Wednesday, February 26, 2014

School IPM 2015 Newsletter: February 2014

School IPM 2015: Reducing Pest Problems and Pesticide Hazards in Our Nation's Schools
School IPM 2015 Newsletter: February 2014
In This Issue
What's New?
Upcoming Events
New Pest Control Product Evaluator Unveiled
Additional Head Lice Treatment Options
Receiving a forwarded copy?  Know of others who should receive this newsletter?
Find us on Facebook

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

What's New This Month 

A new brochure on IPM for schools and day care facilities is now available.  It discusses all aspects of IPM, including pesticide safety.  
To view the brochure, click here
Order forms can be found here.
We welcome your posting any of the brochures, utilizing parts or all of the content, swapping the Syngenta logo with yours, etc. 


"IPM-Solutions for a Changing World" is the theme of the 8th International IPM Symposium to be held March 23-26, 2015 in Salt Lake City Utah USA at the Salt Palace Convention Center.You are invited to submit a proposal for a session describing your program, activity, or research that addresses effective and efficient pest management.  The symposium sessions will be divided into tracks based on commodity or setting and will address various aspects of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) across disciplines and around the world.
Session proposals must be submitted online by April 25, 2014 for full consideration. Here is the online form:

Upcoming Events
March 12, 2014
Bed Bug Ordinance 101 
Chicago, IL
More Information

March 13 & 14, 2014
Osborne Organics, Systems Approach to Natural Lawn and Turf Management Training  
Oconomowoc, WI 
 More Information
March 19, 2014
Deer Resistant Landscaping 
Whately, MA
More Information
 March 27-29, 2014
Green Schools National Conference 
Sacramento, CA    
 More Information   

April 6, 2014
Tick-borne Disease: Awareness, Prevention and Treatment 
Framingham, MA  

April 8, 2014
Lawn to Lake Sustainable Landscaping Care for Schools  
Grayslake, IL
 More Information

April 26-27, 2014
USA Science and Engineering Festival 
Washington, D.C.   

May 18-21, 2014
National Conference on Urban Entomology  
San Antonio, TX   

August 24-27, 2014
Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials (ASPCRO) National Meeting   
Missoula, MT 
 More Information

November 16-19, 2014
Entomological Society of America (ESA) National Meting  
Portland, OR 
  More Information

March 24-26, 2015
8th International IPM Symposium  
Salt Lake City, UT   
 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

New Pest Control Product Evaluator Unveiled   
How do you identify which pesticide products are low hazard? Read the label? MSDS? What other sources of information need to be checked? How can you best organize all of the information to rank all of your options?

The Pesticide Research Institute (PRI) Product Evaluator is an online, subscription-based hazard-ranking tool designed to simplify the process. The tool provides information on human health and environmental toxicity for over 18,000 pesticide products.

How it all started
The Evaluator grew out of PRI's work with the City of San Francisco as the reviewer of pesticide products for San Francisco's list of approved pesticides, following the San Francisco Hazard Tier guidelines. PRI saw an opportunity to automate much of the work, using their databases on the chemical properties, toxicology and water pollution potential of active ingredients, and also invested in staff time to do the necessary label and MSDS reviews. The result is the PRI Product Evaluator that makes pesticide product hazard information more broadly available to a larger audience.
The Hazard Tier system denotes the level of hazard: Tier I = greatest hazard and Tier III = least hazard. Having the Hazard Tier rankings for multiple products allows for comparison of one product against another to find the one that best suits the IPM program.

The Product Evaluator also solves the problem of pesticide product cancellations or transfers that remove products on an "approved list" from the market. With more than 1000 pesticide products entering and leaving the marketplace or transitioning to new manufacturers in any given year, staying current on product information is a challenge that can now be easily managed with the new tool.

Streamlining the process
The PRI Product Evaluator is designed as a central resource for IPM professionals, LEED Accredited Professionals, facility managers, pest control operators, nurseries, golf courses, retailers and others to find low-hazard products. By pooling nominal fees from many users, PRI aims to build a support base to keep the product database current and complete.

Reports Dr. Chris Geiger, San Francisco Department of the Environment, "In the past, I had to either hire a reliable consultant to research pesticide hazard data, or spend many hours combing various online databases. Now, I can just push a button."

PRI's initial priority has been to ensure that comprehensive reviews are available for products used in structural pest control, landscape maintenance, invasive weed management, and turf pest management. The initial set of reviews is due to be complete by April 1, 2014.

  • The database includes a selection of "exempt" products containing minimum-risk (Section 25(b)) ingredients and not requiring a Federal registration, but potentially useful as low toxicity alternatives in an IPM program.
  • The PRI Pesticide Product Evaluator uses the LEED-compliant San Francisco Hazard Tier Review System to assign a ranking to pesticide products. These rankings allow building managers and LEED APs to verify the eligibility of a pesticide product for use in a LEED-certified IPM program.
  • Gardeners will appreciate quick access to information on products targeting lawn weeds, slugs and snails, garden weeds, aphids and more. Users of the mobile app can freely access PRI's Pest Management Bulletins for more information on low-impact pest management methods through the app.
  • Users can search by Hazard Tier, active ingredient, pest, site, use type, and/or chemical classification and even print out a detailed report from the tool's product information page.
  • For organizations with a Group Subscription, groups can create a list of favorites accessible to all members in order to create an "approved" list for the organization to which any member can contribute.
  • Operators interested in becoming EcoWise or Green Shield CertifiedSM will also find this tool to be an asset when it comes time to finding and choosing low toxicity Hazard Tier 3 products.
  • PRI is in the process of developing the PRI Pesticide Product Evaluator iOS Mobile App, which will be available by April 1, 2014 through the Apple App Store. 

In response to our January articles about head lice and cockroach action thresholds, we received feedback from readers and some good questions. We've assembled an FAQ in response.

Head lice detection, or, it's complicated!
Q. Is screening for head lice in schools a useful role for school health professionals?
A. Published studies have not demonstrated a benefit to general screening of all school children for head lice infestation, e.g., at the beginning of the school year. Not all school health professionals are properly trained or have the necessary magnification tools to effectively confirm active infestations. False alarms result in needless stress, worry and treatment. However, children may benefit from school health professional attention at the start of the school year to establish a relationship, and to assess asthma, abuse, scabies, rashes or other causes of concern.

Q. Should all parents of children in classrooms where a head lice case is confirmed be notified and provided with information on signs and symptoms, and strategies to eliminate head lice?
A. Parents of children with a suspected or a confirmed case of head lice need to be discreetly informed and provided with information so that they can take steps to confirm status and treat if needed. The information provided should be accurate and complete, including how best to confirm if their child has head lice. There are no published studies that document the effectiveness of informing parents of children who may have been in close contact, vs. informing only parents of children exhibiting symptoms. Notifying parents other than parents of the child with head lice may result in unnecessary treatments.

For a thoughtful discussion on these topics including links to authoritative references, visit  

More detail on cockroaches and thresholds
Q. Which cockroach species?
A. The German cockroach is the primary "domestic" species most frequently taking up residence within schools and childcare facilities. American and Oriental cockroaches and other species are less likely to establish breeding populations unless specific conducive conditions exist, such as access from sewer systems or very high moisture levels. So the thresholds apply primarily to German cockroaches, but a detection of other species in mechanical rooms, utility rooms or other areas where moisture and access to plumbing such as floor drains, merits an inspection for these other conducive conditions.

Q. How big is a zone and at what unit of time is the threshold being measured? Is it a count per day, per week, etc.? In which specific areas do the thresholds apply?
A. Use of thresholds presumes regular monitoring and an effective reporting systems for complaints including cockroach sightings. A single adult cockroach captured on an insect monitor, or reported as a complaint in food service areas, restrooms, classrooms, offices, locker rooms or utility areas is grounds for additional inspection and monitoring in the area where the detection is found. These are "pest vulnerable areas" where food, moisture and harborage can typically be found.

Visually inspecting for droppings in and around harborage areas, including cardboard and unsealed cracks and crevices, and food sources, such as cockroach-edible debris in hard-to-reach places, should follow a detection. Placing additional insect monitors in these areas can help determine if the initial detection was isolated or a sign of a growing problem. Detection of egg cases (ootheca) or immature stages signals a resident population and need for more aggressive action.

Q. What does a spot treatment entail? Which areas should be addressed and how?
A. The reader also recommended against using the word "treatment" to refer to both chemical and non-chemical approaches, as most readers will infer the former. A spot "response" involves addressing a localized area where a problem is suspected or has been confirmed.

Actions can include thoroughly cleaning and then where possible, sealing cracks and crevices including gaps between fixtures and walls, gaps where plumbing, conduit or wires penetrate walls, etc. Compressed air can be used to flush cockroaches out of these areas. Set up a sticky trap perimeter or vacuum up any cockroaches as they emerge.

Finally, if reasonable non-chemical measures fail to resolve a problem, gel, liquid or dry flowable baits can be applied in or near these areas. Use a bait within a bait station, or apply gel to a removable surface such as The Crevice®, so that bait can be easily removed once the problem is solved. Spray-applied liquids are generally less effective and are not necessary or recommended for cockroaches. These increase potential for exposure, repeated treatments lead to a buildup of residue, and these applications can interfere with baits by repelling cockroaches from treated areas. Remember that it is always prudent to require that any pesticide applicator in schools be properly licensed and/or certified. This is a legal requirement in many but not all states, and essential to ensure applicators meet minimum requirements for training.

Additional Head Lice Treatment Options    
In addition to the De-Licer® and Lice-B-Gone® lice and nit removal aids mentioned in our  January eNewsletter, alcohol-based Ulesfia®, and oil and alcohol-containing Hair-Clean-1-2-3® are options parents may want to consider. Hair-Clean-1-2-3 is sprayed onto dry hair and left for 15 minutes prior to lice and nit removal with a metal comb. Ulesfia is available by prescription and approved for use on children six months old or older. Products containing alcohol can be flammable and should be used with caution. The LiceMeister® Comb and NitFree Terminator™ are two metal combs designed specifically for efficient removal. Google any of these brand names to locate more information including source of supply.

Many other pediculicides (pesticides which kill lice including permethrinor pyrethrins) do not kill the eggs, and so require retreatment after seven days. Most labels warn against using these products on broken skin, which is not feasible given that lice-related itching leads to scratching. 

No comments:

Post a Comment