Kids deserve a safe place to learn and grow. Today’s children spend a significant part of their lives in school. Pest management is an important, but often overlooked, part of school safety.
Pests can cause stings and bites, and can trigger allergies. In addition, some pests pose health threats by spreading germs and filth. Unmanaged pest problems can result in damage to school property, unsightly landscapes and other unsafe conditions.
Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, is a strategy of managing pests using multiple control tactics that provide the best control with the least cost and environmental impact. IPM is based on thorough knowledge of the pests and the technologies used to control them, and can be performed by anyone with proper training. A good IPM program attempts to make schools less hospitable to pests by modifying the environment, like improving sanitation, and eliminating pest harborage sites, along with using the lowest impact pesticides as necessary. Managing risks from pests and risks from the pesticides used to control them are top priorities under an IPM program.
“To provide the best professional integrated pest management training and advice for school districts and other environmentally sensitive institutions in Texas and the Southwest.”
In an effort to assist the Texas Department of Agriculture in developing an IPM Coordinator database, we are asking each coordinator to give us their information as well. We will not sell your information to anyone, this is strictly for tracking information.
Spring ISD earns recertification for integrated pest management practices By: Paul Schattenberg Spring Independent School District has once again earned IPM Star certification for its sustainable pest management practices. The school district was given an intense inspection of its sustainable pest control practices by experienced integrated pest management professionals, said Janet Hurley, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service school integrated pest management specialist who served as one of the evaluators. “The IPM STAR program of the IPM Institute of North America evaluates school systems and childcare centers for their… Read More →
Kissing bugs and Chagas disease. By Wizzie Brown, Extension Program Specialist III Triatomine bugs, also known as kissing bugs, reduviid bugs and cone-nose bugs, are almost an inch long with elongated cone-shaped heads. The body is grayish-brown with a wide abdomen that has flattened sides. The flattened sides of the abdomen stick out beyond the wing margins and are marked with red, orange or yellow stripes. Nymphs (immatures) look similar to adults, but lack fully developed wings. There are other insects in Texas that look similar and can… Read More →
Be on the Watch for Asps! By: Molly Keck Puss caterpillars, AKA Asps have been spotted this season in south TX! Be on the lookout and be careful if you encounter them. These fuzzy, almost cute, little caterpillars can inflict a nasty sting without provocation. Hidden inside the fuzzy façade, are venomous spines that result in a painful rash or “burn”. They are not aggressive caterpillars, and stings often occur when individuals accidentally brush up against them, or curious children pick one up to check it out. The… Read More →
There is no “I” in IPM; it’s all about Team. By: Janet A. Hurley Integrated pest management (IPM) is like football. In football, it takes a team to win or lose a game. No single person is the breaking point. Successful IPM requires people management and teamwork. A solid IPM program requires several groups of people to work in conjunction with one and another, and to practice the basic principal that no one person is responsible for everything. Taking ownership of one’s actions and helping others is a… Read More →
Texas School Health Advisory Committee (TSHAC) Resources, Recommendations and Research SHAC Guide for Texas School Districts – Revised July 2015 The School Health Program of the Department of State Health Services produced this helpful School Health Advisory Councils Guide for Texas School Districts for help to get started while building a successful SHAC. The guide has been updated with the most current information available in support of efforts to provide school health education and services through the district’s SHAC. To access the guide, go to http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/schoolhealth/sdhac.shtm. To find out if your school district has… Read More →
Why worry about cockroach control? By Faith M. Oi, PhD, Director of Pest Management University, University of Florida There has been much attention given to the bed bugs over the last few years. However, cockroaches remain a pest of major importance because it is a known trigger for asthma. Like the bed bugs, there is not clear experimental data indicating that cockroaches are major disease vectors, but many pathogens have been recovered from them. As always for more information on other pests or on developing an IPM program… Read More →
Summer is time for deep cleaning at your school It is that time of year, summer! When the students and teachers leave, and school districts across the state are systematically deep cleaning their school campuses. As custodial and maintenance staff work through your campuses here are a few things to remember. The pests we generally see in schools during the summer months include cockroaches, mice, spiders, ants, silverfish, and occasionally crickets. These pests are animals and they like the same things we do, food, water, harborage and safety…. Read More →
By: Wizzie Brown I think saying that weather has been interesting for Central Texas as of late is a bit of an understatement. We have had so much rain that has led to flooding in multiple areas, causing much loss and devastation. While clean-up efforts are underway for various parts of the state, people need to be aware of fire ant movement. I know this is one the the last things on everyone’s mind when looking at the results of the flooding, but it can be important information… Read More →
Fire Ant Management by Molly Keck, Extension Program Specialist II Rain brings fire ants… at least that’s what people say. Rain doesn’t necessarily make fire ants more abundant – they were always there, they just weren’t as noticeable. When it rains, the ground becomes saturated and the fire ants move their colonies higher. When they pop above the ground, you come across them more readily and its gives the impression that there are more and they are worse than during dry months. Unless you have been treating regularly,… Read More →
By Wizzie Brown I’m loving the rain we’ve been getting in Central Texas, but it has been leading to some pest problems that people haven’t really had to deal with for a while. I thought that I would touch on some of them. The first and foremost for me are millipedes. Yesterday afternoon when it was raining, I took the opportunity to head outside to look for millipedes for photos. I could not find a single one. While disappointed, I knew that I had seen some at home… Read More →