roles - School IPM - USU Extension

    IPM Roles

    A successful IPM program requires that everyone in the community participate. An IPM policy should have basic roles outlined, but more in-depth roles can be added to the IPM plan document for thoroughness. Below are roles and responsibilities of the major school IPM stakeholders.

    IPM Coordinator

    • Runs the day-to-day activities of the IPM program
    • Provides training to the school community
    • Has authority to uphold the IPM program in any school or building
    • Gains expertise on pest management issues through training and self study

    IPM Committee or Subcommittee 

    Environmental Health and Safety Committees, comprised of 8–10 representatives from the affected community:

    • Advise on pest management issues and periodically review the effectiveness of the district’s IPM policy
    • Periodically review pest prevention and treatment guidelines, as well as actual management products and techniques employed throughout the year, to ensure that they are based on the best available scientific information
    • Review and recommend pesticide application strategies and products
    • Review and recommend action in response to parental, staff, or neighbor complaints
    • Evaluate district progress toward its pesticide use reduction/minimization goal
    • Make recommendations for long-term site planning and pest prevention


    • Should have a general understanding of state laws pertaining to IPM in schools and application of pesticides inside schools and on school grounds
    • Encourage faculty and staff understanding and full participation in the IPM program
    • Communicate with the IPM Coordinator regarding IPM decisions and priorities
    • Establish partnerships with experts (Utah State University, eXtension, PMP’s, State Lead Agency, and non-government organizations such as the IPM Institute)


    • Recognize and report conditions that may lead to pest problems, such as water leaks, potential pest entryways, plants too close to buildings, and poor sanitation practices
    • Receive training from the IPM Coordinator or qualified supervisor on IPM principles and practices
    • Maintain the cleanliness and take care of the school building and grounds
    • Practice all sanitation and maintenance techniques
    • Report pest issues to School IPM Coordinator whenever pests or signs of pest activity are discovered in the school building, or are a problem on school grounds 
    • Recognize and correct conditions that may lead to pest problems such as water leaks, potential pest entryways, and poor sanitation practices
    • Manage specific pest issues as directed by the IPM Coordinator-- this should not include pesticide application unless the individual is a licensed Pest Management Professional
    • The School IPM Coordinator must train the indoor Maintenance and Custodial Staff in the pest detection and monitoring program and devices in place throughout the school when hired and annually thereafter.
    • If landscaping or turf maintenance is required by their duties, grounds maintenance staff will be trained in accepted horticultural practices grounded in IPM.
    • Work with the Superintendent of Facilities and Grounds to monitor and manage pest problems, and report pest sightings as described in this policy and its implementing procedures
    • Maintenance staff with certified applicator’s licenses may be responsible for pesticide applications. Before applying pesticides, licensed staff should submit any pesticide use proposals to the IPM Coordinator, Superintendent of Facilities, and Grounds for review and action.

    Nutrition/Kitchen Staff

    • Should know that food handling and preparation areas are among the most vulnerable areas, and safe food preparation requires a good understanding of IPM
    • Should understand the importance of good sanitation and proper food storage
    • Keep all food areas free of crumbs and food residue after use
    • Inspect the kitchen on a regular basis (interval to be determined by IPM Coordinator and IPM Committee)
    • Submit a pest sighting report to School IPM Coordinator whenever pests are detected in the kitchen and food service areas
    • Manage specific pest problems as directed by the IPM Coordinator
    • The IPM Coordinator will be responsible for training the kitchen staff in proper sanitation procedures when hired and annually thereafter.
    • The School IPM Coordinator will train the kitchen staff in the pest detection and monitoring program in place in the kitchen when hired and annually thereafter.


    • Maintain copies or have access to material safety data sheets (MSDS) for all chemicals used on school property
    • Be familiar with the signs and symptoms of pesticide poisoning
    • Be aware of any children or staff with asthma or chemical sensitivities
    • Serve as a resource for IPM information for school staff, children, and parents
    • Keep an inventory of students with hypersensitivities to honey bees, etc.
    • Should have access to MSDS sheets for any chemical used on school property
    • Maintain easy access to Poison Control Center hotline number in case acute poisoning is suspected
    • Monitor for headlice (a common problem for children between 3 and 10 years old)
    • Educate parents and staff about preventing headlice spread when it occurs
    • Submit a ‘Pest Problem Report’ to School IPM Coordinator whenever pests are detected in the health suite/Nurse’s office 

    Students, Faculty and Staff

    • Practice good sanitation and be responsible environmental custodians
    • Avoid leaving food or clutter in lockers, classrooms, and common areas and avoid eating food or drinking soft drinks in areas other than areas designated for food consumption
    • Shall not use pesticides, but will contact the IPM Coordinator when pest problems arise
    • Will not move sticky traps or other pest monitoring devices
    • Report any evidence of pest activity to the School IPM Coordinator using the ‘Pest Problem Report’ form
    • Receive training in their roles in the school's pest management system by the School IPM Coordinator at a minimum of once per year
    • Will be instructed in how to log pest complaints using the ‘Pest Problem Report’ form 
    • Pamphlets and fact sheets will be made available at the time of training and/or posted on bulletin boards in specific areas such as the cafeteria and teachers’ lounge.


    • Parental engagement motivates and reinforces school staff efforts to provide effective, safe pest control
    • Express any concerns to the IPM Coordinator, the school district superintendent, the school principal, school-based improvement committees or the parent-teacher organization
    • Parents should consider using IPM practices in their homes to extend the benefits of IPM
    • Should learn about IPM practices and follow them at home so that pests are not carried to school in notebooks, lunch boxes, backpacks, clothing, or the children's hair 
    • Make their children aware of their role in the School IPM Program at the school
    • Encourage children to lend a hand in cleaning up
    • Discourage children from keeping food in their lockers and desks
    • Be aware of the current pest management practices in their children's school
    • Review the ‘Annual School IPM Program Notification Letter to Parents & Staff’ as well as all notices of application of pesticides at the school 
    • For questions or concerns, parents and /or guardians will contact the School IPM Coordinator 

    Vendors and Contractors

    • Can expect school districts to enforce good sanitation practices of service providers by including specific language in bid specifications and contracts
    • IF appropriate, contracts may specify regular maintenance, to include or coincide with cleaning under and behind machines during service visits
    • Vendors and contractors may expect that districts or contractors should prioritize correction of problems that may support pests, such as leaks or harborage areas
    • Districts may administer penalties for not complying with the district’s IPM policy.
    • Duties of vendors and contractors in the School IPM Program to be prescribed in specific language in their bid specifications and contracts, such as: 
      • Contracts will specify regular maintenance service, cleaning under and behind machines during service visits
      • immediate correction of problems which may foster pests (for example, breakage, leaks, or excessive condensation from machinery)
    • The district should notify (in writing) all pest control, construction, and landscape contractors of the need to adhere to the district’s IPM policy in any pest control, planning, new construction, repair, or maintenance work for the district

    Pest Management Contractor

    • Make accommodations in-line with the school IPM policy
    • Provide the school or district with a suitable IPM Plan if not provided by the school governing body (as outlined in the Health Department Regulation R392-200-7(12))
    • Consult regularly with the IPM Coordinator and prior to any pesticide application
    • Will not make routine, time or calendar-based pesticide applications
    • Set procedures for timely response to pest sightings
    • Schedule regular inspections of pest vulnerable areas
    • Keep detailed records of pest sightings and pesticide use
    • Provide MSDS documents to school staff
    • Give specific recommendations to correct pest-conducive conditions
    • Facilitate proper posting and notification
    • Promote the appropriate least hazardous methods to correct pest problems
    • All applicators should be properly licensed and supervised by knowledgeable, trained personnel. Schools are sensitive accounts and experts trained in IPM practices should be sent out to school sites instead of uninformed employees.


    University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Pesticide Safety Education Program
    “IPM Easy as ABC-Integrated Pest Management in Sensitive Environments: A How-To Guide”
    New Jersey School Integrated Pest Management Program: New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Pesticide Control Program
    “School IPM Manual”
    Maine Departent of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Division of Animal and Plant Health, Integrated Pest Management.
    “The Maine School IPM Program: IPM School Tool Kit”
    EPA: Establishing an IPM Program for Schools: Step 2