ECB Pest Management
PEST MANAGEMENT IN SCHOOL FACILITIES AND ON SCHOOL GROUNDS
The Veazie School Committee recognizes that structural and landscape pests can pose significant problems for people and school unit property, but that use of some pesticides may also pose health and safety risks to people, property and the environment. It is therefore the policy of the Veazie School Department to incorporate Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principles and procedures for the control of structural and landscape pests.
For the purpose of this policy, “pests” are populations of living organisms (animals, plants or microorganisms) that interfere with use of school facilities and grounds. “Pesticide” is defined as any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pests and any substance or mixture of substances intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant or desiccant.
The objective of the school department’s IPM program is to provide effective pest control while minimizing pesticide use. The goals of the IPM program include managing pests to reduce any potential hazards to human health; preventing loss or damage to school structures or property; preventing pests from spreading beyond the site of infestation to other school property; and enhancing the quality of life for students, staff and others. These goals will be addressed by the establishment of a Pest Management Plan.
The Superintendent and/or designee shall develop and implement a Pest Management Plan consistent with the following IPM principles and procedures:
- Appointment of an IPM Coordinator
The Superintendent/designee will appoint an IPM Coordinator for the school department. The IPM Coordinator will be the primary contact for pest control matters and will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the IPM plan, including making pest control decisions.
The IPM Coordinator’s responsibilities may include:
- Recording and monitoring data and pest sightings by school staff and students;
- Meeting with pesticide applicators to share information about pest problems in school buildings and on school grounds;
- Recording and ensuring that maintenance and sanitation recommendations are carried out where feasible;
- Ensuring that any pesticide use is done according to the school unit’s Pest Management Plan;
- Evaluating the school department’s progress in implementing the IPM plan;
- Coordinating notification of parents and staff of pesticide applications according to the school unit’s notification procedure; and
- Recording all pesticides used by either a professional applicator or school staff as a means to track compliance with the school department’s IPM policy.
- Identification of Specific Pest Thresholds
Routine inspection and accurate identification of pests are needed to recognize potential problems and determine when action should be taken. An “action threshold” should be determined by the IPM Coordinator, reflecting the pest control objective for each site. As pest management objectives will differ from site to site (e.g. maintaining healthy turf and specific playing surfaces on athletic fields, carpenter ant control in buildings, maintenance of ornamental plants), differences should be considered before setting an action threshold.
- Pesticide Applicators
Any person who applies pesticides in school buildings or on school grounds must possess a Maine pesticide applicators license and should be trained in the principles and practices of IPM. All pesticide use must be approved by the school department’s IPM Coordinator. Applicators must follow state regulations and label precautions and must comply with the IPM policy and pest management plan.
[Note: School personnel do not need to be licensed for normal or routine cleaning practices, for emergency stinging insect control, or use of repellants for personal protection. However, school personnel do need to be licensed if they will be using pesticides in school facilities or on school grounds.]
- Selection, Use and Storage of Pesticides
Pesticides should be used only when needed. Non-chemical pest management methods will be implemented whenever possible to provide the desired control. The choice of using a pesticide will be based on a review of other available options (sanitation, exclusion, mechanical means, trapping, biological control) and a determination that these options have not worked or are not feasible. When it has been determined that a pesticide must be used to achieve pest management goals, the least hazardous effective pesticide should be selected.
Decisions concerning the particular pesticide to be used and the timing of pesticide application should take into consideration the use of the buildings or grounds to be treated.
Pesticide purchases should be limited to the amount expected to be used for a specific application or during the year. Pesticides will be stored and disposed of in accordance with label directions and state and federal regulations. Pesticides must be stored in an appropriate, secured location not accessible to students or unauthorized personnel.
- Notification of Students, Staff and Parents of Use of Pesticides
A notice will be provided to staff, students and parents at the beginning of the school year briefly explaining the school department’s pesticide use policy and indicating that pesticides may be used both indoors or outdoors, as needed. When appropriate, the school will notify staff, including the school nurse, students and parents/guardians at least five (5) days in advance of planned pesticide treatments in the school or on school grounds, including playgrounds and playing fields.
In order to keep track of pesticide use and locate problem areas in buildings and on school grounds, records of pesticide use will be maintained at each school site for three years. Records are to be completed on the day the pesticide is applied. Pest surveillance records should be maintained to verify the need for pesticide treatments.
Legal Reference: 22 MRSA §§ 1471-A-1471-X