SPN: Gardens, Mosquitoes and Fungi

In this month’s edition of School Pest News, I have several items to share with you.

In an effort to help School IPM Coordinators in TX with their school garden programs, I recently worked with the Junior Master Gardener team to develop a simple document that help explains the volunteers and teacher roles in the school garden process.  This document can be shared with those in your district overseeing gardens to help educate them as well.  At the same time, there is an online module on School Gardens found on our new Online Resources platform. This class is free to everyone, once you register with us for an account, class participants can print a certificate and present a copy to the IPM coordinator for proof of training.

Download and share  School Garden Basic Info

The Colorado Coalition for School IPM Newsletter came out this month, and a topic we don’t often cover in integrated pest management is talking fungi.  Dr. Marcia Anderson, U.S. EPA Center for Integrated Pest Management discusses “The Fungus Among Us – Restoring Ecosystems and Controlling Pests.”  In this article she discusses about mushrooms growing in the woodchips in the playground to how fungi are being using in biological pesticides.   In addition to Dr. Anderson’s article the Colorado Coalition also has information on kissing bugs something to always to on the lookout for in TX as well.  ColoradoSchool_IPM_Newsletter

Yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti

Yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti

Finally, the scientists from AP&G (Catchmaster) wrote up their research trials at two large school systems in California on using a new device the Ovi-Catch and using Final Feed to control mosquitoes. I’m including the article, plus a copy of the article in PDF which illustrates the Ovi-Catch system.

Summary of Integrated Mosquito Management in Southern California Schools. By: Stanton E. Cope, PhD, VP, Technical Products and Services, AP&G and Jim Shaver, Western Regional Manager, AP&G


Invasive mosquitoes, especially the Yellow Fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti and the Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus, are spreading rapidly in the United States and California is no exception.  These species prefer to breed in artificial containers such as tires, cans and bottles, children’s toys, plant drainage saucers, clogged gutters – basically, anything that will hold water.  Also, they bite primarily during the daytime, so school children are at increased risk.  Not only are they a biting nuisance, but they can also spread serious diseases such as dengue fever, chikungunya, Zika virus and yellow fever.

Successful Control in Schools Using IPM
ovi catch device

Catchmaster Ovi – Catch AGO Mosquito Trap is specially designed and built to catch mosquitoes during the height of the breeding cycle. Contains a glue board inside that has a maximized glue surface so the use of pesticide is unnecessary.

In Southern California, school districts deal with large numbers of complaints about mosquitoes.  These complaints come from students, teachers, staff and parents.  With current restrictions on treatments in sensitive areas like schools, hospitals, child-care, etc. the integrated pest management teams were frustrated because they had almost no tools to address these mosquito issues.  The IPM staff were limited to inspecting to remove breeding sites and treating with contact insecticides made from essential oils.

Our installation of Ovi-Catch at the Anaheim Union School District and the Los Angeles Unified School District provided excellent results.  The IPM Technicians were delighted to have “some options” to actually impact the mosquito population and satisfy the concerns of staff, students and parents.  The Ovi-Catch traps were installed in discreet and/or locked areas and had no issues with tampering.  The staff noted less mosquito activity and were very happy with the reduction of mosquito issues.

This success was enhanced with the introduction of Final Feed mosquito spray.  Final Feed improved results and offered a treatment method that lasted for 30 days or more.  One of the major issues in schools is the surrounding properties.  IPM Technicians frequently expressed that they had thoroughly inspected the school properties and removed breeding sources.  However, they have no control over the surrounding properties and standing water located there.  Final Feed provides a method of mitigating mosquitoes moving onto school property from adjacent areas.

The Final Feed applications and Ovi-Catch installations provided vital “leave behind” products that help to mitigate mosquitos that are originating off the property and are making their way onto the campus. “Ovi-Catch and Final Feed are an important part of our mosquito management program.  If you can use these valuable tools, you should” said Rich Kravetz, IPM Technician, Anaheim Union School District.

In general, we are having excellent results.  However, as is the case with most devices and materials, training is key. Results have been strongly supported by the management and staff in the IPM programs who are motivated and very willing to accept training on the proper application of Final Feed and placement of Ovi-Catch.

For more information on these devices you can contact a sales rep in your area by going to this website 

Mosquito Management in CA Schools

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