Establishing an IPM Program for Schools
An efficient IPM program can be integrated with the school's existing pest management plan and other school management activities. School management activities such as preventive maintenance, 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 conventional pesticide program to an IPM program goes beyond simply stating a commitment to support and implement 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 personnel, 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 environmental 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 aspects of the program.