IPM HOLIDAY NOTICE FOR TEACHERS
Holidays in the classrooms are both hectic and exciting and it’s easy to forget about implementing simple pest preventative strategies, such as storing food in sealed containers. Taking a few minutes to remind your teachers and staff about the importance of pest preventative behaviors before the holiday break can help start the new year off right!
Please feel free to use the following note or modify it according to your school’s needs.
“On behalf of Operations and Maintenance, we wish you a safe and happy holiday. Please remember to take home or discard all food and treats from your classrooms and teachers’ lounge before leaving for the holidays. If it must remain, please ensure it is in a sealed container so mice cannot get to it. As the weather changes, rodents try to find a way into our schools from the cold for shelter and food. These simple steps will help to ensure that you have no surprises or messes when you return from break.”
WELCOME JEFFCO SCHOOLS
Jeffco Schools under the guidance of Thomas Riggle, Environmental Health and Industrial Hygiene Coordinator, took the first steps towards implementing School IPM by conducting pest audits at three different schools last month.
Pest audits are recommended as the first steps a school district should take when beginning a School IPM program. The audits are typically conducted at an elementary, middle and high school to provide a comprehensive baseline or snapshot of conditions in the school prior to using IPM. Later audits can then be used to help evaluate the program, providing critical feedback for principals and administrators.
The pest audit team had several suggestions for the maintenance managers at the school but overall found the schools to be in very good condition.
We look forward to helping Jeffco grow their School IPM program.
THANK YOU GENEVIEVE BERRY
All of us at the Colorado Center for Integrated Pest Management at Colorado State University want to thank Genevieve for her passion, diligence and expertise as Research Associate. Genevieve will be leaving the IPM program on January 14, 2015. Having worked as an elementary teacher and school librarian gives her insight in how to work effectively with schools. Having a B.A. in psychology surely helps her in working with university and school personnel! She has more than 20 years of experience in communication and has been the guiding force behind our school IPM newsletters, website and communication efforts.
CREATING A SCHOOL IPM CULTURE
Creating a culture that embraces school IPM, is often one of the largest hurdles, maintenance and facility staff face when introducing IPM. Here are some simple strategies that can be easily implemented to produce quick results:
- Inspect all doors leading outdoors and submit work orders for new or repaired door sweeps.
- Remind teachers and support staff that keeping food stored in plastic containers can significantly reduce pest problems.
- Let your school administrators know that IPM is an important component in keeping your school green and healthy.
- Schedule IPM training for your staff.
BUILDING AN IPM TEAM
The recent report of a rodent infestation in a school kitchen reminds us that successful school IPM programs need to include all faculty and staff. Kitchen staff are key players on the school IPM team. Here are a few tips for kitchen staff:
- Corner clean, debris collects in corners. Corners under fixed equipment are protected harborage areas.
- Clean drain baskets daily. Drains should be left clean and free of debris at the end of each day. Scrub out floor drains with a wire brush at least twice a year, this removes the scum and slime that drain flies breed in.
- Locate dumpsters 50 feet from the back door whenever possible. Keep dumpster lids closed.
- Clean mops and buckets after use and store mops and brushes up off the floor.
- In the pantry, avoid storing boxes or items on the floor against walls. Use wire shelving so all of the floor area can be cleaned and completely free of debris.
- Rotate stored items and remove cardboard boxes when possible.
- Report pests or evidence of pests to the IPM coordinator or the appropriate staff.
- Report maintenance issues on a work order form.
Another valuable partner in school IPM is the county health department. When the Colorado Coalition for School IPM conducts an audit of your school, we invite the local health department to join us. The National Environmental Health Association,
one of our Coalition partners, has helped us connect with the health inspectors.
The more people we have promoting IPM – sealing openings in the building exterior, cleaning, and removing food sources – the greater our success.
Thanks for being part of the IPM team.
Serving breakfast in the classroom (BIC) can boost elementary school students’ attendance, and more students eat breakfast at school when the meal is served in the classroom rather than in the cafeteria, researchers report November 24 in JAMA Pediatrics. The study did not find any differences in reading and math abilities based on standardized-test performance in schools that do or do not serve classroom breakfasts.
While it is not yet clear how the classroom-based breakfast program affects academic achievement, the finding reinforces the positive effects of school breakfast programs and suggests that the classroom-delivery model ensures more underserved students start the day with a healthy meal, the researchers write.
For more information on the study, please click here.
#1 PEST IN SCHOOLS & HOMES
The number one pest in homes and schools this time of year is the house mouse. If you see just one mouse or evidence of droppings, it’s time to set traps, improve sanitation, and mouse-proof the building. Because a mouse can squeeze through a hole the size of your little finger, the first line of defense is sealing up entry holes.
Traps are your second line of defense. There are lots of styles to choose from – wooden traps or plastic ones. Mice are nocturnal and stay away from humans. They’re quiet, fast and can hide just about anywhere. three good places to set traps are kitchens, basements and attics, and garage or storage areas.
For more information about IPM strategies and mice, please visit:
URBAN LEGENDS & WASP SPRAY
This urban legend just re-emerged in Fort Collins. One version tells of a church receptionist working in a high-risk area who kept a can of wasp spray on her desk for self-defense. This urban legend suggests wasp spray draws less attention than a a can of pepper spray and is effective against violence. THIS IS NOT RECOMMENDED! It is a violation of Federal law to use a pesticide product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.
“These emails may have initially begun as a hoax or simply a bad idea shared among an increasing number of people,” said Catherine Daniels, Pesticide Coordinator at Washington State Pest Management Resource Service.
Janet Hurley, an Extension Specialist with the School Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program through Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, got many questions from school districts such as this one: “A school district in north Texas was inspecting its campuses at the beginning of the school year. The IPM Coordinators kept noticing cans of wasp killer in the offices of the school secretaries. Since the school follows IPM and has a policy about only licensed applicators making pesticide applications, the coordinators, began to ask questions. Apparently, the secretaries had heard from a law enforcement person who said a can of wasp killer could injure an attacker at 10 feet and therefore would be a way to keep an intruder from school.”
CSU ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH INTERNS
The Environmental Health degree at Colorado State University is the only EHAC-accredited environmental health undergraduate program in Colorado, and one of only 31 such programs nationwide. All students are required to complete a 300-hour senior capstone internship for their Bachelor of Science. Students take background courses in biology, chemistry, physics, microbiology, physiology and statistics along with foundation courses in epidemiology, toxicology, industrial hygiene, radiation biology, waste management, water quality and food safety and then are expected to apply some of these principles during their internship. Many students choose to take courses in CSU’s Bioagricultural and Sciences and Pest Management department as part of their degree requirements. More information on the program can be found at http://www.cvmbs.colostate.edu/erhs/.
There are many options for bringing an intern into your program: full-time summer interns, part-time interns during the school year, paid and unpaid. To discuss the possibility of hiring an Environmental Health student from CSU, contact:
Erin K. Reichert, MS
Undergraduate & Internship Coordinator
Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences
Colorado State University
Thank you for your dedication and support of School IPM.
Happy Holidays To You & Your Family!