Establishing an IPM Program for Schools: 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 statement is provided as an example and may be modified in any way by schools to reflect site-specific needs or intent.
Model Policy Statement
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.
Pests are populations of living organisms (animals, plants, or microorganisms) that interfere with use of the school site for human purposes. Strategies for managing pest populations will be influenced by the pest species and whether that species poses a threat to people, property, or the environment.
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 environment and the best available pest control 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 objectives.
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 applications.
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 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 Children.