EBAB: Integrated Pest Management
Structural and landscape pests can pose significant health and other problems to people as well as affect property and the environment. Pesticides can also pose risks to people, property, and the environment. It is therefore the policy of the School District to incorporate integrated pest management (IPM) procedures into the District maintenance and housekeeping program for control of indoor and outdoor pest problems.
- Pests are populations of living organisms (animals, plants, insects and/or plant diseases) that interfere with use of school facilities for human purposes. Strategies for managing pest populations will be influenced by the pest species and whether that species poses a threat or is a nuisance to people, property or the environment.
- Integrated pest management, or IPM, is a strategy that focuses on long-term prevention or suppression or pest populations using a combination of tactics that minimize the effects of pest management activities on human health and the health of other, non-target organisms. Integrated pest management emphasizes using a balanced combination of tactics (cultural, mechanical, biological, chemical) to reduce pests to a tolerable level while using pesticides and herbicides as a last resort to minimize health, environmental and economic risks. An IPM plan is a decision-making process following a set of detailed procedures describing how particular pest problems will be avoided or managed.
- Pest management tactics may involve the activities of all users of a school facility—teachers, students, administration, and parents—not just staff responsible for pest management because how a school facility is used has great bearing on the types of pest problems which may occur.
Development of IPM Plans
The District will appoint or contract with an IPM coordinator whose duties include the development and implementation of a pest management plan. Objectives of the IPM plan will include:
- Elimination of significant threats caused by pests to the health and safety of students, staff or the public.
- Prevention of loss or damage to school structures or property by pests.
- Protection of environmental quality inside and outside school buildings.
Strategies for managing pest populations will be influenced by the pest species, location and whether and at what population level its presence poses a threat to people, property or the environment. The full range of action alternatives, including no action, will always be considered.
Essential IPM Principles
Pest management plans will be based on the following principles:
- Whenever possible, prevention of pests as a strategy to hinder their establishment and therefore reduce the need for pesticide use.
- Knowledge of the pest’s identity, biology and life cycle will establish the basis for selection of appropriate management strategies.
- Monitoring of pest numbers and record keeping will be used to identify pests and sites requiring management action.
- Management strategies will be selected after consideration of the full variety of available options. Strategies will include all practical non-chemical, biological and chemical management measures.
- When necessary, monitoring results will be used objectively to determine action thresholds (the defined level of unacceptable numbers of a particular pest) at which least toxic chemical controls will be
- Educational activities will be conducted to enhance the cooperation and understanding among staff, students, and the public.
Pesticide Use in School Facilities
Decisions concerning whether or not pesticides should be applied in a given situation will be based on a review of all available options. Efforts will be made to avoid the use of pesticides by adequate pest- proofing of facilities and good sanitation practices. When it is determined that a pesticide must be used in order to meet pest management objectives, the least toxic material, adequate for the job, will be chosen and whenever possible, applied at times which will minimize human exposure. If pesticide is being used, notification of pesticide applications will be provided as per the Children’s Protection Act of 2000.
The District will keep a record of pesticides and herbicides used, amounts and locations of treatments and will keep any Material Safety Data Sheets, product labels and manufacturer information on ingredients related to the application of the pesticides or herbicides. All records of pesticides and herbicides used and correspondence will be available for public review upon notice and during normal school hours.
Cooperation with IPM Coordinator
The District will provide administrative support to assist the IPM Coordinator in developing an IPM program that relies on minimal pesticide use. Such support will include efforts to promptly address any structural, horticultural, or sanitation changes recommended by the Coordinator to reduce or prevent pest problems. Furthermore, the District will assist the Coordinator in developing and delivering materials and programs for staff, students, and the pubic to educate them about the importance of good sanitation and pest control.
Pest management concerns will be addressed by the District during facilities planning and design. Pest management-related modifications to facilities will include (but are not limited to) selection of well- adapted and pest tolerant plant varieties for outdoor plantings, proper placement and types of lighting to reduce pest entry into buildings, and pest-resistant design of roofing, doorways, ventilation systems, and trash storage containers.
The District will ensure that contractor selection is determined not solely according to price, but also by the contractor’s ability to offer satisfactory IPM services as an alternative to traditional pest control services. If IPM plans are employed, they should be based on the IPM principles outlined above.
All pesticide use, storage, handling, and disposal will be conducted in accordance with Massachusetts statutes, FIFRA, the Code of Federal Regulations in 4OCFR, Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations, school District policies and procedures, and local ordinances.
LEGAL REF.: Chapter 85 of the Acts of 2000, "An Act to Protect Children and Families from Harmful Pesticides."