Healthy Colorado Schools Newsletter
Register now to catch the next webinar from the Environmental Protection Agency — Smart, Sensible and Sustainable Pest Management in Your School. Thursday, April 16, 2015, 1:00–2:00 p.m. EDT, followed by a live mentoring and Q&A.
A systems approach to natural turf management, Utah State University, May 7, 2015, Salt Lake City, UT
CONGRATULATIONS TO LYNN BAMBERRY
Lynn Bamberry, Director of Competitive Grants and Awards, Colorado Department of Education was selected as recipient of the 2015 Director’s Award. Lynn will be honored, alongside schools, districts, and post secondary institutions at a ceremony in Washington, DC on June 3rd.
The Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides has completed a Special Report titled Oregon Schools are Reducing Pesticides: An Analysis of State Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Legislation. The report analyzes the success of the Oregon IPM in schools law to share the good news that school IPM is working and children and employees are safer and have reduced risks associated with pesticide exposure. Forty-one percent of campuses that responded have eliminated all pesticide applications and 90% of the surve respondents support efforts to reduce pesticides in schools. Read the full report here.
- Identify, inspect and clean hard to reach places. Look under and behind furniture, equipment and fixtures.
- Dispose of cardboard and keep shelving and storage closets neat and orderly. Store pest-attractive materials in clear containers off the floor.
- Line trash bins with thick trash bags that fit properly to ensure that trash goes directly in the bag, and that bags will not leak. Regularly wipe down trash bins and wash out the bottom to remove any buildup of food for pests.
- Restrict food and drink to designated areas and clean up spills immediately after they occur. If food is kept in classrooms, dispose of perishable food at the end of each day and store non-perishable food in sealable containers. Report to cleaning staff any spills on carpet or in hard-to-reach areas as soon as possible.
- Follow the warnings and label instructions on sanitizers and disinfectants. Keep any and all chemicals (hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, cleaners, air fresheners, spray cleaners, 409, bleach, etc.) out of the reach of children. Note that Clorox wipes are not approved for sanitization or disinfection.
BLACK WIDOWS CALL COLORADO HOME
Dr. Paula Cushing, Colorado’s spider expert (Curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science), spoke last week at the 40th Annual Zoonoses Conference, sponsored by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Dr. Cushing explained that, while all spiders have venom (to catch their prey), the western black widow is the only spider in the state that we need to be concerned about from a human health perspective.
See the fact sheet on spiders here.
NEW HANTAVIRUS CASE REPORTED
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says a La Plata County resident has died after becoming infected with hantavirus, a rare but often deadly disease carried by deer mice. The deer mouse is one of six species of white-footed mice found in Colorado. It is about 6 inches long (including the tail), brown to gray in color, with a white belly and furry tail. The ears are smaller than that of a house mouse. This mouse prefers to live in rural areas such as field, pastures and vegetative areas around buildings.
Regardless of what kind of mouse you have, the recommendation is to clean up mouse feces using the CDC guidelines.
PESTS FOR APRIL
in open-ended pipes, dumpsters, trash can lids, underneath outdoor bleachers and trees located close to the building. Remove old nests that are found on school grounds. Place bait traps to lure new queens before they build new nests. See the fact sheet on stinging insects.
Bee swarms can be re-located and do not need to be destroyed. If you have a swarm that needs to be re-located, contact the Colorado State Beekeepers Association. The new phone number for the Colorado Swarm Hotline is 1-844-SPY-BEES.
that is vegetation free, with gravel or stones, around the perimeter of building foundations to discourage ants from building nests. Extend the barrier three feet away from building to prevent rodents from digging burrows next to buildings. If using rock, a diameter of one inch or larger and at least a 2 inch depth all around is recommended.
are found on the south sides of buildings, sometimes entering through cracks around windows. Carefully seal or caulk all exterior openings to prevent indoor migrations. Talc-containing baby powder, diatomaceous earth, and even baking soda or cornstarch may create an effective barrier through which clover mites cannot pass. Don’t crush clover mites, as they will leave a rusty stain, but can be vacuumed.
NEW INDOOR FLIES POSTER AVAILABLE SOON!
MONITOR PEST VULNERABLE AREAS
- Use sticky traps for monitoring, inspecting and reporting. Note pest vulnerable areas (PVAs) – places that have potential access to food, water and harborage. PVAs are areas prone to infestation and require more intensive monitoring and inspection than other areas of a facility. Report pest-friendly conditions, or signs of pest infestation to the IPM coordinator, pest professional, or custodian. Learn more about sticky traps here.
DISTRIBUTION OF SOME MOUSE/RAT CONTROL PRODUCTS ENDS
On April 1, 2015, Reckitt Benckiser ceased all distribution of 12 d-CON products that do not meet EPA™s current safety standards. EPA reached an agreement with Reckitt, the manufacturer, to cancel these products because they are sold without a protective bait station and pose risks to children and pets. Additionally, eight of the 12 products pose unacceptable risks to certain wildlife. Retailers may sell and consumers may buy these products according to the label until stocks are exhausted. Users of these d-CON products must read and follow the product label instructions.
Household rodenticide products that comply with the Agency’s safety criteria are widely available and are required to be sold and used with a bait station in most use scenarios. EPA encourages consumers to use rodenticide products with bait stations, as proper use of a bait station reduces the risk of accidental exposure to children, pets, and non-target wildlife. (from the School Pest News, April 2015, Texas A & M AgriLife Extension Service)
Find examples of household rodenticide products that meet EPA safety criteria here.
ACUTE VERSUS CHRONIC EXPOSURE TO PESTICIDES
Where we live and work can have a major impact on our health. You may have seen the report that a family, visiting a Caribbean resort, fell seriously ill and a pesticide, allegedly used at their hotel, may be to blame. Each year, poison centers receive more than 145,000 reports involving pesticides and disinfectants.
We spend around 90% of our time indoors and are exposed to “invisible” chemicals found in cleaners, pesticides, air fresheners, building materials, tobacco smoke and mold. The environmental pollutants may be associated with an adverse health outcome. To learn more, see the interview with Dr. Nicole Deziel, Yale School of Public Health, who studies how exposures to everyday environmental toxins affect human health.
TIPS TO KEEP YOUR SCHOOL SAFE FROM ACCIDENTAL POISONINGS
• Always store pesticides and other household chemical products out of the reach of children – preferably in a locked cabinet.
• Use mouse and rat poison products with a tamper-resistant bait station. SEE THE ARTICLE ON MOUSE CONTROL PRODUCTS.
• Inspect your home and school regularly, room by room, for potential poisoning hazards and remove any unsafe products.
• Purchase only the amount of pesticide product that is required for the job.
• Never transfer pesticides or other household chemical products to containers that can be mistaken for food or drink.
• Never store pesticides in the same locations with food products.
• Never use illegal pesticides from foreign internet or mail-order sources.
• Program into your phone the Poison Help Center number, 1-800-222-1222.
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.