action thresh-
old levels. (See Step 5.) For example, for
an athletic field, the objective would be
to maintain healthy turf as well as a
specific type of playing surface. With
ornamental plants, the objective would
more likely be to maintain aesthetic
value. With buildings or other structures,
the main objective might be controlling
damage caused by termites. Schools
should outline specific objectives in a
pest management plan.
Examples of pest management objectives
include -

(1) Manage pests that may occur on
   school sites to prevent interference
   with the learning environment of
   the students.

(2) Eliminate injury to students, staff,
   and other occupants.

(3) Preserve the integrity of the school
   buildings or structures.

(4) Provide the safest playing or athletic
   surfaces possible.

        Routine inspection and
        accurate certification
        of pests are vital steps
        in IPM to ensure that
        control methods will be
                                  Step  4
                                  Inspecting, Identifying, and Monitoring
                                  An IPM program consists of a cycle of
                                  inspecting, identifying, monitoring,
                                  evaluating, and choosing the appropriate
                                  method of control. Routine inspection
                                  and accurate identification of pests are
                                  vital steps in IPM to ensure that control
                                  methods will be effective. Once the pest
                                  has been identified and the source of its
                                  activity pinpointed, habitat modifica-
                                  tions-primarily, exclusion, repair, and
sanitation efforts-may greatly reduce the
prevalence of the pest. Monitoring
includes inspecting areas for pest evi-
dence, entry points, food, water, and
harborage sites, and estimating pest
population levels. The information
gained through monitoring is evaluated
to determine whether the action thresh-
old has been exceeded and what can be
done in the way of prevention.

Once the pest has been

      identified and the

    source of its activity

     pinpointed, habitat


   rily, exclusion, repair,

 and sanitation efforts—

         may greatly the

  prevalence of the pest

        The action threshold is

        set by the pest

        manager and the

        occupants and should

        reflect the pest

        management objectives

        for the site
                                  Setting Action Thresholds

                                  An action threshold is the level at which
                                  action is initiated. It is determined by
                                  deciding, based on the sensitivities of the
                                  school occupants, how many pests can be
                                  tolerated. The action threshold is set by
                                  the pest manager and the occupants and
                                  should reflect the pest management
                                  objective for the site. The presence of
                                  some pests does not, in itself, necessarily
                                  require action.
When pest populations exceed pre-set
action thresholds, action must be taken.
Precise recommendations or actions to
achieve specific results are an essential
part of an IPM program. Specific recom-
mendations, including an explanation of
the benefits, should be based on the
evaluation of all available data obtained
through inspecting, identifying, and

Applying IPM Strategies

Pest-prevention measures can be incor-
porated into existing structures. Such
preventive measures reduce the need for
pesticide applications and include
sanitation and structural repair, employ-
ing physical and mechanical controls
such as screens, traps, weeders, air doors,
etc. Specific IPM strategies for specific
school sites are provided below. (Note:
Every school will experience slightly dif-
ferent combinations of pests.)

IPM Strategies for Indoor Sites
Typical  Pests:
Mice, rats, cockroaches, ants, flies,
wasps, hornets, yellowjackets,  spiders,
microorganisms, termites, carpenter
ants, and other wood-destroying insects.
Although beneficial as predators, wasps,
hornets, yellowjackets, and spiders can
be troublesome.

Door-ways, overhead doors, windows,
holes in exterior walls, openings around
pipes, electrical fixtures, or ducts:

  • Keep doors shut when not in use.
  • Place weather stripping on doors.
  • Caulk and seal openings in walls.
  • Install or repair screens.
  • Install air curtains.
  • Keep vegetation, shrubs, and wood
    mulch at least 1 foot away from

         Install or repair

Classrooms and Offices

Classrooms, laboratories, administrative
offices, auditoriums, gymnasiums, and

   • Allow food and beverages only in
     designated areas.
   • If indoor plants are present, keep
     them healthy. When small insect
     infestations appear, remove them
   • Keep areas as dry as possible by
     removing standing water and water
     damaged or wet materials.
   • In the science lab, store animal
     foods in tightly sealed containers
     and regularly clean cages. In all
     areas, remove dust and debris.
   • Routinely clean lockers and desks.
   • Frequently vacuum carpeted areas.
   • If students get head lice, consult
     with your local health department
     and have their parents contact a
     physician. Discourage students from
     exchanging hats or caps at school.
Food Preparation and Serving Areas

  (dining room, main kitchen, teach-
  ers' lounge, home economics kitchen,
  snack area, vending machines, and
  food storage rooms):

   •  Store food and waste in contain-
     ers that are inaccessible to pests.
     Containers must have tight lids and
     be made of plastic, glass, or metal.
     Waste should be removed at the end
     of each day.
   •  Place screens on vents, windows,
     and floor drains to prevent cock-
     roaches and other pests from using
     unscreened ducts or vents as path-
   •  Create inhospitable living condi-
     tions for pests by reducing avail-
     ability of food and water-remove
     food debris, sweep up all crumbs, fix
     dripping faucets and leaks, and dry
     out wet areas.



   • Improve cleaning practices, includ-
     ing promptly cleaning food prepa-
     ration equipment after use and
     removing grease accumulation from
     vents, ovens, and stoves. Use caulk
     or paint to seal cracks and crevices.
   • Capture rodents by using mechani-
     cal or glue traps. (Note: Place traps
     in areas inaccessible to children.
     Mechanical traps, including glue-
     boards, used in rodent control
     must be checked daily. Dispose of
     killed or trapped rodents within 24
Rooms and Areas With Extensive
(Bathrooms, rooms with sinks, locker
rooms, dishwasher rooms, home eco-
nomics classrooms, science laboratories,
swimming pools, and greenhouses):

   • Promptly repair leaks and correct
     other plumbing problems to deny
     pests access to water.
   • Routinely clean floor drains, strain-
     ers, and grates. Seal pipe chases.
   • Keep areas dry. Avoid conditions
     that allow formation of condensa-
   • Areas that never dry out are condu-
     cive to molds and fungi. Increasing
     ventilation may be necessary.
   • Store paper products or cardboard
     boxes away from moist areas and
     direct contact with the floor or the
     walls. This practice also allows for
     ease in inspection.
Maintenance Areas
(Boiler room, mechanical room,
janitorial-housekeeping areas, and
   • After use, promptly clean mops and
     mop buckets; dry mop buckets and
     hang mops vertically on rack above
     floor drain.
   • Allow eating only in designated
     eating areas.

        Capture rodents by
        using mechanical or
        glue traps

  • Clean trash cans regularly, use
    plastic liners in trash cans, and use
    secure lids.
  • Keep areas clean and as dry as pos-
    sible, and remove debris.
  • Top of page

IPM Strategies for
Outdoor Sites

Typical Pests:
Mice and rats. Turf pests-broad-leaf and
grassy weeds,  insects such as beetle grubs or
sod webworms, diseases such as brown patch,
and vertebrates such as moles.  Ornamental
plant pests-plant diseases, and insects such
as thrips,  aphids, Japanese beetles, and bag

Playgrounds, Parking Lots, Athletic
Fields, Loading Docks, and Refuse
  • Regularly clean trash containers
    and gutters and remove all waste,
    especially food and paper debris.
  • Secure lids on trash containers.
  • Repair cracks in pavement and
  • Provide adequate drainage away
    from the structure and on the
(Lawns, athletic fields, and playgrounds):

  • Maintain healthy turf by selecting a
    mixture of turf types (certified seed,
    sod, or plugs) best adapted for the
    area. Check university or Coopera-
    tive Extension service for recommen-
    dations on turf types, management
    practices, or other information.
  • Raise mowing height for turf to
    enhance its competition with weeds;
    adjust cutting height of mower,
  • depending on the grass type;
  • sharpen mower blades; and vary
    mowing patterns to help reduce soil
  • compaction.
  • Water turf infrequently but suffi-
    ciently during early morning hours
    to let turf dry out before nightfall;
    let soil  dry slightly between waterings.

        Secure lids on trash

Provide good drainage, and periodi-
cally inspect turf for evidence of
pests or diseases.
Allow grass clippings to remain in
the turf (use a mulching mower or
mow often) or compost with other
organic material.
Have the soil tested to determine
pH and fertilizer requirements.
Use a dethatcher to remove thatch.
Do this in early fall or early spring
when the lawns can recover and
when overseeding operations are
likely to be more successful.
Time fertilizer application appropri-
ately, because excessive fertilizer can
cause additional problems, includ-
ing weed and disease outbreaks. Ap-
ply lime if necessary. Use aeration
to place soil on top  of thatch so that
microbes from soil can decompose
Seed over existing turf in fall or
early spring.
  • Obtain more information on turf
    from EPA's brochure entitled,
    Healthy Lawn, Healthy Environ-
    ment: Caring for Your Lawn in an
    Environmentally Friendly Way

Ornamental Shrubs and Trees

  • Apply fertilizer and nutrients to
  • annuals and perennials during active
    growth and to shrubs and trees
  • during dormant season or early in
    the growing season.
  • If using a fertilizer, use the correct
    one at the suitable time, water
  • properly, and reduce compaction.
  • Prune branches to improve plants
    and prevent access by pests to
  • structures.
  • Use the appropriate pest-resistant
  • variety (check with your local
  • Cooperative Extension Service), and
    properly prune for growth and
  • Correctly identify the pest in ques-
    tion. When in doubt, send several

        Raise mowing height
        for turf to enhance its
        competition with

specimens to your local Cooperative
Extension Service. Once the pest is
identified, recommendations can
be made.
Use pheromone traps as a time-
saving technique for determining
the presence and activity periods of
certain pest species. Pheromones
are chemicals released by various
organisms as means of communica-
tion with others of the same species,
usually as an aid to mating.
Select replacement plant material
from among the many disease-
resistant types being developed by
plant breeders throughout the
Check with your local State Cooper-
ative Extension Service or university
for information on plant types
appropriate for your site.
Remove susceptible plants if a plant
disease recurs and requires too many
resources, such as time, energy,
  • personnel, or money. Some orna-
    mental plants, trees, and turf are
    so susceptible to plant diseases that
    efforts to keep them healthy may be

Applying  Pesticides

Many different kinds of pesticides are
currently available for use against urban
and structural pests. An appropriate ap-
plication uses the least toxic and most
effective and efficient technique and
material. Due to their potentially toxic
nature, these materials should be applied
by qualified applicators in a manner to
ensure maximum efficiency, with minimal
hazard. Pesticides should be applied only
when occupants are not present in areas
where they may be exposed to materials

Although EPA registers pesticides for use
within the United States, the fact that a
particular product is registered does not
mean that it is "safe" under all conditions

        Use pheromone traps
        as a time-saving
        technique for
        determining the
        presence and activity
        periods of certain past

of use. All pesticides used in the U.S.
must be EPA registered, and the registra-
tion number must be listed on the label.
Read and follow the pesticide label di-
rections, know how to apply and handle
these chemicals, and try to minimize the
exposure to children,  adults, and other
non-target species.

The following general recommendations
should minimize exposure to people and
other non-target species when the ap-
plication of pesticides is being

  •  Read and follow all label instruc-
  •  Choose a pesticide that is labeled for
    the specific site, intended for the
    pest you are trying to control, and as
    target specific as possible, rather
    than broad spectrum.
  •  Use a spot-treatment method of
    application when  pesticide treat-
    ments are required. Treat only the
    obviously infested plants in an area.
This procedure helps conserve
predators and parasites needed to
reduce future pest populations and
increases the time between pest
Limit the use of sprays, foggers, or
volatile formulations. Instead use
bait and crack and crevice applica-
tion when possible. Look for crack
and crevice label instructions on how
to apply the pesticide. These treat-
ments maximize the  exposure of the
pest to the pesticide while minimiz-
ing pesticide exposure for the
Place all rodenticides either in
locations not accessible to children
and non-target species or in tamper
resistant bait boxes. Outdoors, place
bait inside the entrance of an active
rodent burrow, and then collapse
the burrow entrance over the bait to
prevent non-target species' access.
Securely lock or fasten shut the lids
of all bait boxes. Place bait in the
Check for state recom-
      mendations and
     requirements for
    pesticide storage.t

        Schools should
        consider posting
        notices in areas to be
        treated or that have
        been treated.
baffle-protected feeding chamber of
the box. Never place bait in the
runway of the box.
Apply only when occupants are not
present or in areas where they will
not be exposed to the material
applied. Note any re-entry time
limits listed on the label, and be
aware that some residues can remain
long after application.
Use proper protective clothing or
equipment when applying pesti-
Properly ventilate areas after pesti-
cide application.
Notify students, staff, and interested
parents of upcoming pesticide
applications if that is part of the
school pest management policy. Pay
particular attention to those indi-
viduals that may be at higher  risk.
Keep copies of current pesticide
labels, consumer information sheets,
    and Material Safety Data Sheets
    (MSDS) easily accessible.
Storing Pesticides
Store pesticides off site or in buildings
that are locked and inaccessible to all
undesignated personnel. Be sure
adequate ventilation is provided for the
pesticide storage area. Store herbicides
separately to avoid potential damage to
plants from the absorption of vapors onto
other pesticides stored nearby. Avoid
storing pesticides in places where
flooding is possible or in open places
where they might spill or leak into the
environment. Store flammable liquids
away from an ignition source. Check for
state recommendations and requirements
for pesticide storage.

If pesticides are stored in occupied
buildings, take special care  to ensure
that the air in the occupied spaces does
not get contaminated. Place a notice out-
side the designated storage area. Store
all pesticides in their original containers,

and secure lids tightly. Make sure that
childproof caps are properly fastened.
However, even closed pesticide contain-
ers may release toxic chemicals to the air
through volatilization. Therefore, store
pesticides only in spaces that are physi-
cally separated and closed off from
occupied spaces and where there is ad-
equate exhaust ventilation (i.e., the air
is vented directly to the outside). In
addition, precautions are needed to
ensure that the air in the storage space
has no chance of mixing with the air in
the central ventilation system.

The pest manager  is  responsible for
periodically checking stored pesticide
containers for leaks or other hazards. To
reduce pesticide storage problems, buy
only enough of the pesticide product to
last through the  use season. Mix only
the amount of pesticide needed for the
immediate application.
Posting and Notification

Local law may require schools to notify
students and staff of impending pesticide
applications. If not, the school system
may take the responsibility of informing
school staff and students' parents of
upcoming pesticidal treatments. When
good IPM practices are followed, con-
cerns raised by notification and posting
activities may be minimized. If
notification  and posting is a new practice
at the school, the new policy should be
explained so that it will not be mis-
interpreted  to imply that more pesticides
are being applied than previously.

Notification can be accomplished by
posting notices around the school and
sending notices home to those parents
who wish to  be informed in advance of
pesticide applications. Schools should
consider posting notices in areas to be
treated or that have been treated. The
school pest manager should be prepared
and be available to provide more specific
Store pesticides only
   in spaces that are
 physically separated
 and closed off from
   occupied spaces.

                                   information to concerned parents
                                   and others.

                                   A voluntary registry of individuals who
                                   could be adversely affected by exposure
                                   to pesticides can be kept at the school
                                   health or administrative offices. Infor-
                                   mation on how to contact the local
poison control center and emergency
personnel should be kept readily
accessible. The school may also wish to
consider informing the adjacent commu-
nity in advance of planned outdoor
pesticide applications.

 Capture rodents by
using mechanical or
         glue traps

                                   Step 7:
                                   Evaluating Results and Record Keeping
                                   Successful practice of IPM relies on
                                   accurate record keeping. Record keep-
                                   ing allows the school to evaluate the
                                   results of practicing IPM to determine if
                                   pest management objectives have been
                                   met. Keeping accurate records also leads
                                   to better decision-making and more
                                   efficient procurement. Accurate records
                                   of inspecting, identifying, and monitor-
                                   ing activities show changes in the site
                                   environment (reduced availability of
                                   food, water, or shelter), physical changes
                                   (exclusion and repairs), pest population
                                   changes (increased or reduced numbers,
                                   older or younger pests), or changes in
                                   the amount of damage or loss.
A complete and accurate pest manage-
ment log should be maintained for each
property and kept in the office of the pest
manager or property manager. Pesticide
use records should also be maintained to
meet any requirements of the state
regulatory agency, School Board, and
applicable local regulations. The log
book should contain the following items:

   • A copy of the Pest Management Plan
     and service schedule for the prop-
   • A copy of the current EPA-registered
     label and the current MSDS for each
     pesticide product used on school

Pest surveillance data sheets, which
record, in a systematic fashion, the
type and number of pests or other
indicators of pest population levels
revealed by the monitoring program
for the site. Examples include date,
number, location, and rodent
species trapped or carcasses
removed as well as date, number,
and location of new rat burrows
A diagram noting the location of
pest activity, including the location
of all traps, trapping devices, and
bait stations in or around the site.
                                                                                      IPM can reduce the
                                                                                     use of chemicals and
                                                                                      provide economical
                                                                                        and effective pest

                                   Evaluating  the Costs

                                   Preliminary indications from IPM
                                   programs in school systems suggest that
                                   long-term costs of IPM may be less than a
                                   conventional pest control program that
                                   relies solely on the use of pesticides.
                                   However, the long-term labor costs for
                                   IPM may be higher than those for
                                   conventional pesticide treatments. The
                                   labor costs may be offset by reduced
                                   expenditures for materials.

                                   Whether an IPM program raises or lowers
                                   costs depends in part on the nature of
                                   the current housekeeping, maintenance,
                                   and pest management operations. The
                                   costs of implementing an IPM program
                                   can also depend on whether the pest
                                   management services are contracted,
                                   performed in-house, or both. To fit the
                                   IPM program into the existing budgetary
                                   framework, school administrators must
                                   consider what additional and redistrib-
                                   uted expenditures are involved. As with
any program, insufficient resources will
jeopardize the success of IPM.

Potential Added Costs

Initiating an IPM program may require
repair and maintenance activities to
prevent pest entry and to eliminate
sources of shelter, food, and moisture.
Examples of these one-time expenses that
may result in future budgetary savings

  • Improving waste management by
    moving trash or garbage contain-
    ers away from school buildings to
    reduce the opportunity for pest
    invasion. This cost is a one-time
    expense that will result in fewer pest
    problems and reduce the need for
    other pest control procedures.
  • Installing physical barriers such as
    air curtains over the outside en-
    trances to kitchens to reduce flying

Place flood drains to
 prevent pests from
using pipes as path-
ways. Keep areas as
  dry as possible by
  removing standing
    water and water
    damaged or wet

        Successful practice of
        IPM relies on accurate
        record keeping
    insect problems. This is also a one-
    time cost and results in fewer flying
    insect problems and a savings in
    years to come.
  • Stepping up structural maintenance
    to correct such situations as leaky
    pipes. This effort reduces future
    maintenance problems, prevents
    pest problems, and saves money in
    the long term.
  • Training and/or certifying staff in
    IPM. The amount of information
    necessary to implement IPM is
    greater than that required  for
  • conventional pest control. As a
  • consequence, training or certifying
    staff in IPM will probably increase
  • Re-landscaping the area adjacent to
    buildings to discourage pests.

In the long term, these repair and
maintenance activities will reduce overall
costs of the pest control operation, as
well as other maintenance and  operating
budgets. Whether these costs are actually
budgeted as a pest control expense or
under some other budgetary category
depends on the budgetary format of the
school system. School systems with an
active maintenance and repair program
may be able to absorb these activities
within the current budget.


Successful practice of IPM relies on
accurate record keeping, which leads to
more efficient procurement. As the IPM
program progresses, predictable events
and pest control needs will be identified.
Close consultation with the pest manage-
ment specialist is essential for good
decisions on purchases within the budget.

Some non-pesticide products, such as
traps, can be stocked to reduce purchas-
es in future years, but few savings can be
realized by purchasing  pesticides in bulk.
It is probably best to keep no more than
a 60-day pesticide inventory to assure
product freshness and to avoid limiting

cash flow. Pest managers should be able
to anticipate needs to fit a 60-day buying

"In-House" or Contracted Services

IPM programs can be successfully
implemented by "in-house" school
employees or by contracting with a pest
control company. A combination of
in-house and contracted functions may
be mixed and matched to the needs and
capabilities of the school system. Both
approaches have advantages and disad-
vantages. Individual school systems must
decide what is best for them given their
unique circumstances. Whether you
choose in-house or contracted services,
pest management personnel should be
trained to-

  • Understand the principles of IPM.
  • Identify pests and associated prob-
    lems or damage.
  • Monitor infestation levels and keep
  • Know cultural or alternative
  • Know recommended methods of
    judicious pesticide application.
  • Know the hazards of pesticides and
    the safety precautions to be taken.
  • Know the pesticide label's precau-
    tionary statement(s) pertaining to
    exposure to humans or animals.

"In-House" Services"

One of the most important tasks for an
in-house program is training staff to
function within an IPM context. Univer-
sities and State Cooperative Extension
Services have the expertise to meet most
IPM training needs. Needed training
materials that are not already available
can be developed jointly between the
School District and the Extension Service.

Contracted Services

Pest control firms should work with the
pest manager and the responsible school
official to solve pest control problems.

         IPM programs use
         current, comprehensive
         information on the
         life cycles of pests and
         their interactions with
         the environment.
Use of an outside pest control firm may
increase costs but eliminate the need
to hire and train personnel and store
pesticides. The contract should specify
the use of IPM principles and practices
in meeting pest management objectives.

When choosing a pest control firm,
contact your local Better Business
Bureaus or state regulatory agencies for
information about whether they have
received complaints about a pest control
company. State regulatory agencies can
also provide information on pesticide
applicator certification.
                                                                               The pest management services contract
                                                                               should include IPM specifications.
                                                                               Contracts should be written to provide
                                                                               expected results. Pest management
                                                                               objectives specific to the site should be
                                                                               jointly developed, agreed upon, and
                                                                               written into the contract. Any special
                                                                               health concerns (such as those for
                                                                               children, or for individuals with aller-
                                                                               gies, etc.) should be noted and reflected
                                                                               in the pesticides that can be utilized, or
                                                                               excluded from use.

For More Information

For additional copies of this document,

  • Public Information Center
    U.S. Environmental
    Protection Agency
    401 M Street, SW
    Washington, DC 20460
  • Field Operations Division (H7506C)
    Office of Pesticide Programs
    401 M Street, SW
    Washington, DC 20460

For information about pesticides,

  • National Pesticide
    Telecommunications Network
    1-800-858-PEST (toll-free)
    8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    Central Standard  Time.
Operators provide the medical, veteri-
and professional communities and
the general public with-

  • Information on recognizing and
    managing pesticide poisonings.
  • Referrals for laboratory analyses,
    investigation of pesticide incidents,
    and emergency treatment informa-
  • Tips for using pesticides correctly.
  • Clean-up and disposal procedures,
    and much more.

    United States
    Environmental Protection Agency
    Washington, DC 20460

    Official Business
    Penalty for Private Use