What is Integrated Pest Management?
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Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, is a common-sense approach to pests that dramatically reduces pesticide pollution by emphasizing prevention through improved sanitation and maintenance and careful monitoring of pest-prone areas of the school.
IPM is more effective than spray programs for ridding a school of common pests and the allergens they can leave behind. And, most schools report that IPM costs less than conventional pest control programs.
The key elements of an IPM program in school or child care are:
- Educating school staff, teachers, students, and administrators about how the IPM program works, why it’s important, and what they can do to help.
- Monitoring the school building and grounds regularly to identify and manage pest activity before it turns into full-blown infestations.
- Preventing pest problems through improvements in sanitation and supply storage, pest-proofing waste disposal, structural maintenance, and good soil health.
- Least-Hazardous Approach to pest management, using chemical pesticides only as a last resort when preventative and mechanical controls have failed, and then choosing the least-toxic and lowest-risk formulations to get the job done.
- Notifying school staff, students, and parents in writing about the pest control program, and use of higher-risk pesticides that may effect them.
- Keeping Records of pest activity and pest management steps taken to establish trends that will help school staff to anticipate and prevent future problems.
Want to know more? Training and support in using IPM are available for schools and pest control companies from Toxic Free NC (contact us), and the NCSU School IPM Program.
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