Thursday, May 20, 2010

Westville School District Recognized by EPA

WESTVILLE — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized the Westville School District for its efforts to reduce both pest problems and pesticide use by more than 87 percent, according to a press release. Full article.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Get Pesky Mosquitoes to Buzz Off

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Ordinarily, mosquitoes are little more than a mild irritant, but because they can transmit diseases such as West Nile encephalitis to humans and pets, people should take steps to avoid being bitten and eliminate mosquito-breeding areas.
During warm weather, mosquitoes can breed in any still water that stands for more than four days. The most effective way to control mosquitoes is to eliminate standing water. Homeowners should use IPM, or integrated pest management, tactics to protect themselves and their families. IPM aims to manage pests -- such as insects, diseases, weeds and animals -- by combining physical, biological and chemical tactics that are safe and environmentally compatible.

Homeowners should follow these IPM tips for mosquito prevention:

• Eliminate standing water by removing old tires, buckets, toys, and other unnecessary objects that catch water

• Drain excess water from flowerpots

• Empty accumulated water from trashcan lids, recycling bins, toys, plants and other water-catching objects

• Keep rain gutters and drains clean and free of obstructions

• Turn over wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use

• Tightly cover rain barrels to prevent egg-laying

• Change water in birdbaths by flushing with a hose at least once a week

• Fill tree holes with sand or cement or drill holes to allow drainage

• Keep swimming pools covered when not in use

• Empty accumulated water from boats and cargo trailers

• Clear aquatic vegetation from around the edges of ponds to allow fish to feed on mosquito larvae and pupae

• Organize your community to clean up mosquito breeding areas. Neighborhood clean up days can be organized through civic or youth organizations. Homeowners can be encouraged to clean up their yards, and water-collecting containers can be picked up from vacant lots.

Bti, a naturally occurring bacteria, can be used to kill mosquito larvae in areas known to have standing water. Bti can be purchased in small, donut-shaped form, often called "mosquito dunks", which are useful in small areas of standing water, such as a birdbath or small puddle of water. Granular Bti is also available, and effective for larger areas, such as backyard ponds.

Mosquitoes should be excluded from buildings by keeping windows, doors and porches tightly screened. For mosquitoes inside the house, use a fly swatter. When outside, wear long-sleeved shirts and long trousers. Avoid peak mosquito feeding times, usually dusk to dawn.

When going outdoors for an extended period of time, insect repellents can provide protection from mosquito bites. Repellents can protect for up to five hours, but because people vary in their attractiveness to mosquitoes, the effectiveness of the repellent may depend on the individual. Repellents often contain pesticides and are poisonous. Before using a repellent or insecticide, be sure you thoroughly read and understand all directions and cautions on the product label, especially if you will be applying the product on a child, pregnant woman or the elderly.

For more information on using insect repellants, see Penn State's College of Agriculture's fact sheet .

For more information on mosquitoes, see Penn State’s Department of Entomology’s fact sheet on mosquitoes at .

The Pennsylvania IPM program is a collaboration between the Pennsylvania State University and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture aimed at promoting integrated pest management in both agricultural and nonagricultural situations. For more information, contact the program at (814) 865-2839, or visit Web site

Thursday, May 6, 2010

University of Nebraska Starts School IPM blog

Check out UNL's new blog to get updates about school IPM demonstration and coalition projects happening in Nebraska:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tools for Schools - June 3rd School IPM Webinar

Going buggy over pest management? Attend an IPM webinar!
Pest Prevention: Integrated Pest Management in Schools

Thursday, June 3, 2010, 1:00 PM ET

Register today for this free webinar!

• Ms. Sherry Glick, Office of Pesticide Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
• Dr. Thomas A. Green, The IPM Institute of North America, Inc.
• Gregg Smith, Facility Services Department, Salt Lake City School District
• Bob Stoddard, EnviroSafe, Inc.
• Mr. Lynn Braband, Dr. Mark Shour and Mr. Tim Stock will answer your bug questions.
• Michele Curreri, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Indoor Environments Division

Attend this webinar to:
• Learn how to incorporate safe and cost-effective integrated pest management approaches in your school.
• Discover how to reduce asthma triggers and allergic reactions in students and staff by implementing common sense pest prevention strategies.
• Develop IPM educational and training tools for school staff and faculty.
• Hear answers to your questions during the webinar! Send your questions to by May 27, 2010, to ensure they are discussed during the webinar.

Please register in advance by taking the following steps now:
• Visit to register.
• Complete the contact information on the following page.
• An e-mail with the information you need to participate in the webinar will be sent to the e-mail address you have specified. Please check your spam e-mail filter if the message does not appear in your inbox.
• Click on the link provided in the e-mail and join us at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the presentation.

Spread the word! Forward this e-mail to a friend.

Please note
: This EPA webinar will be approximately 90 minutes and is free of charge to attendees. You will need a high-speed Internet connection and a telephone line to interact with speakers and other participants.