Introduction to Integrated Pest Management for Schools

So I’ll start off talking about Argentine ants. Mention that if you see one,
you’re likely to see others. Then cockroaches… Focus on German cockroaches. House mice… They’re curious creatures. And Norway … rats! They’re cautious. OK then. Oh, my class is here, I gotta go. When pests run around your school,
you’ve got a problem. Pests can carry disease and
cause health problems. And since kids spend a lot of time at school, it’s important
to keep their school environment safe and healthy. For us that means reducing the number of pests AND
reducing the need for pesticides as much as possible. So, how do we achieve both goals?
Through IPM. That’s short for Integrated Pest Management and it is
the preferred method for managing pests in schools. You focus on keeping pests out of your school
by making it unattractive to them. Then, manage pests using non-chemical practices. Pesticides only come into play after careful monitoring
shows you that acceptable levels of pests have been exceeded and non-chemical methods have failed. Perfect! We’re Environmental Scientists with the
California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Our video series will teach you
about using IPM at schools so that you can deal with pests in a simple,
effective way that makes sense! This series is broken up into ten short films
so it’s easy to watch. I’ll be your host. And if you need more guidance we have a
website full of resources and information. Oh, so that’s where it went. I’ll meet you outside as soon as
I get this situation under control. And I’ll tell you why IPM
will make your job easier. “Integrated Pest Management.”
That’s an intimidating phrase, but it stands for something really simple:
A common sense approach to dealing with pests. The idea is to prevent pests from getting a foothold
in a place where we don’t want them. And if pests are found, we use nonchemical methods
and reduced-risk pesticides to manage them. Let’s face it…students need a
pest-free environment to study in, and staff have a right to
a healthy workplace. That’s why this good idea is also the law in California:
the Healthy Schools Act, HSA. The HSA gives parents and staff the right to know
what pesticides are being used in their schools. That means parents and staff must be notified, warning signs need to be posted, and the school
has to keep records when certain pesticides are applied. To ensure that these requirements are met,
an IPM Coordinator must be chosen. And the Department of Pesticide Regulation provides
Integrated Pest Management training and resources to school staff and administrators like you,
to make your job easier. We’ll talk more about the California
Healthy Schools Act in another video. But…let’s focus on keeping your school
pest-free and healthy, through IPM. And remember, we’re aiming for long-term
solutions here instead of short-term fixes. Chances are your staff is already doing IPM
in their normal routine. And that’s good. Pesticides cost money, not only for
the chemicals and treatment services, but also for the time it takes school
employees to receive annual safety training. Then there’s the storing and transporting
the pesticides, the protective clothing and equipment you must have available,
and tons of paperwork to fill out. So if a mousetrap can save you
from paperwork, what’s not to like? Let’s talk about the health of your kids.
Yeah, the students at your school. Pound-for-pound they eat, drink,
and breathe more than adults. Children may be more vulnerable
to pesticides they are exposed to. On the other hand, you can’t just have
pests running around your school. Pests can carry disease and can
cause health problems like asthma. And gopher holes in your athletic field can
cause sprained ankles… or worse. So IPM is key to managing pests.
It’s important for every school to have a written policy, a formal
program that lets the public know how your school is managing pests.
A written policy also lets: The staff know what their roles are
when a pest problem occurs… It allows the school to be consistent
with IPM even with staff turnover… It makes the public feel more
comfortable that their children and the school environment
are being protected… And you’ve got something to brag about! Show that IPM is a priority in your
school and be proud of the fact that your school is doing the right thing for the kids,
for the environment, and for the community. A successful school IPM program is a team effort, so get everyone communicating
and involved including: superintendents and school administrators… the IPM coordinator… kitchen staff… maintenance and operations staff… contracted pest management businesses… teachers, students, parents… and the school board. Yes, it takes a village.
But the results are worth it. IPM can ultimately result in fewer pests
and less pesticides used. And I think that should get an A! To get an A+ be sure to watch
the other videos in this series.

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