Colorado Healthy Schools
NEWS AND EVENTS
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that consumers do not eat any Blue Bell brand products, and that institutions and retailers do not serve or sell them. Listeriosis is a life-threatening infection caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium (germ) Listeria monocytogenes.This is a complex and ongoing multistate outbreak investigation of listeriosis illnesses occurring over several years.
May is Asthma Awareness Month, an opportunity to increase public awareness of the asthma epidemic and to take action to get asthma under control in communities across the nation. Asthma affects more than 25 million people of all ages and races.
CONGRATULATIONS TO GREEN RIBBON SCHOOLS
EPA Region 8 had five Green Ribbon Schools recipients. Congratulations goes out to two Colorado entities, Red Hawk Elementary School in Erie, Colorado, and Colorado State University Fort Collins, Colorado, which was recognized in the post secondary category. The post secondary category was recognized for the first time in 2015.
PEST OF THE MONTH
The miller moths have begun their annual migration. Many schools and homeowners are seeing miller moths in buildings. In much of the Rocky Mountain west, the common miller moth is the adult stage of the army cutworm, Euxoa auxiliaris. These moths have a wingspan of 1 ½ to 2 inches, are gray or light brown, and have a kidney-shaped marking on the forewing. The army cutworm (caterpillar stage) feeds on crops and garden plants in winter and early spring. The moth (adult stage) feeds on nectar and is making its annual migration from the plains to the mountains now; it usually lasts six to eight weeks. If you live close to the mountains, these moths may have migrated over a hundred miles en route to summer feeding sites.
Remember that the miller moth is primarily a nuisance. They don’t feed or lay eggs in homes or buildings. They don’t feed on any household furnishings or food. They will eventually find a way outdoors or die without reproducing.
Keep the moths from getting indoors by sealing openings around windows and doors and reducing lighting inside and out. The best way to remove the moths once they are in a building is to swat or vacuum them. Insecticides are not recommended. In addition, new moths migrating into the area nightly will rapidly replace any moths killed.
A NEW PEST FOUND IN WESTERN COLORADO
A species of aphid, that feeds on grass, has been reported in western Colorado. Sipha myadis is native to parts of Europe, Asia, the Middle East and northern Africa, where it is a pest of grains.
TIPS FOR MAY
- Identify the species of ant before starting a control strategy. Different species require different approaches. Some species are drawn indoor for food or moisture including crumbs or sweet liquid spills.
This is a field ant feeding on honey.
Prompt cleanup can stop problems before they start. If you are using baits to help manage persistent ant problems, eliminating other food sources will make the baits more attractive.
- House flies, fruit flies, phorid flies and fungus gnats are active. Flies can transmit bacteria and disease-causing organisms to food and food preparation surfaces. To keep flies out, maintain window screens and weather stripping around doors and windows. Keep dumpsters covered, clean and away from buildings. Cover or put away foods whenever possible, and promptly clean up spills and crumbs.
POSTER NOW AVAILABLE!
WHAT TO DO WITH OLD PESTICIDES
As the school year comes to a close, consider getting rid of old pesticides which you may have in your storeroom. Consult your environmental risk official and follow the school district policy. NEVER resort to dumping them down the drain, putting them in the garbage can, or dumping them down the storm drain. As little as one teaspoon of certain pesticides rinsed down a drain is enough to show up as a pollutant in local streams! And in the future, consider using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to manage pest problems instead of reaching for the ‘quick fix’. If you do need to purchase pesticides, buy only enough pesticide for the job to avoid storage and disposal issues.
BUG AGAINST BUG
Researchers from West Virgiania University are exploring the use of Podisus maculiventris, the spined soldier bug. A stink bug in the same insect family as the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, the spined soldier bug is native to North America and is a predator of more than 70 insect species.
COCKROACHES DOING JUST FINE IN COLORADO
Three species of cockroaches are commonly found along the Front Range – German, American and Oriental. The most common here is the German cockroach; in Germany it is called the “Russian Roach”. It is commonly found in kitchens. In general, daytime sightings of cockroaches indicate a significant infestation.
The single most critical step in cockroach management is careful monitoring. German cockroaches do not move extensive distances; nymphs will only move a few feet from where their egg case hatched. Finding nymphs in a monitoring trap indicates that you are exactly where the cockroaches are infesting; this is the location that needs to be cleaned, uncluttered, and possibly treated with bait.
Poor sanitation may help sustain cockroaches, but even clean environments can harbor roaches. Steps for good sanitation include:
• placing (metal) baskets in all floor drains to keep drains clean;
• eliminating the use of cardboard boxes to store things in; German cockroaches thrive in cardboard boxes;
• placing all food in air-tight containers;
• keeping food consumption to designated areas;
• maintaining clean kitchen floors, especially in corners and under appliances.
SCHOOL HEALTH POLICIES AND PRACTICES STUDY, CDC
A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looks at how well U. S. school districts evaluate indoor air quality, indoor environmental quality and integrated pest management. Click here to read the report. You can use this information to assess how well your programs are going in relation to the national averages.
WHY GO GREEN?
Green cleaning can help reduce the environmental hazards produced from certain chemical combinations and protect the health of custodial staff. Choosing safer products and training staff in proper usage can help reduce the number of injuries caused by caustic chemicals, respiratory irritation, and inappropriate or dangerous equipment. Green cleaning increases the lifespan of facilities. Proper maintenance and effective cleaning extends the longevity and performance of school building materials and furnishings by preventing damage and premature aging.
LOW TOXICITY PRODUCTS FOR BED BUGS
In a recently reported study by Narinderpal Singh, Wang and Richard Cooper, two low-toxicity, over-the-counter products were found to be surprisingly effective against both bed bugs and their eggs. A product called EcoRAider (1% geraniol, 1% cedar extract, and 2% sodium lauryl sulfate) provided 100% control of bed bug nymphs after 10 days. A second product, Bed Bug Patrol (0.003% clove oil, 1% peppermint oil, and 1.3% sodium lauryl sulfate) provided 91 – 92% mortality after 10 days. The mention of these trade names does not imply endorsement of the products, but they are worth watching in future research comparing them to other pesticide products.
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.