Thursday, May 15, 2014

School IPM 2015 Newsletter: May 2014

School IPM 2015: Reducing Pest Problems and Pesticide Hazards in Our Nation's Schools
School IPM 2015 Newsletter: May 2014
In This Issue
What's New?
Upcoming Events
SHIELDS IAQ Master Class Project
Earwigs Thrive in Wet Springs
Wisconsin EPA Grant Complete
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What's New This Month 

In May 2014, the International School Grounds Alliance is calling on schools around the globe to take pupils outside to celebrate their grounds. It's as simple as that. They believe school grounds are very important to children and shape their experience of the world around them. If you agree, take some time during this month-an hour, a day, even a week or several different times during the month-to go outside into your grounds with your students.

Learn more and how your schools can participate.

Celebrate STEM Innovation! The first  STEM summit for Elementary Education!
 Come be inspired-learn how STEM is moving humanity forward. Hear about cutting edge innovations! Don't miss this opportunity on Wednesday June 4, 2014 to hear major innovators speak about their personal path to STEM. In addition to learning about Massachusetts' culture of STEM innovation, there will be breakout sessions focused on elementary STEM resources, STEM grant identification, and how to write a successful STEM grant. Teachers, administrators, STEM Industry, and policymakers are all invited to join this celebration. Participation is FREE and paid for the by the US Department of Education's Race to the Top Fund.

Upcoming Events

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

 June 4, 2014  
STEM² Summit
Wenham, MA
 June 12, 2014  
Ohio Healthy Schools Training
   Columbus, OH

June 13, 2014
 Indiana Healthy Schools Training  Indianapolis, IN

August 24-27, 2014
Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials (ASPCRO) National Meeting   
Missoula, MT 
October, 2014
Empowering School Integrated Pest Management
Orlando, FL
More Information 

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   

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

SHIELDS IAQ Master Class Project   
School Health and Indoor Environments Leadership Development, known as SHIELDS, was designed by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a host of national Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) leaders, to connect stewards of school environmental health and IAQ to achieve one goal, creating holistic, healthy school environments nationwide. SHIELDS participants include a variety of diverse school stakeholders.   

SHIELDS Network members nominated school districts at the 2013 SHIELDS Summit to participate in the pilot SHIELDS IAQ Master Class being launched this year. The purpose of the project is to improve district staff ability to implement an IAQ management program.

Tracy Enger, program analyst at EPA and EPA representative on the Master Class Project reports, "The SHIELDS IAQ Master Class is a unique and supportive learning community for people who are serious about taking action to make their school indoor environments healthier, cleaner, safer places that improve learning and teaching outcomes."

Districts were chosen based on their efforts to help school staff acquire the skills, tools and knowledge that lead to an exemplary IAQ school management program. Nominated districts will be invited to participate in a needs assessment. Based on results, Master Class members will be selected. Future members will be invited to join based on their readiness and interest.

Each member will commit to an individual learning and action plan including accessing various SHIELDS Network educational resources, such as online tutorials and webinars, face-to-face engagements, regional summits and mentoring relationships. Members will acquire knowledge based on a proven IAQ management framework, including the following core topics:  

-       Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
-        Moisture and Mold Control
-        Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
-        Cleaning
-        Maintenance
-        Materials Selection
-        Source Control
-        Asthma Management

Participating will receive certificates for both completing trainings and taking actions to improve IAQ. This project offers a unique opportunity to educate and recognize individuals who go above and beyond to ensure IAQ is a valued part of school indoor environmental health.

The SHIELDS IAQ Master Class will evolve as input is received from potential nominees and members. To learn more about the SHIELDS IAQ Master Class contact Tracy Enger.

Earwigs Thrive in Wet Springs
Earwigs are most abundant during unusually wet springs and summers. Contrary to legend, they don't actually tunnel into human brains through the ear canal. In reality, earwigs are not considered a major pest, and are beneficial in many environments, though they can be a nuisance inside homes.

University of
Adult earwigs are pale brown to reddish black in color, with flat bodies that are ¼ to one-inch long. Both males and females have large pincers at the end of their abdomens for defense against predators and to capture prey. Earwigs do not generally attack humans, but will bite if trapped, in clothing or sat upon for example. They seldom fly despite most species having wings under short, hard wing covers.

Earwigs feed on a variety of dead and living organisms, including insects, mites and growing shoots of plants. They can do substantial damage to seedling plants by removing parts of their leaves or stems. Earwigs may also feed on soft fruit such as strawberries or blackberries. Earwigs are encouraged in many crops where they help control plant-feeding mites, aphids and other pests.

They seek refuge indoors when conditions outside are too wet, dry, hot or cold. They do not breed indoors because eggs and nymphs cannot endure long periods of dryness. Earwigs pose no health hazards.

An IPM approach includes limiting favorable habitats. Keep water away from buildings by installing and maintaining gutter downspouts to make sure water drains away from structures. Ventilate crawl spaces to deter these moisture-loving insects. A mulch of compost around seedlings can provide earwigs with more preferred organisms to eat, diverting attention away from seedlings. Deny access to buildings by caulking cracks and crevices, screening and weather stripping doors and cutting back foliage that touches buildings.

To learn more about earwigs, visit the

Wisconsin EPA Grant Complete   
Twelve Cooperative Educational Service Agencies (CESAs) provide services to public school districts throughout Wisconsin including information technology, special education and instructional technology. These not-for-profit organizations are very effective in providing services, including to districts whose smaller size makes outsourcing these services a necessity. In 2012 CESA 10 received a US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant to raise IPM awareness and facilitate its implementation in Wisconsin public schools.

Under the two-year grant, CESA 10 implemented IPM in 13 pilot schools and worked to educate additional districts about IPM. Pilot schools were required to report key metrics for CESA 10 to review including absenteeism, training records and participation in implementing verifiable IPM. CESA 10 also offered compliance reviews, employee training and support materials. Additionally, many schools needed help with recordkeeping and ensuring only licensed applicators make or supervise all pesticide applications on school grounds, a state requirement.

The EPA grant came to a close last month. The final grant report will be available later this month. The IPM Institute will conduct an analysis on project outcomes, funded by the North Central IPM Center. We will review the CESA model and develop strengths, weakness, opportunities and challenges, with a goal of learning where and how this approach can best be used in Wisconsin and other states.

For more information on CESA 10's Environmental Health and Safety Services, visit

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