Healthy Colorado Schools Newsletter
LEARN MORE ABOUT IPM AT THE SPRING MEETING
The spring meeting for Colorado Coalition School IPM will be held on Friday, April 3, 2015, 8:00 – 12:00, at St. Vrain Valley School District, 395 S. Pratt Parkway, Longmont. The meeting will cover pest problems (insects, diseases and rodents) on school grounds, use of herbicides, what to plant when your ash trees are gone — and more! There will be an advisory meeting, with lunch, from 12 – 2 pm, to plan activities for the coming year. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 8th International IPM Symposium will be held in Salt Lake City, UT, March 24-26, 2015
A systems approach to natural turf management, Utah State University, May 7, 2015, Salt Lake City, UT
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will host a new webinar examining chikungunya virus on Wednesday, April 8, from 3-4 PM ET. Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted by mosquitos that causes a host of symptoms including fever and prolonged joint pain.
Countries and territories where chikungunya cases have been reported (2/24/2015), CDC
NEW RULES EFFECTIVE APRIL 14, 2015
Rules and Regulations Governing Schools in the State of Colorado were adopted by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
These rules are enforceable by local public health agencies. The new language emphasizes integrated pest management. Section 6.7.4 (Insect, Rodent Control and Classroom Animals) states: “Insects, rodents, bats and other pests shall be managed, when they reach levels considered to pose economic or health threats, with integrated strategies for long-term pest suppression, using the most cost-effective means with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.”
SEND US YOUR TICKS
The vector-borne and zoonotic diseases program at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment wants to learn more about what ticks people may be exposed to during school, work or play. Ticks found on school grounds or removed from children or school staff may be sent to the state health department’s medical entomologist who can identify the tick to species. Collected data will be used to map tick distributions and potential exposure areas for tick-borne diseases. To submit a tick contact your local health department and ask to send your sample to the state health department’s medical entomologist.
Learn more about ticks here.
PEST OF THE MONTH
Clover mites are found in and around buildings from late February to early May. They are very small (slightly smaller than the head of a pin) and range in color from red to brown but can also be dark green. When they are crushed, they leave a rusty red stain.
As it warms up, large numbers of clover mites enter schools through cracks around windows and doors, especially on the south or southwestern sides of the building. Whether indoors or out, most of the mites congregate on the sunny side of the building.
Clover mites do not bite, transmit diseases or feed on clothing or furniture. If clover mites enter the building, vacuum them up rather than crush the mites thus preventing red stains on surface areas.
Clover mites feed on the leaves of grass causing the leaves to turn brown. Mites don’t readily cross loose, clean cultivated soil, so providing a three-foot “grass-free” buffer between the building and any turf will limit their ability to enter the building. You can also caulk and seal all exterior openings to prevent indoor migrations and spread a fine layer of talc-containing baby powder, baking soda, corn starch or diatomaceous earth along those same southerly exposures around buildings.
IPM SPRING CHECKLIST — INSIDE THE BUILDING
√ Check all door sweeps for light. If you can see any light peeking through, remember mice and ants consider that an open door invitation to your building. Replace any door sweeps that can see the light!
√ Check for gaps in walls where electrical and water pipes enter and near baseboards, where the building may have shifted. Both of these serve as common entry ways for mice and other pests.
√ Use escutcheon plates around water pipes; fill openings with copper mesh and caulk/seal to prevent entry.
√ Train staff cleaning up small amounts of rodent droppings to take the appropriate precautions.
√ Check to make sure that all food in the classroom is stored in pest-proof containers.
See our Pest Prevention Strategies Checklist.
SPRING CHECKLIST — OUTSIDE THE BUILDING
√ Remove old wasp nests that are found on school grounds. Check for nests in open ended pipes, dumpsters, trash can lids, underneath outdoor bleachers and trees located close to the building.
√ Place bait traps to lure new queens before they build new nests.
√ Maintain the area next to buildings as a barrier to prevent pests using rock, clay, concrete or pavement. Don’t use mulch next to the building. 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.
For more ideas, see our School Grounds Checklist.
KNOW YOUR HEAD LICE
Which of these is true? To find the answer, read our fact sheet on head lice here.
- The presence of head lice is a sign of neglect.
- Head lice are shared readily and cause epidemics.
- Head lice can cause disease and/or harm by transmitting pathogens.
- Head lice can jump, fly, or survive for weeks off a host.
- None of the above
Can you identify head lice? There are many other things that look like head lice, such as knots in the hair, dandruff, book lice and carpet beetles. Dr. Richard Pollack, Harvard School of Public Health, emphasizes how important diagnosis is. You must first find the creature. Next, confirm it is a louse. Finally, determine it is alive. Recent research has found that head lice can only survive off a host for a few hours, not 1 to 2 weeks as was previously published. Check with your school to learn about your district policy on head lice.
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.