Thursday, October 23, 2014

Indoor Environmental Exposures and Exacerbation of Asthma



The Institute of Medicine published an update to its "Indoor Environmental Exposures and Exacerbation of Asthma", a literature review synopsis of indoor environmental exposures that exacerbate asthma.  It is well documented that pests such as rodents, cockroaches, and dust mites increase the prevalence of asthma in children.  To find out more visit: http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1307922/.

School IPM 2015 Newsletter: October 2014


School IPM 2015: Reducing Pest Problems and Pesticide Hazards in Our Nation's Schools
School IPM 2015 Newsletter: October 2014
In This Issue
What's New?
Highlights
Upcoming Events
Do I Smell a Stink Bug?
Tick-Safe-Schools
U.S.Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Deadlines Approaching
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What's New This Month

Looking for a School IPM resource? Common Pests Found in Schools and Day Care Centers: Midwest Region describes common pests and how to control them. The PDF booklet covers: ants, cockroaches, bees and wasps, flies, stored product pests, spiders, occasional invaders and mammalian pests.


Highlights
October is Children's Health Month!   
In 1992, the American Academy of Pediatrics established October as Child Health Month in order to focus national attention on children's health issues.
Children are particularly vulnerable to toxins because they process them differently then adults, have a more rapid metabolic rate and have more hand to mouth behavior.   

The National Academy of Sciences 1993 Landmark Report estimates that 50% of lifetime pesticide exposure occurs in the first five years of life.  

To learn more about children's environmental health and view educational materials, click here.  

To learn more about how School IPM can improve  children's health, click here. 


Upcoming Events
October 26, 2014
Education Facilities Management Forum
Chicago, IL
 More Information

November 13-14, 2014
TIPMAPS  
Corpus Christi, TX

November 16-19, 2014
Entomological Society of America (ESA) National Meeting  
Portland, OR 
March 24-26, 2015
8th International IPM Symposium  
Salt Lake City, UT   
More Information

 April 2, 2015
Turfgrass IPM Workshop  
Santa Maria, CA    
 More Information 
April 6-8, 2015
2015 Imported Fire Ant and Invasive Pest Ant Conference   
New Orleans, LA    
 More Information


Quick Links
*View this newsletter as a PDF
Greetings from School IPM 2015!  
Every day, 49 million children attend school in the United States, served by nearly seven million teachers and staff.   But they're not alone.  Schools are also frequented by a number of pests including cockroaches, mice, dust mites and more.  Asthma is epidemic among children, impacting nearly 6% of school children nationally with rates as high as 25% in urban centers.  House mice and cockroaches are potent asthma triggers.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a prevention-based, highly effective approach proven to reduce pest complaints and pesticide use by up to 90% in schools and other public buildings.  IPM practices such as sanitation and exclusion also improve food safety, fire safety and energy conservation.  Our newsletter highlights real-life examples of IPM in practice and can help you start an IPM program in your school district.  For more information, visit www.schoolipm2015.com
Do I Smell a Stink Bug?  
As autumn temperatures cool, brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB) seek out winter homes. Much like lady beetles, boxelder bugs and cluster flies, BMSB prefer warm, dry habitat for overwintering. BMSB can be found overwintering in dead standing trees and in houses and other structures including school buildings.

Identification
Adult BMSB
David R. Lance, USDA APHIS PPQ, bugwood.org
Stink bugs are named for the odor they emit when disturbed or crushed.   One of many species of stink bugs, the BMSB is about 5/8 inch long and marbled brown in color. Identifying characteristics for this Asian species include white bands on the antennae and legs, a blunt forward edge of the head, a smooth thorax and dark banded tips on the forewings.

Eggs and nymph BMSB
David R. Lance, USDA APHIS PPQ, bugwood.org
Eggs are oval, white to pale green and deposited in clusters on leaves. Nymphs progress through five immature stages before reaching adulthood, shedding their outer skin as they do so. Newly hatched nymphs
have an orange abdomen with dark brown plates.

BMSB is an invasive pest in the US, originating in eastern Asia and arriving in the Mid-Atlantic region more than a dozen years ago. The insect has now been detected in 41 states. Fortunately, a number of native predators and parasites are taking advantage of BMSB as a resource, and may be slowing population growth. Asian native natural enemies are also under consideration for potential release in the US.

Crop damage and nuisance status
Severe crop damage has been reported in PA, NJ, WV, MD, DE and VA. Additional states reporting crop damage include WA, OR, NY, OH, KY, TN and NC. BMSB feeds on many types of fruit, vegetables and ornamental plants. Adults and nymphs cause pockmarks by injecting tissue-destroying enzymes and sucking juices from fruit and seeds. The injured flesh under the skin hardens, making produce unsellable in the fresh market.

The primary concern for schools is movement of the BMSB into buildings. BMSB rarely feed and do not reproduce during the winter. They do not sting, bite, spread disease or bore into wood, but rather become a nuisance including collecting in large numbers inside buildings.

IPM for BMSB
The best way to avoid BMSB problems in schools is to exclude them. Screen openings on vents, utility pipes and window air conditioners. Seal gaps along fascia and ensure door sweeps ad seals are tight on exterior doors. Turn off unnecessary exterior lighting to reduce BMSB attraction to buildings at night.

To capture BMSB once inside, use a vacuum. Be aware the vacuum may acquire the odor of stink bugs if large numbers are present. A designated BMSB vacuum may be advisable in that case. BMSB can also be captured by placing a foil roasting pan filled with soap and water in affected rooms, darkening the room and shining a flashlight on the pan. BMSB will be attracted to the light and fall into the water.

Resources
Tick-Safe-Schools
Last month, participants learned how to prevent tick problems in the school environment. Presenters included Thomas Mather, University of the Rhode Island Center for Vector Borne Diseases; Marcia Anderson, EPA's School IPM Center of Expertise; Kathy Murray, Maine Department of Agriculture; and Christine Dunathan, Director of Institutional Advancement at Friends Community School. Creating Tick Safe Schools Using IPM, the second in a series, was presented on September 30, 2014 as part of the EPA School IPM Webinar Series. 

An adult female blacklegged tick, engorged after a blood meal
Scott Bauer, USDA Agricultural Research Service, bugwood.org
Dr. Mather discussed tick borne diseases and prevalence, identification and the Tick Encounter web resource. This is a great resource center to learn how to be tick smart! For tips on avoiding questing ticks and steps to take when you find a tick, check out the School IPM April eNewsletter. Teaching children to conduct tick checks and emphasizing the importance of education will help considerably with tick management on school grounds.

TickSpotters is a service offered through the website where you can send in a picture for identification. Individuals have the opportunity to guess the tick species, currently with a 50% success rate. Dr. Mather also spoke about the importance of conducting a risk assessment. The number of ticks spotted per hour determines the risk level and what action needs to be taken.

Dr. Anderson reviewed prevention through landscape design. Remove leaves and vegetation weeds that might harbor ticks. Create a nine-inch buffer zone around buildings and plant deer resistant plants to minimize tick presence.

Dr. Murray discussed the importance of monitoring, how to incorporate tick prevention into your school IPM plan and personalized strategies for schools. "A tick IPM plan should include components for communication, monitoring and identifying ticks, landscaping to reduce tick encounters, setting action thresholds, record-keeping, and regular review and evaluation," said Dr. Murray. Recommended prevention methods include personal protective measures such as repellents, protective clothing, and body checks and landscape modifications to reduce tick habitat and discourage deer and mice. To learn more about the best method for your schools' situation, check out information resources such as eXtension.org and Tickapp.tamu.edu.

Ms. Dunathan discussed real-world school tick issues and first-hand tick management challenges. She implemented three key lessons:
  1. Asses your site; measure your risk before you take action.
  2. Educate staff, parents and teachers about prevention and consequences of tick bites for overall cooperation.
  3. Get started and adjust as you go; understand that different challenges will arise, modify and select strategies that work best for your school.
Power point slides from the presentation will be available to view in the upcoming weeks by clicking here. Below is a list of upcoming webinars:
  • Bed Bugs in Schools: December 16, 2014, 1:00 PM Central
  • Keeping Rodents Out of Your School: January 27, 2014, 11:00 AM Central
  • Dealing with Nuisance Birds Around Schools: February 24, 2015, 1:00 PM Central
U.S.Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Deadlines Approaching    
The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools program recognizes schools, school districts and institutions of higher education that go above and beyond to accomplish three objectives:
  1. Reduce environmental impact and costs, including water, energy use and transportation.
  2. Improve the health and wellness of students and staff, including environmental health nutrition and fitness.
  3. Provide environmental education that incorporates science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and green career pathways.
The goal of the award program is to motivate education professionals to evaluate facilities and pursue opportunities to improve health and the environment, comprehensively and collaboratively with state health, environment and energy agency counterparts. Nominees must exhibit achievement in all three pillars.

Schools, districts, colleges and universities do not apply directly; state education authorities must nominate them. State participation is voluntary; candidates should let their state departments of education or state higher education authority know of their interest in being nominated. Deadlines to inform state education authorities of interest vary by state; click here for a list of state contacts to find out more information.

States submit final nominees to the US Department of Education by February 1st of each year. Each state may nominate up to five pre-kindergarten through grade 12 schools or school districts, and a single post-secondary institution.

Honorees are announced annually on Earth Day, April 22nd and are invited to attend a national ceremony in July to receive a sustainable plaque and flag. To view a list of past winners, click here. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

School IPM 2015 Newsletter: September 2014


School IPM 2015: Reducing Pest Problems and Pesticide Hazards in Our Nation's Schools
School IPM 2015 Newsletter: September 2014
In This Issue
What's New?
Highlights
Upcoming Events
Don't Let Mice Move Into Your School!
IPM in the Classroom
Classroom InPestigation!
Receiving a forwarded copy?  Know of others who should receive this newsletter?
Find us on Facebook

Join the
to ask questions, learn from others and share successes and challenges.

 

What's New This Month

The Pesticide Research Institute released of a new, free, online pesticide product assessment tool, PestSmartTM, with pesticide product information for IPM managers, farm workers, beekeepers, LEED APs, pest control operators, and consumers. PestSmart provides a quick reference to the product Hazard Tier rating and is a companion tool for the more comprehensive PRI Pesticide Product Evaluator. Check out their latest blog post for additional information. 


Highlights
EPA is hosting a one hour FREE webinar on "The Basics of School Integrated Pest Management" followed by a 20-minute Q&A session.
This presentation is geared specifically to school and school district facility managers, buildings and grounds managers and childcare facility managers. School nurses and school administrators are always welcome to attend.
Click here to register. 

For information on other school IPM related webinars go to:  http://epa.gov/pestwise/events/sipm-webinars.html  
  


Upcoming Events

October 8-9, 2014
Midwest Healthy Homes & Childcare Conference
Indianapolis, IN
More Information 

October 14, 2014Intro to Texas IPM for Schools
Pittsburg, TX
More Information

October 15, 2014
Intro to Texas IPM for Schools
RichardsonTX
More Information

October 22, 2014

Turfgrass IPM Workshop
Sunnyvale, CA
 More Information
October 26, 2014
Education Facilities Management Forum
Chicago, IL
 More Information

October, 2014
Empowering School Integrated Pest Management
Orlando, FL

November 13-14, 2014
TIPMAPS  
Corpus Christi, TX

November 16-19, 2014
Entomological Society of America (ESA) National Meeting  
Portland, OR 
March 24-26, 2015
8th International IPM Symposium  
Salt Lake City, UT   
More Information

 April 2, 2015
Turfgrass IPM Workshop  
Santa Maria, CA    
 More Information 
April 6-8, 2015
2015 Imported Fire Ant and Invasive Pest Ant Conference   
New Orleans, LA    
 More Information


Quick Links
*View this newsletter as a  PDF
Greetings from School IPM 2015!  
Every day, 49 million children attend school in the United States, served by nearly seven million teachers and staff.   But they're not alone.  Schools are also frequented by a number of pests including cockroaches, mice, dust mites and more.  Asthma is epidemic among children, impacting nearly 6% of school children nationally with rates as high as 25% in urban centers.  House mice and cockroaches are potent asthma triggers.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a prevention-based, highly effective approach proven to reduce pest complaints and pesticide use by up to 90% in schools and other public buildings.  IPM practices such as sanitation and exclusion also improve food safety, fire safety and energy conservation.  Our newsletter highlights real-life examples of IPM in practice and can help you start an IPM program in your school district.  For more information, visit www.schoolipm2015.com
Don't Let Mice Move Into Your School!  
It's that time of year when heating systems turn on, and warm air leaking out gaps in exterior door sweeps and seals acts like a beacon, calling mice to a nice warm winter home! Add food smells from kitchens and cafeterias, and you have a perfect storm for mouse move ins!

Though considered harmless and cute by some, just consider these mouse facts: 
  • Able to transmit Hantavirus as well as Salmonella, bacteria responsible for food poisoning.
  • Urinates several hundred - even several thousand - "micro droplets" per day!
  • Can produce from 25 to 60 young each year!
  • May transmit the following parasites to humans and pets: ringworm, mites, tapeworm and ticks.
  • Mice chewing on wires can cause electrical fires.
Keep mice out of schools and homes by:
  • Repairing or replacing damaged or missing door sweeps on exterior doors, and sealing all other openings that allow entrance. Any hole ¼" or larger can accommodate a mouse. That means if you can stick a pencil into a hole, a mouse can also get through it!
  • Removing indoor and outdoor debris that could harbor mice such as woodpiles, clutter and mulch piles.
  • Clearing high weeds - since weeds and seeds serve as food and shelter for mice during warm weather.
  • Cleaning up food scraps and storing foods appropriately to prevent easy access to food. All pet foods, bird seed and human food should be stored off the floor and in freezer zip lock bags or plastic containers with lids.
Once mice get in, trapping is the best strategy:
  • Place multiple snap traps along the base of walls and in corners of rooms where mice are suspected. Chocolate syrup makes a good bait.
  • Set traps in the evening and collect them the following morning prior to the arrival of students. Number each trap so that you are sure to collect them all.
Glue boards are inhumane and only catch immature mice, allowing adults to continue breeding. Mice can take a long time to die stuck on traps, risking exposing students to very upsetting noises and sights.

Careful inspection should be done before ending trapping as multiple infestations are not uncommon. For more information, see the Pest Press at http://cals.arizona.edu/apmc/docs/October_mice_and_rats.pdf 
IPM in the Classroom
Now that the new school year is well underway, take a minute to check out your classroom for pest-friendly conditions!
  • Cluttered cubbyholes, piles of classroom materials, items stored on the floor or in corners makes it impossible for custodial staff to clean, and IPM staff or contractors to inspect.
  • Snacks and edible art supplies stored in unsealed containers are an invitation to pests.
  • Report spills on carpet or hard to reach areas to custodian staff immediately.
  • Emphasize the importance of keeping personal space clean to students.
Set aside a few minutes each week for you and your students to conduct a classroom round- up. Have students clean out their desks and cubbyholes of any unwanted papers and trash. Hand out wet wipes for students to use on their desks, chairs and other areas. 

Teach IPM!
Teaching IPM in the classroom encourages environmental stewardship, critical thinking and problem solving skills, hands-on science learning and engages students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Check out these IPM curriculum resources:
  1. Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry has IPM curricula for K-12 students.
  2. Check out the article below to learn more about A Classroom InPestigation: Life Science Curriculum for grades 3-5
  3. School IPM 2015 Student IPM Curriculum for K-12 Teachers
Have fun
Challenge your students to become IPM ambassadors. After learning all about IPM, students will understand the key principles of an IPM program: identify, decide, act and evaluate. Students can contribute to the classroom IPM policy and use the skills they have learned at home too.
Classroom InPestigation!   
Students will see the world of insects from an entirely new perspective by participating in A Classroom InPestigation. This life science curriculum for grades three to five guides students to conduct scientific investigations about the world of insects.

The curriculum is built upon problem and inquiry-based design principles. Each lesson contains questions and worksheets to help engage students to make evidence-based claims. Comprised of five, 50-minutes lessons the curriculum summarizes these IPM components:
  1. Accurately identify the pest
  2. Understand the biology and ecology of the pest
  3. Monitor the environment to determine the pest levels
  4. Determine when action is required
  5. Select an appropriate course of action
  6. Gather data and evaluate results
InPestigation was piloted in Washington and Colorado grades schools. Teachers were asked to fill out an evaluation form after they completed the program. Lauren Urbina, 3rd Grade Teacher at STEM Launch Elementary School said, "My kids loved the entire unit. They loved them all! We learned a ton and had a great time doing so."
Through education and teacher support, IPM can become a permanent fixture in classrooms. Guided by their teachers, students can become "InPestigators" and learn to evaluate situations to ensure the healthiest environment possible. To view the curriculum, click here.

Funded by the Western IPM Center, Ian Renga, University of Colorado at Boulder, Dr. Deborah Young, Colorado State University, and Carrie Foss, Washington State University collaborated to write and develop the program.

Carrie Foss will be presenting the curriculum at a 2014 Teacher Workshop in conjunction with the Entomological Society of America's Annual Meeting, on November 15, 2014 in Portland, OR. To learn more about the workshop, click here.