Healthy Colorado Schools
- Inspect all doors leading outdoors and submit work orders for new or repaired door sweeps.
- Caulk/seal along baseboards, floor and wall joints, window and door moldings, edges of electrical outlet covers, and radiator covers. Caulk smaller openings using elastomeric silicone sealant.
- Schedule IPM training for your staff. Let your school administrators know that IPM is an important component in keeping your school green and healthy.
- Remind teachers and support staff that keeping food stored in plastic containers can significantly reduce pest problems.
- Help control mosquito activity using IPM. Practice good sanitation around the school as litter and debris in the yard can collect water and enable mosquito breeding. Turn over pails and empty planters or anything that can hold stagnant water.
Use cockroach traps to locate areas with high population density. Traps will not eliminate an established colony, but are a useful tool in determining what your next steps should be. Place traps under sinks, against walls, in dark corners, and in cabinets. If the traps remain empty after a couple of days, then move traps to another likely location.
Schools often find yellowjackets scavenging around dumpsters and trash containers. The western yellow jacket (V. pensylvanica) is the most important stinging insect in Colorado. This insect is estimated to cause at least 90 percent of the “bee stings” in the state.
Control western yellowjackets to prevent or at least minimize stings. Keep sweet items covered. Bees and wasps, like children, are attracted to sweets. This includes recycle bins and garbage cans that contain soda cans or fruit scraps. Change bin and can liners often and clean them with soap and water regularly. Cover all outside garbage cans and recycle bins with a self-closing lid. Don’t harass the wasps by swatting at them or going near nests. When a yellowjacket nest is spotted, have a professional remove it at night.
Ryan Davis, Utah State University, has updated the Pest Identification Handbook. Watch for the new version this fall!
JUST A NUISANCE
Earwigs can be nuisance pests when found indoors, often under rugs, potted plants or in stacks of newspapers. Prevent earwigs from moving into schools and other buildings by sealing cracks and crevices along foundations and using tight-fitting door sweeps. Clear the area next to the building of sheltering debris (including mulches) used by earwigs, particularly near doorways and window wells.
Boxelder bugs are commonly found in and around schools in the fall. They don’t bite or sting — just annoy — people. They may stain lightly colored materials and they emit an unpleasant odor when smashed. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove indoor populations. You can also seal cracks that may allow boxelder bugs to enter buildings.
Strong Supporter of the Colorado Coalition for School Integrated Pest Management Plans Retirement
by Clyde Wilson
For the past five years, Dr. Deborah Young, Professor Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management Colorado State University, has worked to support the expansion and adoption of Integrated Pest Management practices in K – 12 Public Schools in Colorado. Dr. Young recently announced her retirement from Colorado State University, and a transition from her key role with the Colorado Coalition for School IPM.
The Colorado Coalition for School IPM was organized in 2012 with the intent of combining the expertise and collaborative resources from multiple Federal and State agencies with those of the Colorado School Districts to advance the adoption of the school environmental health initiative, Integrated Pest Management in Colorado Schools. The impressive roster of organizations that provided representation for the Colorado Coalition includes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8, Colorado State University, the Colorado Department of Education, the Colorado Department of Agriculture, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the National Environmental Health Association and sixteen school districts (Academy 20, Adams-Arapahoe 28J, Adams 12 Five Star, Boulder Valley RE2, Brighton 27J, Colorado Springs District 11, Denver County 1, Douglas County, Greeley 6, Jefferson County, Lewis-Palmer 38, Poudre R-1, St. Vrain Valley RE 1J, Sheridan 2, Thompson R2-J, and Weld County RE-8).
Dr. Young, with the aid of a two-year grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has worked to provide educational programs and trainings, and IPM program implementation support for the districts. The CCSIPM school facility assessment teams which consist of coalition members from the state and federal agencies and school districts, under Deb’s guidance, has been instrumental in the successful implementation of IPM programs and school environmental health initiatives that provide safer and healthier school environments for more than 560,000 K -12 Colorado students.
We would like to wish Dr. Young the very best in her future endeavors, and appreciate greatly the dedication that she demonstrated to making Colorado Schools some of the healthiest learning environments in the U.S. I think that Chris Wilderman, CCSIPM member from the Boulder Valley School District words sums it up best for all of us; “Wow! Huge news! Who is going to fill those shoes? … congratulations and thank you for everything, Deb. Chris”
I have been doing research and sharing findings about pests – whether weeds, plant diseases, insects, or animals — for 31 years. Here is one of my most quoted articles, which I wrote as an agricultural agent in Prescott, Arizona in 1996. Thanks to all of you for making this such a fun job! Deborah Young
Recipe for curing skunk-stink. On behalf of County Extension offices throughout Arizona, I recently conducted experiments in how to decrease the thiol odor from a 100 lb. Rottweiler. As many of you are aware, thiols are chemicals produced by many things, including decomposing flesh, fecal matter, and skunks. The striped skunk (one of which lives in my neighborhood) produces trans-2-butene-1-thiol, 3-methyl-1 butane-thiol, and 2-quinolinemethanethiol.
The trick to decreasing the smell of thiols is to change them into other compounds. A chemist named Paul Krebaum has figured out a way to get oxygen molecules to bond with thiols and change them into things that don’t smell bad. The recipe is 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of liquid soap. Wash while it is bubbling and rinse with tap water.
Other treatments in my experiments included 3 quarts of tomato juice, Massengil douche powder (a favorite Prescott remedy), Nature’s Miracle (available in pet stores), and every soap and shampoo I had in the house.
My conclusion is to use the hydrogen peroxide/baking soda recipe.
And keep the dog outside!
The Colorado Coalition for School IPM is a collaborative effort by Colorado State University, U.S. Environmental Protection, USDA National Institute of Food & Agriculture, Colorado Department of Agriculture, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Colorado Department of Education, school districts, National Environmental Health Association and private pest control professionals, committed to implementing IPM principles in schools throughout Colorado.
This newsletter is designed for faculty, staff, students and parents in Colorado schools. Our goal is to help schools maintain a safe and healthy environment for students and staff using Integrated Pest Management. IPM emphasizes long-term prevention of pest problems and reduces exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.