Wednesday, August 20, 2014

School IPM 2015 Newsletter: August 2014

School IPM 2015: Reducing Pest Problems and Pesticide Hazards in Our Nation's Schools
School IPM 2015 Newsletter: August 2014
In This Issue
What's New?
Upcoming Events
Tawny Crazy Ant Spreading Across Gulf States
What to do with Out-Dated, Unused Pesticides
New Online School IPM Courses Now Available!
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What's New This Month

Kids learn about IPM during a Migrant Education Summer Camp at Southwark Elementary in South Philadelphia. Michelle Niedermeir, community IPM coordinator lead the camp created for children K-5 and their parents from Nepal, Burma, Vietnam, China and several Spanish-speaking countries.
Hands-on training sessions on IPM for diverse audiences are available. Programs and train-the-trainer sessions can be tailored to meet the needs of the audiences.
To learn more visit the training session page or contact Niedermeier at (215) 435 - 9685 or email

Did you know that you can buy IPM evaluation tools from the IPM Institute of North America Inc.?  Tools include: channel lock pliers, flat spatulas, Inspector's Field Guides for Pest Identification, Nite Ize Hip Pock-its and telescoping mirrors. For more information email Mariel Snyder!  

Upcoming Events
August 24-27, 2014
Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials (ASPCRO) National Meeting   
Missoula, MT 
September 17, 2014
School IPM Coordinator Regional Training
Houston, TX
More Information

October 8-9, 2014
Midwest Healthy Homes & Childcare Conference
Indianapolis, IN
More Information 
October 26, 2014
Education Facilities Management Forum
Chicago, IL
 More Information

October, 2014
Empowering School Integrated Pest Management
Orlando, FL
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

Tawny Crazy Ant Spreading Across Gulf States    
An invasive ant species is growing in numbers and range in Gulf Coast states. Formerly known as the raspberry crazy ant, the tawny crazy ant, Nylanderia fulva, was first spotted in Texas in 2002. Named for their random, nonlinear movement when looking for food, the crazy ant is sometimes found in electrical equipment and household appliances. Studies have shown that the tawny crazy ant is able to sheath itself in protective acid that allows them outcompete fire ants and other ant species, moving them up to the number one pest concern where they are present.


Tawny Crazy Ant
Eli Sarnat,
Tawny crazy ants, covered in reddish-brown hair, are about 3.2 mm long, smaller than the red imported fire ant. They do not have a centralized nest or mound, but shelter under stones, wood piles or other existing cavities including fire ant nests that they have taken over.

The tawny crazy ant can damage electrical systems in its search for harborage, causing overheating and system failures. The tawny crazy ant can also impact the environment by displacing other ants, and discouraging tree-nesting birds and other small animals. Tawny crazy ants do not sting, and their bites are not as painful as fire ant stings, but their enormous numbers create a tremendous nuisance for other animals.

Tawny crazy ants are challenging to control in part because they can quickly re-infest areas previously treated. Prevention forms the basis for an IPM approach. Remove easy access to any food, water and harborage, such as leaf litter, fallen limbs and clutter.

The ant does not fly, and spreads slowly once introduced into an area. Introduction typically occurs through ants stowing away in garbage, yard debris, compost, potted plants, bales of hay or other objects moved by humans. Be sure to thoroughly inspect all items before transferring them to a new location.

To learn more about the tawny crazy ant, visit the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Extension's webpage by clicking here.
What to do with Out-Dated, Unused Pesticides
School districts frequently struggle with how to discard unused, no longer needed pesticides and lab chemicals. Budget constraints can delay proper disposal, and uninformed administration and staff are sometimes unaware of old pesticides and lab chemicals accumulations in schools resulting in hazards. "As chemicals age, they can breakdown into other substances that can be more dangerous than the original, parent chemical," explained Mark Shour, Iowa State University Extension.

The Situation
All pesticides should be stored safely and according to the label found on the container. This includes storing the pesticide upright, in the original container, in a cool dry place away from food and out of children's reach.

Problems can occur when pesticides and lab chemicals are discovered years after they were originally purchased. They may no longer be legal to use, perhaps having left the market due to toxicity, persistence or other concerns, and often cannot be returned to the vendor. Disposal can be prohibitively expensive.

Inappropriately stored chemicals will leak, Iowa State University Extension
Old pesticides found in school storage locker, Iowa State University Extension
On the Front Line
Tony Pierce is a former high school and middle school science teacher who now works in the Compliance and Enforcement Section of the Hazardous Waste Program for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. He reports that the most common problem he sees is ignorance. "Few know chemicals are hiding until someone retires and they open the cabinets.  This is a common problem in schools.  Teachers hoard and don't communicate what they have, then they retire/leave and the stockpile has to be sorted.  If there is better communication throughout the school, some items may not even be wastes-they can be used by other classes/departments," said Pierce. Educating teachers individually emphasizes the importance of compliance and gives teachers the opportunity for professional responsibly.

Other common locations for old pesticides include horticulture or agriculture programs, and unused pesticide storages, e.g., storage rooms or cabinets neglected when an in-house structural or grounds pest management program becomes outsourced.

Three types of pesticide wastes may require proper disposal: unused pesticides in original containers, leftover pesticide mixtures in application equipment or other containers and empty pesticide containers. The first step is to read the label if still attached to the container and readable for disposal instructions. Keep in mind that state and local laws may be more restrictive than the label, and old labels may not represent the latest science in terms of safe disposal. You should never pour pesticides down the drain, on the ground or in a storm sewer.

"Sometimes the original product's container has rusted, been torn or otherwise unsound, spilling contents in the area it is stored," says Shour. You will need to contact your state clean sweep coordinator to learn how to safely dispose of these containers.

When transporting pesticides, keep an emergency spill kit on hand including gloves, cat litter or other absorbent material, goggles and coveralls. Be sure to inspect containers thoroughly before loading them into your vehicle. It is best to use a vehicle that has a separate area to store the chemicals, such as a pickup truck.

When rinsing out empty pesticide containers, always wear protective clothing and use the triple-rinsing process. Puncture holes in the containers to make sure they will not be used again. Contact your state environmental agency to find out if the pesticide container can be recycled.

To learn more about safe pesticide disposal please visit the resources listed below.
New Online School IPM Courses Now Available!   
IPM professionals who need to earn continuing education credit can now do so without traveling. Funded by the Southern IPM Center, a new web-based school IPM curriculum has been developed by Texas A&M AgriLife specialists. Courses are designed for school IPM coordinators, pest management professionals and animal control/code enforcement officers.
Located at, the online workshop series contains nine courses. Each course contains a pre-test to gauge current knowledge, and slides and handouts on pest biology and management procedures. The courses include:
  • Ants 101
  • Bats 101
  • IPM Basics
  • Texas School IPM Coordinator Crash Course
  • Mosquitoes 101
  • Pollinators 101
  • IPM for School Gardens 101
  • IPM for Texas Schools 101
  • Stinging Insects 101
Janet Hurley, school IPM specialist at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, remarked that every year she would receive inquiries about IPM continuing education credits from individuals who were unable to travel to workshops.  

"The biggest challenge for us is reaching animal control officers and code enforcement officers in rural areas," Hurley said. "They don't always have the opportunity to get training about how to deal with bats and mosquitoes, but they have to deal with them frequently."
Participants will earn a minimum one hour of continuing education credit for each course. Participants receive a login, allowing them to finish the course at their own pace. The courses range in cost from $10 to $25.

Hurley says the list of courses currently on the site is only the beginning. The Stop School Pests National Standard IPM Training Program will be added to the site in 2015 and plans are already in the works for a training on cockroach IPM. Fellow school IPM specialists are beginning to translate years of material from workshop trainings into online slideshows, all of which will be housed on the site.

"The potential is unlimited," Hurley said. "You can't always be there for everyone. Now you can get training wherever you have a computer. And the fact that we got dual credit [for animal control officers] means that we can get a much larger audience than just the typical pest control specialists."

To learn more about these courses, please join the National School IPM Working Group Joint Steering and Advisory Committee Meeting on September's monthly conference call where we will walk through the courses in more detail. Contact Mariel Snyder for more information.

To enroll in a course today, visit 

Contact Rosemary Hallberg, Southern IPM Center, for more information about the online courses. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

EPA E-newsletter: Integrated Pest Management (IPM) In Schools


"Smart, Sensible and Sustainable Steps"
These easy IPM steps can make a big impact on your school environment:
  • Install door sweeps. If you can see light under a door, pests can enter under that door. Not only will door sweeps prevent pests, but they can reduce heating and cooling costs!
  • Repair leaky pipes and seals. Repairing leaks will take away drinking water and breeding areas for pests, can reduce asthma-triggering mold and can lower water bills!
  • Keep food in sealed containers. This will keep pests out while preserving freshness and reducing unpleasant food odors!
  • Make sure all garbage cans have tight-fitting lids. Keep smells in and pests out!
  • Organize a community weed-pulling event at school for students and parents. Build community while having fun and reducing the need for herbicide use!

Access Previous Connector E-Newsletters Online
Can't find a previous IAQ Tools for Schools Connector e-newsletter in your inbox? No problem! Visit the e-newsletter archive on the IAQ Tools for Schools website to access printable versions (PDFs) of all past editions.
News and Events
  • Clean Air Excellence Awards – Apply NowThe deadline to submit an application for the 2015 Clean Air Excellence Awards is fast approaching–September 12th!  EPA will recognize innovative and replicable programs, projects, and technologies that directly or indirectly work to reduce emissions of criteria pollutants, hazardous air pollutants, and greenhouse gases (GHG). These projects could involve renewable energy, energy efficiency, combined heat and power (CHP), transportation and efficiency, and/or indoor air quality. To apply:
  • New Moisture Control Guidance for Building Design, Construction and Maintenance is Available.EPA's Indoor Environments Division recently published new guidance to help school district professionals use state-of-the-art building techniques to control moisture throughout the life of the facility. Moisture problems in buildings can be controlled, and there are steps schools can take to make their buildings more moisture resilient. Download the guidance today:
  • Attend the Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI), Annual Conference and Expo.
    The conference – to be held October 3–6, 2014, in Portland, Oregon – brings together school district staff and industry representatives who are actively involved in planning, designing, building, equipping and maintaining school facilities. This year's conference features "America's Educator" Ron Clark, the winner of the 2000 Disney American Teacher of the Year award. Another session will highlight EPA's Indoor Environments Division new guide entitled Energy Savings + Health: Indoor Air Quality Guidelines for School Building Upgrades, as well as other EPA guidance and technical resources. Get more information on the CEFPI conference at
  • Join the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Green Apple Day of Service.
    On September 2, 2014, thousands of volunteers in communities around the world will be showing their commitment to healthy, safe and productive schools through local acts of service. Events all over the globe are showing up on the Center's map. In its first two years, this annual event has seen more than 3,000 events take place in all 50 states and more than 40 countries. Consider registering an event or project that will improve your school's indoor environment, including classroom cleanups or a building walk-through using the IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit checklists. Join today and register your event/project
  • Participate in the "School Community Mosquito Management via IPM" webinar.
    This webinar – to be held on August 20, 2014, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. ET – will focus on mosquitoes: best practices for including mosquito management in your school integrated pest management (IPM) plan, pesticides for mosquito management and common biological methods for mosquito control. The webinar will feature national experts from Texas A&M University, American Mosquito Control Association and EPA. Register today at


Integrated Pest Management in Your School
Rats. Cockroaches. Mosquitoes. Bed bugs. These pests, among many others, are harassing our nation's schools. How should schools address these issues in order to protect the health and safety of students and staff? How can your school work to provide an environment conducive to learning while striving to balance an often already-tight budget?
Pest management can be a drain on resources, but pests present real health risks, particularly to children. Cockroach and mice infestations may trigger asthma attacks and certain biting insects can transmit diseases.
What is your school currently doing to manage pests? Traditionally, schools rely on regular pesticide applications. While pesticides can be a useful tool in dealing with infestations, when used injudiciously they can be harmful to children's health and an ineffective use of resources.
Because children's health is a top priority, EPA recommends schools use integrated pest management (IPM) — a smart,sensible and sustainable method for controlling pests. IPM is smartbecause it reduces children's exposure to pests and pesticides;sensible because it promotes practical strategies that eliminate food sources and pathways that lead to infestations; sustainablebecause this prevention-based approach results in a 78-percent to 90-percent reduction in pest complaints with no long-term increases in costs. Make sure that your school is implementing the smart, sensible and sustainable solution that will protect children's health.

Why IPM Is Good for Your School
Schools that adopt an IPM program experience several benefits:
  • Saved costs.
    IPM is economically advantageous compared to traditional pest control because there are fewer pest complaints and pesticide applications. Additionally, IPM practices that prevent pests are energy- and water-saving practices as well. It also has been shown that the number of students reported absent due to asthma-related issues decreased. For more information check out "Saving Dollars and Making Sense: Keeping Bugs Out of the Classroom."
  • Minimized potential health risks to children and staff.Exposure to pests and inappropriately used pesticides places school occupants, especially children, at risk. An IPM program that makes areas uninhabitable for pests and uses pesticides judiciously reduces potential contact with pests and pesticides.
  • Improved aesthetic quality of school and school grounds.Pests can detract from the overall environmental quality of a facility, which can, in turn, influence the way a school feels to its occupants. A clean, safe school environment promotes a positive learning environment.
Implementing IPM in Your School
In order to facilitate your school's long-term commitment to IPM, EPA recommends the implementation of an IPM policy. An IPM policy, if consistently used as a reference by school employees, can be a valuable tool for launching a sustainableIPM program in your district. For more information, check out "Model Pesticide Safety and IPM Guidance Policy for School Districts" Stay tuned for a model contract that your school can use to hire a pest management professional who will provide quality IPM services!


IPM Success Stories
Many school districts have already adopted an IPM program with measurable success!
Walla Walla School District. With only two groundskeepers, the Walla Walla district is successfully implementing an excellent IPM program at all 10 of its schools! The success of Walla Walla schools demonstrates that IPM practices can be implemented successfully with limited resources if staff are appropriately trained.
Salt Lake City School District. When Salt Lake City Schools decided to implement an IPM program, they elected to use an innovative Web-based application called iPestManager for pest reporting and education. With the use of this program, the district saw pest complaints and pesticide applications decline by more than 90 percent within the first 3 years.
New Orleans Parish School System. Through an EPA grant, the New Orleans Mosquito, Termite, and Rodent Control Board (NOMTCB) assisted in the implementation of a school IPM program for the New Orleans Parish School System. Still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Katrina, the school district was experiencing severe pest issues. However, by limiting pests' access to food, water, and shelter, NOMTCB has seen a 70-percent reduction in rodent complaints!
From left to right: Ken McPherson, EPA Region 6; Claudia Riegel, NOMTCB; Jim Jones, EPA Assistant Administrator, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention; Janet Hurley, Texas AgriLife; Sherry Glick, EPA; Kimberley Pope, Louisiana State University


IPM Resources

Get Answers to Your Questions
Is there a topic you want to see covered in an IAQ Tools for Schools Connector e-newsletter? Do you have suggestions for a webinar or e-newsletter feature, or do you have questions about a specific IAQ topic? If so, send us an email
Share YOUR news and events! Send us information to share with the school IAQ community. It could be featured in the next Connector e-newsletter. Email your news and events to
The IAQ Tools for Schools guidance is a comprehensive resource designed to help schools maintain a healthy environment in school buildings by identifying, correcting and preventing IAQ problems. Learn more about the IAQ Tools for Schools guidance at


Thursday, August 14, 2014

School Pest News, Volume 13, Issue 8, August 2014

School Pest News, Volume 13, Issue 8,
August  2014
To provide the best professional integrated pest management training and advice for school districts and other environmentally sensitive institutions in Texas and the Southwest.”
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service School IPM Program  

In this Issue

  • Applicator Licensing Requirements in TX  
·         AgriLife Extension entomologists: Avoidance, exclusion, repellent's best practical defense against mosquitoes
·         Just in time for school: New pest control calculator now available for maintenance professionals
Applicator Licensing Requirements in TX (By: Janis Reed)   
Licensing questions are extremely common with applicators in Texas. Often applicators are unsure which type of license they need from of the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA), an agriculture license or a structural license. Additionally, as outsourcing of services becomes more and more common, transitioning between utilizing using staff to manage pests, to hiring outside pest management companies can be confusing for both the pesticide applicators as well as administration. To make matters worse, changes in the licensing requirements that occur during outsourcing can confuse interested parties as well. 

A common conundrum faced by both applicators and administration is which type of license an applicator should obtain to apply pesticides around schools. In general, the answer is simple. If an applicator is going to make applications outdoors ONLY, to control turf pests and weeds, licensing through the TDA on the agriculture side is appropriate. In this case, the applicator should hold a license in the 3A category (Lawn and Ornamental). However, if pesticide applications are going to be made indoors or around buildings, with the intention to control structural pests, it becomes appropriate to be licensed through the Structural Pest Control Service and hold a license in the pest category.

To continue reading this story click on this link

AgriLife Extension Entomologists: Avoidance, exclusion, repellent's best practical defenses against mosquitoes  (By Paul Schattenberg) 
Chikungunya, a viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes, has been identified in five Texas counties — four of them in South Central Texas — and may become endemic to the state, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologists.

As far as the Texas cases are concerned, at this time it appears in each instance the disease was contracted in one of the countries where it is more common, said Sonja Swiger, AgriLife Extension entomologist at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Stephenville.

“The first confirmed case of the disease in Texas was in Williamson County, and the most recent confirmed case was in Bexar County,” said Molly Keck, AgriLife Extension entomologist and integrated pest management specialist, Bexar County.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, cases have also been confirmed in Gonzales, Travis, and Harris counties.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website notes chikungunya is not considered fatal, but can have serious symptoms, including severe joint pain and swelling, fever, muscle pain, headache and rash. Those most at risk are the very young; people over 65 and individuals with chronic medical conditions. The virus is not spread from person to person, and there is no treatment other than managing the symptoms.

To continue reading this story click on this link

Just in time for school: New pest control calculator now available for maintenance professionals. (By Steve Byrns)
Maintenance professionals gearing up for the start of school now have a new tool to help defend students from the inevitable summer influx of undesirables roaming the halls.

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s new integrated pest management website,, offers school staff members in charge of pest control a wealth of practical information on managing rodents, birds, cockroaches, ants and a plethora of other unwelcome denizens, said Janet Hurley, AgriLife Extension integrated pest management program specialist at Dallas.

“The cost calculator, available free on the website, allows the user to assess various pest risks on their school and district levels,” Hurley said. “The resulting information will be a big help for those responsible for developing a budget for a school integrated pest management program.”

Hurley said using the calculator is as simple as entering the school’s location, presence of pests and the facility’s condition. The calculator then gives an overall pest risk estimate for the school.

“The calculator also has features that allow you to create your own budget to see how improving certain features will affect the overall pest risk,” she said.
The cost calculator doubles as an excellent teaching tool because many aspects of general building maintenance also relate to pest issues, Hurley said.
To continue reading this story click on this link
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