IPM policies can range from a few sentences or a paragraph to about 1 to 3 pages.
The policy statement briefly provides guidance on what is expected.
Integrated pest management procedures shall be used, i.e., IPM objectives (defines IPM and lists specific reasons for managing pests).
A policy statement for school pest management should state the intent of the school administration to implement an IPM program. The program should be designed to ensure the health and safety of students, teachers, staff, administration, and all others using or visiting the district’s buildings and grounds. At the same time, the program should ensure that pest populations are managed in an effective and environmentally sound manner.
An effective school IPM program should emphasize approaches to pest management such as pest exclusion, habitat modification, sanitation, monitoring, and the use of non-toxic and least-toxic products and techniques. When a pesticide must be used, the smallest possible amount of the least-toxic product that meets pest management goals should be used.
An effective school IPM program must recognize that IPM is a collaborative effort involving the administration, teachers, students, parents, facilities staff, and pest management operators, and that the gathering and sharing of information and responsibilities is critical to ensuring the success of this IPM initiative.
An effective school IPM program establishes procedures for considering the pest control implications of planned new construction or modifications. Design changes incorporating pest-resistant structural materials, fixtures, and furnishings can sometimes entirely eliminate pest habitat.
A clear policy statement is needed to develop agreement about how pest control will be performed. The sample IPM policy included here does not exclude the use of a pesticide, but places all pesticide use within a context where such use will be minimized. A policy statement for school pest management should:
- State the intent of the school administration to implement an IPM program
- Briefly provide guidance on what specifically is expected from the IPM program
- State of pest management goals
- Set roles and responsibilities for occupants, pest management personnel, and key decision makers
- Give authority to the IPM Coordinator to enforce the IPM plan by allowing them to:
- Request sanitation and cultural measures of students, faculty and staff
- Prioritize IPM-based maintenance work orders
- Fulfill the objectives set forth in the IPM policy and plan
Other points that can be briefly outlined in an IPM policy, include:
- That an IPM plan will be developed
- That an IPM Coordinator will be appointed or hired
- That an IPM advisory committee will be created
- That education and training will be provided to the school communities
- That Roles and responsibilities will be created
- That a pest monitoring program will be established
- That a list of approved pesticides will be created
- Records of pesticide use shall be kept. Other records include pest monitoring, pest sighting forms, etc. Time records should be kept.
- Pesticide purchase, storage, and disposal
- Notification and posting will be required
- Re-entry periods will be stated
- What rules pesticide applicators should follow
- Pesticide application exemptions
- How the IPM program will be evaluated
- Transition time
IPM emphasizes communication and including the whole community in the pest management and prevention process. Below is an outline of those involved in the IPM program and their typical roles and responsibilities. For a complete listing of IPM stakeholder roles, click here or visit the "Roles" icon on the IPM Plan page.
Sample School Pest Management Policy Statement
Structural and landscape pests can pose significant problems to people, property, and the environment; however, the pesticides used to solve these problems carry their own risks. It is therefore the policy of this school district to use IPM programs and procedures for control of structural and landscape pests.
The school or district shall have a written IPM Plan as outlined in Health Department Code R392-200-7(12) written by the Governing Body or provided to them by the pest management contractor.
Pests are living organisms (animals, plants, or microorganisms) that interfere with human purposes for the school site. Strategies for managing pest populations will be influenced by the pest species and the degree to which that population poses a threat to people, property, or the environment.
Pests will be managed to:
- Reduce any potential human health hazard or to protect against a significant threat to public safety
- Prevent loss or damage to school resources, structures or property
- Prevent pests from spreading in the community, or to plant and animal populations beyond the school site
- Enhance the quality of life for students, staff, and others
- Pest management strategies mush be included in an approved pest management plan for the site
Integrated Pest Management Procedures
IPM procedures will determine when to control pests, and whether to use physical, horticultural, or biological means. Chemical controls are used as a last resort. IPM practitioners depend on current, comprehensive information on the pest and its environment, and the best available pest control methods. Applying IPM principles prevents unacceptable levels of pest activity and damage. These principles are implemented by the most economical means and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.
It is the policy of this school district to utilize IPM principles to manage pest populations adequately. While the goal of this IPM program is to reduce and ultimately eliminate the use of toxic chemicals, toxic chemicals may become necessary in certain situations. The choice of using a pesticide will be based on a review of all other available options and a determination that these options are unacceptable or are infeasible, alone or in combination. Cost or staffing considerations alone will not be adequate justification for use of chemical control agents. The full range of alternatives, including no action, will be considered.
Staff, students, administrative personnel, custodial staff, pest managers, and the public will be educated about potential school pest problems and the integrated pest management policies and procedures to be used to achieve the desired pest management objectives.
Records will be kept on the number of pests or other indicators of pest populations both before and after any treatments. Records must be current and accurate if IPM is to work. Records of pesticide use shall be maintained on site to meet the requirements of the state regulatory agency and school board, and records will also document any non-toxic treatment methods being used. The objective is to create records from which programs and practices can be evaluated in order to improve the system and to eliminate ineffective and unnecessary treatments.
This school district takes the responsibility to notify students’ parents or guardians and the school staff of upcoming treatments which will involve a pesticide. Notices will be posted in designated areas at school and sent home with students.
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 or local regulations. Pesticides must be stored in an appropriate, secure site not accessible to students or unauthorized personnel. A cabinet in a non-student area with a locked and labeled door is advised. The door label should include a skull and crossbones, Mr. Ugh, or other visual signals for non-English reading adults or children.
Pesticide applicators must be educated and trained in the principles and practices of IPM and the use of pesticides approve by this school district, and they must follow regulations and label precautions. Applicators must be certified and comply with this school district IP policy and pest management plan. Under no circumstances should applications be made while school or school activities are in progress.