735-F-17-004 | May 2017

Acknowledgements	1
Protecting Children in Schools from the Health Risks Associated
with Pests and Pesticides	2
What is Integrated Pest Management?	4
Establishing a Pesticide Safety and IPM Program in your School	6
Step 1: Develop an Official Pesticide Safety and IPM Policy Statement and Plan	8
Step 2: Designate Pest Management Roles for Everyone	9
Step 3: Set Pest Management Objectives by Site and Activity	12
Step 4: Inspect, Monitor and Identify	13
Step 5: Implement Pest Prevention Strategies	14
Step 6: Evaluating Results and Record Keeping	23
Evaluating the Costs	24
Potential Offset Costs	24
For More Information 														25

This is an update of "Pest Control in the School Environment: Adopting
Integrated Pest Management," originally published by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1993. This edition incorporates
additional concepts of integrated pest management (IPM) in schools, and
addresses the roles of additional stakeholders within the school community
in implementing a successful IPM program.
EPA would like to thank the individuals who contributed to the 1993 edition
of this document. In addition, we appreciate the general thoughts and
input from the school IPM community that helped us shape this updated

Improperly managed pest problems and improper pesticide use can lead
to health risks for children, given the significant time they spend in and
around schools. Many schools have environmental conditions conducive to
pest infestations. Reducing unnecessary exposures to pests and pesticides
improves health and attendance, and leads to greater academic achievement.
Healthier school environments enable children to learn and produce more in
the classroom, which ultimately leads to a more productive, higher quality
Children face increased risks to their health when exposed to pests and over-
use of pesticides. They may consume or come into contact with food and
objects contaminated with diseases associated with rodent feces and urine;
contract diseases spread by biting insects; suffer asthma when exposed to
cockroach and rodent allergens; or be exposed to pesticides used improperly
or unnecessarily. Children are more likely to experience adverse health
effects than adults when exposed to these risks due to their small body size in
relation to the amount of contaminant or pathogen. Not only are their brains
and other organs still developing and more vulnerable, children's hand-to-
mouth and ground contact behaviors increase the likelihood that they will
come into contact with pests, pathogens, and pesticides.
Protecting the health of children is a top priority for EPA, and we recommend
that all school districts consider implementing programs that promote
integrated pest management (IPM). IPM encourages long-term, sustainable
approaches to successfully manage pests. By developing a coordinated
program, school leaders demonstrate their commitment to a healthy
environment where students can thrive. IPM addresses not only the safety
concerns of pesticide use, but also focuses on solution-based approaches that
solve the reasons why pests are in schools.

EPA has prepared this booklet to introduce and reacquaint readers with
effective IPM. It presents recommendations for best management practices
for IPM in schools. Throughout the nation, schools that have adopted IPM
report long term, sustainable pest mitigation that both reduces the use of
pesticides and is cost effective.
This booklet contains informative guidance only and does not supersede
federal, state, tribal or local requirements, where those requirements are
more specific or stringent. Please confer with your federal, regional, state,
tribal, and/or local regulatory authorities for current requirements in your
The IPM principles discussed here can be applied to any urban pest
management program and tire not applicable just to school environments.
To find out more about sustainable approaches that lead to successful
integrated pest management in schools, visit our website:
I # i 4
Children face
risks to their
health when
exposed to
pests and
i H /

IPM is a smart, sensible, and sustainable approach to managing pests. It's
smart because IPM creates a safer and healthier learning environment by
reducing children's exposure to both pests and pesticides. It's sensible since
practical strategies are used to reduce the sources of food, water and shelter
pests need to infest school buildings and grounds. Finally, it's sustainable, as
IPM emphasizes prevention rather than control, making it more cost-effective
for long-term pest mitigation.
Simply put, IPM addresses the reasons why we have pests. Pests need food,
water and shelter, and the goal of IPM is to deny them these necessities. IPM
does this by instituting a combination of common sense practices that prevent
pests from infesting school buildings and grounds by both limiting access
and reducing their attractiveness. IPM targets pests when they are most
vulnerable by combining a knowledge of the pest's biology with sound and
proven pest management practices.
IPM is proactive rather than reactive, eliminating the need for routine and
repetitive use of pesticides by focusing on a sequential decision making
process. The IPM process includes:
•	Developing pest management goals and objectives;
•	Actively monitoring for pests and pest conducive conditions;
•	Identifying the pest and knowing its biology;
•	Selecting and implementing multiple, sustainable pest management
strategies that emphasize improved sanitation, facility maintenance, pest
exclusion, habitat modification, human activity modification, and the
development and execution of preplanned approaches to deal with pest
situations; and
•	Recording and continually evaluating results to determine if objectives
are being met.
Note that IPM does not exclude the use of pesticides, but rather encourages
the use of multiple mitigation approaches—and when deemed necessary,
the application of pesticides that pose the least risk to people and the
environment. Since children are at the greatest risk from exposure to
pesticides, EPA recommends a careful and judicious approach to the use of
pesticides in schools.

The best way
to manage
pests is to
create an
by denying
them access
to food,
water and
It is important to reiterate that IPM is not a single pest control approach,
but rather a strategy of combined approaches that synergize to limit a pest's
ability to survive and thrive.
As stated previously, the best way to manage pests is to create an
inhospitable environment by denying them access to food, water and shelter.
This can be accomplished by removing the basic elements pests need to
survive and/or by simply blocking pests' access to those things. Repairing
water leaks, sealing around pipe and electrical entries into buildings, closing
doors, cleaning food service areas daily, trimming trees that touch buildings,
installing lids on waste receptacles, moving dumpsters away from buildings,
removing excess equipment and clutter, selecting pest resistant construction
materials, and other simple approaches limit a pest's ability to establish a
foothold in and around schools. Not only do these methods control pests,
they also add to the aesthetics of the human environment, conserve energy,
and improve air quality. When pests are found through active monitoring,
IPM encourages low-risk control methods that include manual, mechanical,
and cultural tactics in addition to the judicious use of pesticides.

The great thing about an effective and efficient IPM program in your school
is that it can be integrated into your other school activities, programs,
and processes. This program can easily be incorporated into any existing
environmental and coordinated health program with committee oversight
and reporting requirements. The term "integrated" in integrated pest
management also means that the strategies of a successful program
are integrated into the daily routines of various school management
activities, including custodial services, facilities management, cafeteria
services, grounds and landscaping, safety and risk management, and new
construction. To ensure everyone contributes to program success, they
should be empowered with knowledge of its components and how their
individual activities impact the program.
The following six steps are essential pillars that support IPM in schools:
Develop an official IPM policy statement and a supporting
plan that expresses commitment by the school leadership
to provide a safe, clean and healthy environment for
students and staff by implementing reduced-risk methods
to limit pest problems and complaints. It is a commitment
to eliminate the calendar-based application of pesticides
and focus on preventing pest infestations by making school
facilities and grounds unattractive to pests through improved
sanitation and pest exclusion. This is an important first step
in making the transition from a reactive program to a more
sustainable and integrated approach to mitigating pests
through best management practices. For further details, visit
EPA's webpage on Tools and Resources to Support IPM
Implementation: www.epa.gov/managing-pests-schools.
Designate pest management roles for everyone including
students, teachers, and other school staff and leaders; ensure
effective communication among them; and educate each
group on its respective roles and how they contribute to
program success.

Set pest management objectives for specific activities and
locations in the school. Each activity and type of location
(classroom, cafeteria, sports field, etc.) will have differing
pest management challenges and therefore differing pest
management objectives. The types of pests and ways to manage
them in each location should be outlined in the IPM plan.
Inspect site(s) to identify and estimate the extent of pest
problems. Actively monitor vulnerable areas for pests and pest
conducive conditions. Document and report pest activity and
any contributing conditions.
Implement pest prevention strategies as part of daily activities
and business practices. These include considering pests when
redesigning and repairing structures, improving sanitation
and waste management practices, employing landscape
designs that deter pests, selecting pest-resistant plant varieties,
altering watering and mowing practices, posting pest logs for
staff to report problems, and judicious use of pesticides by
designated and certified personnel.
Keep records of pest management and associated activities.
Evaluate results, activities, and processes to determine if pest
management goals and objectives are being met.
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The IPM policy and plan details the school leadership's commitment to
IPM, provides guidelines to be followed, and includes information about
monitoring, inspections, pest thresholds, who can apply pesticides, how
pest problems should be reported, who should be educated about the
program, and how parents/guardians and staff should be notified prior
to a pesticide application. A copy of the IPM policy should be sent home
to all students and parents at the beginning of each school year. It should
also be visibly posted in a common area, such as in the main office, and
on the school website. EPA recommends that all school districts consider
implementing a policy addressing the safest possible use of pesticides
and the implementation of a coordinated IPM program as part of a long-
term and sustainable approach to mitigating pests and their impacts on
children's health. By publishing a policy, the district leadership establishes
a commitment to promoting a healthy student environment.
This model IPM policy addresses not only safety concerns when using
pesticides, but also focuses on solution-based approaches to pest problems
in our schools. This is a proactive rather than reactive approach. As a result,
it provides the school district and its individual campuses a sustainable and
long-term pest management alternative to conventional calendar-based,
pesticide-only approaches.
A model IPM policy can be found at: www.epa.gov/managing-pests-schools.
Model Pesticide Safety and
IPM Guidance Policy for
School Districts
Center of Expertise for School IPM
United Stales
Environmental Protection
February 2015

Everyone has a role in managing pests, as everyone who frequents a building
contributes to the conditions that attract and sustain pests. By working
together as a team, students, employees and parents can create a healthy,
pest-free environment in and around schools. The more team members "buy
in" to their individual roles, the better the pest management system will
work. The functions and responsibilities for various groups are identified
below and should be outlined in the school's IPM plan.
Oversight and Management - School leaders (superintendent, principal,
facilities manager, etc.) may consider making an open commitment to
IPM, stating their intended approach to managing the IPM program in and
around the schools they represent. School leaders could then make resources
available to the program based on their stated goals and objectives for pest
management. To ensure effective oversight and management of the program,
school leaders could rely on support from the three entities below:
1)	IPM and/or Safety Committee: Consider establishing a committee to
advise the district's leadership on enacting this policy and the risks, costs,
and issues of various pest management approaches. These duties can be
assigned to an existing committee, such as the school's Environmental
Health and Safety Committee. Pest management activities and their
impact on student/staff health and safety cut across multiple school
programs and functions. Membership examples include, but are not
limited to: school nurse (environmental health, pest associated disease
risks, asthma, pesticide poisonings), facilities management (pest control,
structural integrity, grounds management), custodial services (sanitation
and waste management), food service (sanitation and food protection),
administration (policies, funding, resources, community relations),
teaching staff (classroom clutter removal and student education),
coaching staff (sports safety), parents (health and safety of students), pest
management professionals (contracted services), and the community at
large (impact of campus activities on the broader community).
2)	IPM Coordinator: Consider appointing a district-wide IPM coordinator
to provide direct oversight of the day-to-day activities of the program.
The IPM coordinator should be trained in the principles of IPM, pesticide
safety, pest control contract oversight, record keeping, and pesticide
regulations. EPA recommends a minimum of six (6) to eight (8) contact
hours of training annually for the IPM coordinator from state, extension,
or other agencies. The IPM coordinator is also the key advisor to the
committee charged with program oversight and serves as the primary
educator to the district and school staff on their responsibilities to the
district policy and supporting program.

3) School Nurses: The school nurse is a key member of any effort that
focuses on reducing health risks the school environment can pose
to students. School nurses are the school's environmental health
experts. They assess environmental health risks in and around schools,
and make recommendations based on those assessments. They also
contribute to the school's action plans for reduction of health-impacting
pests and are keenly aware of the asthma incidences that may be
affecting students in their learning environment. In addition, school
nurses continually collaborate with students, staff, parents, and the
community to keep students safe and promote healthy habits conducive
to learning. As part of their critical role, school nurses may be engaged
in any health risk communication, health risk assessment regarding pest
issues, and the use of pesticides in and around schools. They accomplish
this through participation on committees and advisory boards for the
development of school policies and plans associated with pesticide
safety and pest mitigation.
Staff, Students, and the Public - People are understandably concerned about
the health of their school environment, and about any possible adverse effects
pests and pesticides may have on human health as well as the effectiveness of
pest control methods. Providing school staff, students, and their parents with
information addressing these concerns and explaining each group's role in
the school's IPM program can enhance the effectiveness of the program.
Everyone has a responsibility to identify and report pest problems and
conditions that lead to pest infestations. Pest sighting logs can be placed near
pest vulnerable and community use areas throughout the school for students,
staff, and others to report pest sightings and conducive conditions.
Certified pesticide applicators and IPM coordinators have extensive and
direct responsibilities related to pest management, but everyone can have
positive or negative impacts on pest management in their daily activities
and duties. Custodial and food service staff have a responsibility to remedy
sanitation and solid waste management practices that attract and feed pests.
Facilities management personnel have a responsibility to seal the building
to prevent pests from entering, identify and repair water leaks immediately,
close access ways properly after repairs, remove equipment and construction
debris, and report pest conducive conditions and pest sightings in non-
public areas (boiler rooms, crawl spaces, gangways, etc.). Teachers and
administrative staff have a responsibility to reduce clutter from storage
areas, improve classroom/office sanitation, and store food only in designated
areas. Consider informing students and the general public about the
district's program, and how they contribute to its success through individual
sanitation, clutter management, and timely reporting of problems.

Parents' Special Roles - As the best advocates for their children's
health, parents are key partners for a successful transition to an effective
IPM program. This includes learning about the principles of IPM, and
implementing them at home so that pests are not carried to school in
backpacks, notebooks, lunch boxes, or clothing. Parents may also be informed
of current pest management practices in their children's schools. School
leaders should welcome questions from parents and encourage them to seek
information on the school's program. Parents are encouraged to express
their views and concerns to the school district superintendent, school board,
principal, school management, and the school's Parent Teacher Associations
(PTAs). Parents also have a role with school oversight committees that impact
pesticide safety and IPM priorities and objectives.
Education and Training - A school's IPM program should include a
commitment to education, offered to educators, school nurses, cafeteria
employees, custodians, maintenance workers, grounds and landscape staff,
administrative personnel, students, and parents. Everyone at the school can
be given the opportunity to learn about the basic concepts of IPM and how
these principles are being applied. It is very helpful for staff and students
to understand how their own behavior can help to alleviate or contribute
to pest problems. Specific instructions can be provided on what to do and
what to avoid to manage pests. For example, staff should not bring pesticides
from home to use in and around schools. All pesticide products, including
those purchased at a retail store, should be applied only by designated and
certified personnel.
identify	an
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and community
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Pest management objectives differ from site to site. For example, the objective
for an athletic field would be to maintain a healthy turf, as well as a specific
type of playing surface that reduces the risk of sports injuries. For ornamental
plants, the objective would be to maintain an aesthetic environment that
is conducive to learning. For buildings and other structures, the objective
might be mitigating damage caused by termites and other wood-destroying
organisms. Cafeteria objectives include producing and serving healthy and
nutritious foods that are free of pests, disease, and unnecessary pesticide
residues. School leaders should outline their specific objectives for each site
in the school's IPM plan. Pest management objectives serve as a compass
during the decision-making process for deciding on a course of action for a
particular pest and form a benchmark to evaluate program success.
Examples of pest management objectives include:
•	Manage pests that interfere with the learning environment of the
•	Eliminate injury to students, staff, and other occupants.
•	Preserve the integrity of the school's buildings or structures.
•	Provide safe playground and athletic surfaces.

An IPM program consists of a cycle of inspecting, identifying, monitoring,
evaluating, and selecting an 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 modifications
may greatly reduce the pest's prevalence. The most common and effective
habitat modifications are exclusion, repair, and sanitation. Monitoring
includes inspecting vulnerable areas for pest evidence—such as entry
points, food, water, and places where pests live—along with estimating
pest population levels.
Without knowing what pest you are dealing with and how it lives, you
will not know where to look for its activity. If you do not know if you
have pests, how are you to determine if there is a problem? Do you want
to prevent them, manage them at an acceptable level, or eradicate them?
Once you have established processes to address the pests, how will you
determine if they were successful? What worked and what did not? What
strategies can you repeat, and which were not worth your time or money?
The components of IPM assist in determining the answers to these
Successful rodent control programs involve monitoring or inspecting for common signs of rodent
infestations. Monitoring and inspecting not only allow for identification of the rodents present, but
provide insight to the extent and severity of the infestation. Monitoring and inspecting also offer an
opportunity to identify rodent-conducive conditions before an infestation occurs. Inspectors should
monitor for rodent droppings, gnaw damage, burroios, runways, tracks, grease or rub marks, urine
stains, sightings of live or dead rodents, rodent sounds, and rodent odors. Regardless of rodent evidence,
inspectors should record conducive conditions that allow easy access to food, buildings and structures.
The presence of a pest does not, in itself, necessarily require immediate or resource intensive action.
A single ant in the classroom should not trigger anything other than diligent sanitation. On the other
hand, the signs or sighting of an individual rodent in the cafeteria, termites infesting facility structures,
or stinging insects near playground equipment often require immediate action by pest management
professionals that may include the use of pesticides.

can be
into both
design and

Prevention strategies may include sanitation and clutter management,
redesigning and repairing structures, and establishing watering and mowing
practices for lawns and sports fields. Pest prevention strategies can be
incorporated into both new construction design and preexisting structures.
Such preventive measures reduce the need for routine pesticide applications.
IPM strategies for specific school sites are provided below.
IPM Strategies for Indoor Sites
Typical Pests: Mice, rats, cockroaches, ants, filth flies, wasps, hornets, yellow
jackets, spiders, termites, carpenter ants, and other wood-destroying insects.
Entryways: Gaps around doorways and windows, open windows and doors,
holes and cracks in exterior walls and floors, openings around pipes and
electrical chases, or HVAC ducts:
•	Keep doors and windows shut when not in use.
•	Place weather stripping, door and bottom sweeps on exterior doors.
•	Seal gaps around windows and place weather stripping where missing.
•	Seal openings in walls and floors with pest resistant and structurally
sound materials.
•	Install or repair screens in doors, windows, and other exterior openings.
•	Install air curtains above exterior doors near cafeterias and food storage areas.
•	Keep vegetation, shrubs, and wood mulch at 12 inches or more away
from structures.
•	Trim tree branches to at least 6 feet or more from building exteriors and
roof lines.
•	Mount security lighting away from the building so that it shines on the
building but attracts pests away from it.

Classrooms and Offices: Classrooms, laboratories, administrative offices,
auditoriums, gymnasiums, and hallways:
•	Allow food and beverages only in designated areas. Ensure areas are
cleaned and waste removed immediately after meal periods.
•	If indoor plants are desired, keep them healthy, do not overwater or keep
plants in standing water. When small insect infestations appear, remove
the plant from the facility until infestation is mitigated.
•	Keep areas dry by removing standing water and water damaged or
wet materials.
•	If class pets are allowed, store animal food in tightly sealed containers
and regularly clean habitats.
•	Dust and vacuum regularly and remove clutter and debris.
•	Routinely clean lockers, desks, cabinets, and storage closets.
•	Have students with apparent public health pest infestations (head lice,
scabies, bed bugs, etc.) report to the school nurse for evaluation and
consultation. Discourage sharing, commingling, and storage of student
coats, jackets, caps and other personal items.

is the first
and most
step in
Food Preparation and Serving Areas: Cafeteria dining room, main kitchen,
teachers' lounge, home economics kitchen, snack areas, vending machines,
and food storage rooms/pantry:
•	Sanitation is the first and most important step in controlling pests.
Enforce stringent sanitation standards to reduce the availability of
food and water for pests—remove food debris, sweep up all crumbs,
fix dripping faucets and leaks, and dry out wet areas. Promptly clean
food preparation equipment after use, and routinely remove grease
accumulation from vents, ovens, and stoves.
•	Store food in tightly sealed containers that are inaccessible to pests.
Containers must have tight lids and be made of plastic, glass, or metal.
Foods prepared for service and left-overs should be covered and stored in
appropriate refrigeration/warming containers.
•	Place all waste in plastic bag lined trash cans. Remove waste and place in
dumpsters between services. Trash cans that are expected to hold waste
for a significant portion of the day should be covered with lids. All trash
cans should have all waste removed at the end of each day.
•	Remove bulk products from cardboard boxes, and place cardboard in
appropriate waste receptacles outside. Never store excess cardboard indoors.
•	Place screens on vents, windows, and floor drains to prevent cockroaches and
other pests from using unscreened ducts or vents as pathways. Floor drains
should be cleaned weekly to remove grease and accumulated food waste.
•	Install air curtains above exterior doors near cafeterias and food storage areas.
•	Rodents are common problem for food service areas, but rodenticides
pose a significant cross-contamination health risk to food. In food service
and storage areas, capture rodents using mechanical 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 hours.)

Areas with Plumbing: Bathrooms, rooms with sinks, locker rooms,
dishwashing rooms, home economics classrooms, science laboratories,
swimming pools, greenhouses, and maintenance areas:
•	Promptly repair leaks and correct other plumbing problems to deny pests
access to water. Even small leaks can support significant pest infestations.
•	Routinely clean floor drains, strainers, and grates.
•	Seal pipe chases.
•	Keep areas dry. Avoid conditions that allow formation of condensation.
•	Increase ventilation in humid rooms. Areas that never dry out are
conducive to pest infestations and promote mold and fungi growth.
•	Store paper products or cardboard boxes away from moist areas and
direct contact with the floor or walls. Remove bulk products from
cardboard boxes and place excess cardboard in appropriate waste
receptacles outside.
Maintenance Areas: Boiler room, mechanical room, custodial-janitorial areas,
IT server and communications rooms, and pipe chases:
•	Keep all areas free of clutter. Remove excess equipment, construction
materials, and waste promptly.
•	In rooms with service sinks, promptly clean mops and mop buckets
after each use; dry mop buckets and hang mops vertically on racks
above floor drains.
•	Install ventilation to reduce humidity and promote drying of items that
frequently become wet.
•	Install screens on ventilation to limit pest entry.
•	Store and consume food in designated areas only.
•	Place secure lids on trash cans and install plastic liners. Clean trash
cans regularly.
Areas that
never dry
out are
to pest
and promote
mold and

IPM Strategies for Outdoor Sites
Typical Pests: Structural arid public health pests such as filth flies, stinging
insects, mice, rats, birds, and wild animals. Turf pests include weeds, insects
such as beetle grubs or sod webworms, diseases such as brown patch, and
vertebrates such as moles. Ornamental plant pests include a variety of diseases
and insects such as thrips, aphids, Japanese beetles, and bag worms.
Recycling, Solid Waste, and Raw Waste Collection Areas:
•	Dumpsters, cooking oil waste containers, and raw waste receptacles can
be appropriately designed for intended use and made of durable, pest-
resistant materials.
•	Dumpsters can be equipped with serviceable, self-closing lids. Cooking
oil and raw waste receptacles should be equipped with access lids that
can be completely resealed.
•	Recycling containers should be exclusively dedicated for such use, and be
designed to protect contents from the weather and pest infestation.
•	All waste containers should be cleaned on a regular and scheduled basis.
Both interior and exterior of dumpsters should be pressure washed with
appropriate cleaners to remove spillage and accumulated waste.
•	All bulk waste receptacles should be placed 50 feet or more from
building exteriors.
•	All waste receptacles should be placed on cleanable, hard surface
pads. Pads should be cleaned on a routine basis to remove spillage and
accumulated waste.
•	All waste receptacles should be serviced at a frequency that does not
allow contents to overflow or be placed on the ground. Outdoor trash
cans should be serviced dtiily, with no waste allowed to stay overnight.

Playgrounds, Parking Lots, Athletic Fields, and Common Areas:
•	Limit standing water by designing grounds, athletic fields, play areas,
and parking lots to adequately drain water away from school buildings
and property.
•	Place appropriately designed trash cans/waste receptacles in high-traffic
areas to limit garbage from being discarded onto the ground. Service
receptacles daily as discussed above.
•	Select materials, plantings, and equipment that are pest resistant.
Turf: Lawns, Athletic Fields, and Playgrounds:
•	Maintain healthy turf by selecting a mixture of turf types (certified seed,
sod, or plugs) best suited for the area. Check university cooperative
extension services for recommended turf varieties, management practices,
and other pertinent information.
•	Frequently sharpen mower blades to limit turf damage during mowing.
•	Vary mowing patterns to help reduce soil compaction. Top dress and
mechanically aerate soils annually to reduce compaction and stimulate
root systems.
•	Water turf infrequently but sufficiently during early morning hours to let
turf dry out before nightfall; let soil dry slightly between watering cycles.
•	Improve drainage to limit standing water.
•	Allow grass clippings to remain in the turf (use a mulching mower or
mow often) or compost with other organic material.
•	Manage thatch levels (periodically dethatch) to promote root stimulation
and improve soil aeration.
•	Have the soil tested to determine pH and fertilizer requirements.
Time fertilizer applications appropriately and adjust pH with lime or
other additives.
•	Depending on location and turf variety, over-seed, as needed, in fall and
early spring.
Water turf
during early
hours to
let turf dry
out before

plant health
and pest
Ornamental Plants, Trees, and Shrubs:
•	Select pest-resistant varieties best suited for your area. Consult with
university cooperative extension specialists for recommendations.
•	Keep vegetation, shrubs, and wood mulch 12 inches or more away
from structures.
•	Trim tree branches to at least 6 feet or more from building exteriors and
roof lines.
•	Apply fertilizer and nutrients to annual and perennial flowers during
active growth and to shrubs and trees during their dormant season or
early in the growing season.
•	Water properly based on plant variety needs. Plant varieties should be
consistent with your local climate and natural precipitation patterns.
•	Prune branches to improve woody plant health.
•	Reduce soil compaction and aerate soil surrounding plants with
mechanical tillers or hand tools.
•	Actively monitor plant health and pest infestations.
•	Remove diseased or susceptible plants if a disease recurs and/or
requires too many resources to address.

Applying Pesticides
IPM programs take advantage of all appropriate pest management strategies,
including the judicious use of pesticides. Pests that pose significant risk to
human health and safety, structural integrity, or economic loss should be
controlled immediately. This often requires the use of pesticides to quickly
but temporarily knock down pest populations. Since children are at the
greatest risk for pesticide exposure, EPA recommends a managed approach
where pesticides are only used when and where pests are present or expected
to be present as determined by monitoring. The use of pesticides should
be approved by the IPM coordinator and only applied by state or tribally
certified pesticide applicators that are knowledgeable in IPM. Students and
staff should be notified 24-48 hours in advance of all pesticide applications,
except in emergencies. Treated areas should be marked with highly visible
signs, and pesticides should not be applied when people are present or
expected to be present per the pesticide's labeled re-entry requirements or for
at least eight hours after application, whichever is greater.
The following general recommendations should minimize exposure to people
and other non-target species when applying pesticides:
•	Read and follow all label instructions. The label is the law.
•	Choose a pesticide that is labeled for the specific site and pest you are
trying to control.
•	Use a spot-treatment method of application to treat only the infested areas.
•	Limit the use of liquid sprays, foggers, or volatile formulations. Instead, use
bait formulations and crack and crevice treatments when possible. These
maximize pesticide exposure to the pest while minimizing human exposure.
•	Place all rodenticides into tamper-resistant bait boxes in locations not
accessible to students.
•	Apply pesticides 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 pesticide label, and be aware that some residues can
remain long after application.
•	Use proper protective clothing and equipment when applying pesticides.
•	Properly ventilate areas after pesticide application.
•	Notify students, staff, and interested parents of pending pesticide
applications. Pay special attention to individuals with increased
vulnerability to pest and pesticide exposure (asthma, etc.).
•	Keep copies of pesticide labels, consumer information sheets, and Safety
Data Sheets (SDS) in easily accessible locations (IPM coordinator's office,
nurse's office, facilities manager's office, etc.).

Store all
pesticides in
their original
and secure
lids tightly.
Storing Pesticides: Store pesticides offsite or in buildings that are locked
and inaccessible to unauthorized personnel. Be sure adequate ventilation
is provided to the pesticide storage area. Segregate and store herbicides,
insecticides, rodenticides and baits separately to avoid chemical reactivity
and to limit pest avoidance of baits that absorb chemical smells. 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 outside the designated storage area. Store all pesticides in their
original containers, and secure lids tightly. Make sure that childproof caps
are properly fastened. Store pesticides only in spaces that are physically
separated and closed off from occupied spaces and with adequate exhaust
ventilation (i.e., the air is vented directly to the outside). Ensure that the
air in the pesticide storage area does not mix with the air in a centralized
ventilation system.
Posting and Notification: Some states and localities require schools to notify
students and staff of impending pesticide applications. Even in the absence
of specific laws, school leadership should consider adopting the practice
of informing school staff and students' parents of upcoming pesticide
treatments. If notification and posting is a new practice at the school, the new
policy should be explained so that it will not be misinterpreted that more
pesticides are being applied than previously. When good IPM practices are
followed, concerns raised by notification and posting activities should be
Notification can be accomplished by posting notices around the school,
sending notices to parents through email and/or text alerts, or posting them
to the school website in advance of pesticide applications. Schools should
consider posting notices in areas that will be or have been treated. The IPM
coordinator and pesticide applicator should be prepared and available to
provide more specific information when questions arise.
A registry of individuals who could be adversely affected by exposure to
pesticides should be kept at the school's health offices. Information 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 community in advance of planned outdoor pesticide applications.

Record keeping is critical to determining the efficacy of any IPM program.
Well maintained and accurate records provide a means to verify that the
policy is being followed, identify historical trends and repetitive issues, and
justify decisions and actions taken to mitigate pests.
Successful 1PM relies on accurate record keeping. Record keeping 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 of pest
control materials (monitors, traps, pesticides, etc.). Accurate records of
inspecting, identifying, and monitoring activities document 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 management log should be maintained for
each property and kept in the office of the IPM coordinator or school facility
manager. Pesticide use records should also be maintained to meet any
requirements of the state regulatory agency, school board, and/or applicable
local oversight entity. The log book should contain the following items:
•	A copy of the IPM policy and plan.
•	Pesticide use and service schedules for each property/site.
•	A copy of the current EPA-registered label and the current Safety Data
Sheet (formerly MSDS) for each pesticide used on school property.
•	Pest surveillance data sheets to 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 observed.
•	Diagrams of pest vulnerable areas that note historical pest activity,
including the locations of all traps, trapping devices, and bait stations in
or around the site.
•	Listings and diagrams of environmentally and/or culturally sensitive
areas where pesticide use must be avoided or extremely limited.
•	Copies of pesticide applicator state certifications.
•	Copies of all pest management contracts.

Results from IPM programs in school systems across the nation indicate that
long-term costs of IPM are less than conventional calendar-based pest control
programs that rely solely on the use of pesticides. Whether an IPM program
raises or lowers costs depends in most part on the nature of current custodial,
maintenance, cafeteria, grounds, and pest management operations. The costs of
implementing an IPM program can also depend on whether pest management
services are contracted, performed in-house, or both. To fit an IPM program
into the existing budgetary framework, school administrators should consider
what additional and redistributed expenditures are involved. As with any
program, insufficient resources could jeopardize the success of IPM.
Initiating an IPM program may require repair and maintenance activities
to prevent pest entry and eliminate sources of shelter, food, and moisture.
Examples of these one-time expenses that may result in future budgetary
savings include:
Improving waste management by moving trash or garbage containers
away from school buildings to reduce the opportunity for pest invasion.
This 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 entrances
to kitchens to reduce flying insect problems. This results in fewer flying
insect problems and savings in years to come.
Focusing on preventative maintenance and repairs to correct such
situations as leaky pipes. This effort reduces future maintenance problems,
reduces utility costs (electric and water), and prevents pest problems.
Training on pesticide safety and IPM. When everyone understands
and does their part, the need for comprehensive pest management is
significantly reduced.
Adjusting the landscaping adjacent to buildings to discourage pests.
This includes moving or trimming plants so they do not touch buildings,
directing water away from foundations, and choosing mulch carefully.

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
a different category depends on the budgetary format of the school system.
School systems with active maintenance and repair programs may be able to
tibsorb these activities within their current budgets, and reap cost efficiencies
through energy use reductions associated with the same or similar activities.
To find out more about how to establish an IPM program that provides a
smart, sensible, and sustainable approach to managing pests in your school,
please visit: www.epa.gov/maiiaging-pests-schools.

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